Sunday, December 28, 2008

AFK, Posting: Bellbell Hates Death Knights

Death Knights.

I hate them.


Okay, ‘Wether says that’s not enough. I have to explain why. As if them being emo whiny babies who made bad decisions and now mope and gripe and weep about them isn’t reason enough! Yes, yes, Arthas made you some ultimate fighting machine and you did terrible, horrible things. Like killing people.

You know what you’re doing in Outlands and Northrend now? Killing people. They may look a little funny, they may make funny noises, and they may not be “human,” but you’re still killing people. People who raise young and have families and protect their own, who believe what they're doing is right, that they're on the right side.

Oh, it’s for a different reason now, huh? To save others, or the environment, or for some money or boots. Not because Arthas made you into what you are.

Wrong! You’re doing it with what Arthas gave you. And you’re going to grow past Outlands and go into Northrend. There you’re going to kill more people. And some you’ll even torture. You’re going to get to Arthas the same way you served him.

Kill, maim, rip, slash, tear, destroy, disease, degenerate, freeze, skewer.

And you’re sitting there, all hypocritical, bemoaning what you did while someone was in your head while you do the same now that he’s gone. You don’t think that makes you a hypocrite? You don’t think the Lich King would use that to break you and your suicidal resolve?

I’ve met only a few Death Knights I can stand. They make no apologies for what they are. They doesn’t mourn their lost innocence. Your innocence is lost as soon as you spill blood intentionally. There’s no pure killing, not even for the Light.

This is why I’m different from the other draenei Paladins. This is why they despise me; because I realize there’s no way to be truly Holy when you’ve killed people for something. And this is why I hate you Death Knights. You think you’ve lost something to Arthas he never took from you, but that you gave him. You gave him permission to make you a monster and now you’re all torn up about it? You didn’t realize it was stupid. Now admit it was stupid, idiotic and treasonous to your own feelings, and move on.

Own up to your mistakes, recognize what you are, and understand what you’re doing, or everyone who sees your hypocrisy will continue to hate you.

And Arthas will break you.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

AFK, Posting: Server Rivalry

I'm sure BRK didn't expect this post of his to be one that spawns a reaction from another blogger, enough so that they sit down to write about it, did, so, I decided to indulge myself.

For those of you who don't watch everything BRK makes, this movie was just about him helping some taurs complete a quest. Big group quest with a scary elite, and so on. This, in itself, is nothing special, besides it being delivered in BRK's normal, enthusiastic, fun manner. It's a comment he made during the movie that got to me. "This is why we go carebear server, 'cause this is just too much fun."

Of course, as soon as he said that, my PvP server pride raised its hackles. Though, after I took a moment to calm myself by camping lowbies*, I started to think about it.

Obviously, BRK is not against PvP. He has multiple stories about eating PvP-flagged face that was chilling where it didn't belong and he went crazy for Battlegrounds and Arena just a little while ago. So, really, he's not afraid of conflict, as long as it's on his terms.

Hey, that's great! You have your favorites, I have mine. But, well, let me think about it for a bit.

Why do I like PvP servers?

I wrote about World PvP a little while ago. Well, actually, just about a year ago. I have plenty of friends who don't see it the same way I do, who get completely frustrated and annoyed and ticked off that someone is killing them on the way to their quests. That they're being camped. I even know people who become irrationally annoyed when they attempt to gank and fail. They are much happier on a "carebear" server, and that's fine. Go on, go, be free! You can even come back, now, if you want.

So, then, why, if I have that sort of mindset, did my hackles get raised at BRK's innocuous little comment? There's nothing wrong with him liking PvE servers over PvP, he never insulted my PvP server or, why the immediate feeling of defensiveness on my part?

Because of the subconsciously perceived assumption behind it, that cooperation between factions doesn't happen on PvP servers (now, he probably didn't mean it that way, but since when have gut reactions ever been the best thing to base opinions on?). We totally do, and it's awesome when you have that moment of fear that the 80 DK is going to stab you through the gut while you're just trying to get one final quest mob, and instead he helps you take it down, waves and mounts up to go. It's also awesome to do the same, /flex, /roar, and then fight each other to the death.

However, that's not the point of this post. The point is, as follows:

PvP server and PvE server players have often have a sort of rivalry going on. To stereotype (as we must)...

Those on PvP servers see PvE players as "carebears" who can't handle some ganking, who are "pansies" or other less agreeable words, scrubs who can't deal with unexpected situations, and so on.

Those on PvE servers see PvP players as immature gankers who can only gratify themselves by proving their epeen against characters 20 levels below themselves, and so on.

Obviously, this is a gross generalization of everyone on a PvP or PvE server, especially as people often have multiple characters on different servers. But I find there are some real differences between people who play mainly on one type of server or another.

For example, when I build a spec, part of my concern is often whether or not it will function for both PvP and PvE, or what kind of survivability it provides. This is for levelling, dailies, raiding, almost anything I would put my character to, this comes into effect. This just isn't a concern on PvE servers. They aren't worried about the rogue in the bushes or the hunter flying above them.

When thinking about class balance, when it's not my own, my immediate concern has often been "how fast can it kill me and do I have counters?" That is my gut reaction. Then as I look it over, it eventually works its way into my raid encounter mindset, my group mindset, and the rest of PvE. Thus, some classes seem to me to be immediately OP, even if they are struggling in a raid setting, as they're two levels below me and just two-shot me while I was picking flowers. On a PvE server, however, the focus is generally what you do more: if you're an Arena-goer, it's probably PvP balance; if you're a raider, it's probably PvE balance.

In the end, though, we're all people playing a game. We all choose to play in certain ways, and in certain ways are a product of our environments. Sweeping generalizations aside, we're all pretty much the same. /fuzzy feeling

*No lowbies were harmed in the making of this post. Except Blood Elves, but, in my defense, they make the most wonderful crunching sounds.

Friday, December 26, 2008

AFK, Posting: What's This Red Tag in My Ear...?

I've been tagged! By Bear, no less. I love Bear. He's so cuddly and fluffy and svelte.

For those of you who don't know, One Among Many started this "thing" where you go back and see who your first commenter was on your blog.

Well, my very first commenter was Leafshine on my introduction post, welcoming me to the blogging community. ♥

I'm also supposed to tag five other bloggers to do this. To be honest, I don't know who has been tagged already, so if you've been tagged twice, well...QQ moar, nubcaekz! ;)

Out of Mana
Mass Dispel
Two and a Half Orcs
For the Horde

Thursday, December 25, 2008

AFK, Posting: Happy Holidays!

And a Merry Christmas, especially, as that's my holiday of choice.

Enjoy time with your families and events in WoW.

Peace on Earth, Good Will towards All!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Guest Post: LFG, Pwn'n Plus Haelz, Durid

Alright, so not exactly the type of subject line I'd normally use... bah, who are we kidding, I would probably never even come up with using that line had it not been for Bellwether's call for a group to come to her aid during this year's holiday heroic (yes, the holiday time catches us all. I hope you have a wonderful trip!).

So, who am I and why am I providing a guest post? Even if you didn't want to know, here is the obligatory intro, and I'm not telling you how far down to scroll to skip it!

I am Byaghro of Casual WoW. Although not my original main, my Druid has been around for almost as long, and has almost always been Restoration spec'd. One of the things I seem to encounter more often than not, especially with all of the changes we have seen in Wrath of the Lich King, is in trying to help Druids who struggle to heal groups figure out what works best for them and effectively use that style of play to progress and have fun.

Honestly, although seemingly nothing more than an attempt to be funny at first glance, you really could equate the different styles of healing to sex. Some prefer fast, hard-hitting play. Some enjoy a more gentle approach in which their intended target is nurtured and coaxed along. And some like to mix it up, enjoying the excitement that comes with experimentation.

Personally, I think the latter suits Druids best, but everyone has preferences.
Anyway, without further ado, let's get to the root of this post: Nourish and Regrowth.

I have been on the fence about whether or not Nourish was remotely useful or pure trash, and I am finally convinced that it comes down to personal preference, healing style, and glyph selection.

Let's start by looking at a typical healing scenario:

The tank is the only person really taking any damage (minor splash damage on the melee dps). Lifebloom is being kept on the tank, as is Rejuvenation. For healing the melee, since it is manageable damage being taken for this scenario, Wild Growth fits the bill perfectly. But wait, the tank is still taking pretty massive damage, and you need to keep some other, strong, direct heal in the mix to make sure they don't get too low. What do you do?

Honestly, this is where every scenario eventually leads you. How do you heal through the times where you really need that direct healing? Technically, there are a few options open to you, and although I'm going to mention all of them here the main focus is when to use Nourish versus Regrowth.

Four common responses to the above scenario:

Swiftmend the target. Especially useful if you have the Glyph of Swiftmend, seeing as how it is a massive direct heal for a low mana cost comparatively.

Regrowth is an excellent candidate for this scenario as well. Typically I default to this as my next option because I like having the extra HoT on the target. It may not absorb all of the damage and I may have to add in another heal, but any additional healing that allows you more time is a plus in my book.

Healing Touch, especially if talented, is a very solid option now also. It is not my preference simply from a mana cost perspective, but it is (I believe) still the strongest direct heal in the game.

Nourish is designed to fill in this gap as well. At first glance it seems relatively unimpressive, and depending on your setup I can easily see why. This is definitely an ability that was designed to fill a very, very select role, and when that role is needed it actually does so very well.
With that very basic overview, it is time to look more at where you would use Nourish and, perhaps more importantly, why?

First, in order to understand the choice of spell best, let's evaluate my healing style, talent spec, and glyph choice. In my opinion these choices are what determine your use for the spell, or whether to completely ignore it.

Talent Spec: Byaghro's Current Talents

Glyph Choice: Glyph of Rejuvenation, Glyph of Swiftmend, and Glyph of Regrowth.

Healing style: I love my HoTs, and work on making them more efficient and stronger as a general rule of thumb. Typically, this means my go-to spells are Lifebloom, Rejuvenation, Regrowth, and Swiftmend.

So where does Nourish fit into all of this rambling?

Nourish is a solid direct heal. When the tank is taking heavy damage, and HoTs simply are not absorbing enough of the damage, then Nourish is the ideal option under certain circumstances. Those circumstances are, basically, as follows:

You are not spec'd for a stronger, faster, or more mana efficient Healing Touch.

You are not spec'd for Swiftmend, or it is on cooldown.

You do not have the Glyph of Regrowth and you have already cast Regrowth on the target (especially if you are like me and absolutely hate overwriting your HoTs early... that's less effective healing!).

Now, there are plenty of other arguments for/against the use of Nourish based on mana efficiency, effective healing per mana cost, etc. For most players this really doesn't matter as much as trying to understand when the spell is useful, and being able to heal to their full potential. Obviously, if you have mana issues then you will want to look closer at how to heal the most efficiently.

My personal experience has been somewhat lackluster with Nourish. Prior to getting the Glyph of Regrowth, however, I found it to be invaluable in those instances when I needed a very quick, direct heal. Now it really becomes even more of a niche for me, because the only time I go for Nourish instead of Regrowth is in the event I have just cast Regrowth. I prefer to use as much of the HoT portion of the spell as possible, primarily because it is just wasted healing otherwise.

In looking at my healing style and preferences, it is fairly easy to understand how Nourish fills a role that I only need on occasion, just as Healing Touch only fills a role I need on occasion. Typically speaking, I use Healing Touch macro'd with Nature's Swiftness most often, in order to either catch up on healing or for an emergency heal. Given that my talent choices do not place any emphasis on making Healing Touch any better (or Nourish for that matter) in a similar situation where I need to catch up on healing, and especially if Nature's Swiftness is on cooldown, it makes plenty of sense for me to use Nourish in the same manner.

In the end, it really does come down to playstyle preference, talent choice, glyph choice, and especially your comfort level with HoTs. This is one area where Restoration Druids are spectacular, and why it is so much fun playing one: we have a lot of choices, and a lot of leeway, to be able to get the job done in different ways.

I know...

...that I already said I won't be posting anymore this holiday season, but I just wanted to share something that is near and dear to my heart, although it is completely non-WoW related.

I know there is a lot of anti-military sentiment going on around the world right now. I know that there are a lot of people who flat out hate us, and everything that we do. I'm just here to tell you that it's okay. We don't mind. We're here so you don't have to be.

There are a lot of us, myself included, that are stationed overseas, and will not be able to make it home for the holidays to see our fiances, our wives, our children. So be thankful for what you have, and while you're home, enjoying your WoW, or asleep on Christmas Eve, still feeling that small twinge of excitement left over from your childhood, remember us. Because while you might be savoring that cup of hot chocolate tomorrow, we'll be waking up to lace up our boots and go back to work defending you and everything you love.

I just wanted to share that.

If you're interested in supporting your troops this season, please visit for more information on how you can.

Again, happy holidays everyone.

- Sannhet

Friday, December 19, 2008

Happy Winter Veil, Everyone!

I'll be taking a break from writing and such for the holiday season, but when I get back, get ready for the next few installments of my critically ignored DK tanking tips :D.

Happy Holidays to all, and to all a good night!

- Sannhet

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Guest Post: 4 Taenkz: A completely unbiased guide to tanks in WotLK

Note: Sorry to Myze and other readers; Blogger had a hiccup and accidentally posted this in the future. I managed to remove it and re-queue it, so that may be why you've seen it twice. So sorry!

When Burning Crusade came out, Blizzard had a nice relationship with Warriors. They would go on dates, cuddle, and occasionally finish each other's sentences. Things seemed to be going well between them until Blizzard said that they wanted an open relationship, and wanted to experiment with others.

Now, naturally, this made Warriors upset, until Blizzard told them "we still need only you for the Illidan position." Well that made Warriors feel better until one night they came home early from work and found Blizzard in the Illidan position with a Paladin. "But I'll only do it if they're packing Divine Protection!" came the protests from Blizzard.

But the message was clear; Blizzard may have had intentions of monogamy with Warriors at first, but after wild parties and binges, it's doors have opened to new horizons. Debauchery at it's finest. Blizzard is now trying to seduce the clergy (Paladins,) experiment with Bestiality (Druids,) and now they are even messing with Domination (Death Knights.)

With all these tanks, how do you know which is best for your raid? Simple, it's Druids. But for the sake of argument, let's look at what the other classes have to offer, and why they aren't as cool as Druids.

Warriors are the typical, clean-cut, let's-always-do-missionary kind of class. Which is probably why Blizzard got fed up and took on more partners. They have all the core abilities you would look for in a tank, and not much else. They are fairly average in mitigation, threat, and ending the list of classes alphabetically. They are also fairly spoiled, what with Blizzard lying to their face for the past two expansions about how "cool" they are, and how they've "never had it like that before." Warriors tend to be overconfident because of this. They think they're the bomb. Well, they are _a_ bomb. Warriors are good for when you don't have a Druid. Or a Pally.

Death Knights are rather new, so I'm not too well versed on their techniques. But from their reputation, they thrive on pain. Your pain. Tired of being Arthas' personal pool boy, they have reasserted themselves as the Dom of the relationship. Just be thankful they can't use whips.

Paladins are the sensible ones. Or the overcareful ones. They always have Protection on Hand. They work well in large groups, or in more intimate settings. They are always there for you, even if they have no clue what they're really doing. You see, when Blizzard told Paladins that they were wanted, they freaked out and had about twelve midlife crises, always changing what they were doing and how they were doing it. I honestly thought it was just a phase, but it's been going on so long...

Druids are the cream of the crop. Well, I guess I shouldn't use the word "cream" given my current running metaphor. But studies have shown that Druids are faster, smarter, stronger, and more well-endowed than their tanking brethren. They are studlier or foxier, wherever appropriate. And this is why Blizzard loves them so. Blizzard said, "We'll give you more health and mitigation than any other!" And so it was done. And next patch, we get even more mitigation! Unless you use stupid armor trinkets. Short story, if you need something tanked, call a Druid. They always hit the spot. And it's not the same spot lemonade hits on a hot day.

It's the g-spot.

Leader of the Pack

Saturday, December 13, 2008

We All Have That Awesome Friend...

...and, well, I have a ton of them.

Many people offered to gift me WotLK.

Harl just got there first.

Thank you, Harl! ♥

As of tonight, I'm going on hiatus. I have guest posts, guest authors, and my own prepared works. When I'm back, I'll let you know!

Unless I'm too busy in Utgarde Keep. I missed healing so bad.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

For Those of You Who Didn't Notice...

...I have a new author on the blog. He kind of jumped the gun and didn't let me introduce him first (I suppose I didn't tell him I wanted to, though), so...

His name's Sannhet, but you all might know him better as "Button." Once a gnome Warrior of supreme terror, now he's an uncanny mixture of Ret Paladin, Frost Death Knight and soon-to-be Resto Shaman. I offered him a home here on my blog since he wants to write, he's my friend, and he seems to find maintaining his own blog to be a hassle.

Plus, he's got a wicked sense of humor, what seems like a bunch of free time, and is supremely tolerant of my occasional begging for guest posts.

Expect, when I have time, for the template of the blog to change a bit to showcase my new helper (no longer gnome-sized). For those of you terrified I'm losing sight of the Druidic way, no worries; my main is Bellwether, will always be Bellwether, and I am itching to start healing again when I get back from my time away.

Remember, you have until Saturday the 13th at noon PST to send me in guest posts! I already have a good selection of really nice ones, but more never hurt. Also, remember, if you're a blogger, include a link to your own blog. People reading your posts might want to find out more about you. :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot: Operation Dead Night

Hello, my name is Sannhet.

You may or may not know me, but I've been featured on this blog multiple times under different posts and different aliases. I'd go back and post them all here but y'know, I don't like to toot my own horn or anything.

I'd much rather you toot my horn. Cha-ching.

Anyway. While my writing skills, and indeed, my WoW knowledge repertoire, are not quite up to Ms. Bell's standards, I volunteered to at least help fill in for her while she deals with the school and the substantially greater problem of not having WotLK. That being said, don't judge the lady by my entries, as she's not a man, and that could cause some confusion later on.

Today, I'll be focusing on the first installment of a three part series I'm going to designate "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot: Operation Dead Night". You might know this by reading the title, but of course, I'm operating under the assumption that you are all illiterate. Which makes perfect sense considering this is a blog. This particular series of entries will be dedicated to, and indeed, revolving much like the universe around myself, around Death Knight tanking. I'll start with the basics, what every wanna-be DK tank needs to know about the basic spec, rotation, and so on, and move on to itemization, glyphs, and specific specs. There will be a pop quiz later this week.

Death Knight Tanking Step #1

For tanking, every single DK specs the exact same way....or should, at any rate. Now now, don't get your panties in a knot, I said for tanking. The trees further define their role and how they go about it, but in the end, there are only four core must-have talents, and they are:

Improved Thundercla--er, Icy Touch

This very simple talent allows for an additional 6% reduction of melee and ranged attack speed, added on to the spells base of 14%. In other words, with a single frost rune, you take the enemies beat-the-hell out of you rate and subtract 20% from it. Handy. The extra damage doesn't hurt your threat either.

Look Ma, No Blood!

This talent will allow you 10% extra parry for doing something you do anyway, and will give you something to brag about later when you see the other DKs dying. In another nifty measure, which the few of you who have played a DK past 67 will realize, it gives you more procs on Runestrike....10% more chance, to be exact. Twice the awesome, half the calories!

Hah! You Missed Me!
These Landlubbers Are Tougher Than I Thought!

These two shouldn't need to be explained, but for the sake of the "Mastarogue"s and "Mastapally"s out there, I'll just say, one gives you dodge. This helps you dodge. The other gives you armor. good.

Death Knight Tanking Step #2
We Prefer "Circular Movement"

Rotations vary between DKs, depending on spec, since they therefore have different skills with which to accomplish their tanking goals, but basic similarities do exist.

To start with, while you may be tempted to make every pull with Death Grip (hereafter referred to as 'GET OVER HERE!'), it isn't allowing you to function at your maximum potential. Instead, when possible, pull with Icy Touch.

This has several benefits that may not be readily apparent to the casual viewer, the first of which is simply saving your 'GET OVER HERE!' for later use, say when the healer gets aggro off that giant-troll-undead-demon and you can't pry yourself from the succubus that looks more and more enticing after twelve hours of farming mats and 23 cans of Mountain Dew. In this particular situation, 3 seconds of "hey, hey, look at me, lookatme!" will make your healer very happy. 35 seconds on cooldown may not seem like much, but neither does $5, until you need it and don't have it.

The second benefit is that by the time you've blasted that mob with an infectious disease (ew....) and he manages to meander his way over to you, you'll be well on your way to getting that Frost Rune back, allowing you to unleash more of that sexy tank loving that so resembles an abusive relationship.

After the pull, 'tis merely a matter of applying your next disease via Plague Strike and burning your Blood Runes as quickly as possible to allow Blade Barrier to do its beautiful, beautiful work, with whatever blows your hair back the most, be it Blood Strike, Heart Strike, or otherwise.

Judicious usage of Rune Strike and your respective Rune Power dump is all that's needed after that. Rinse and repeat, and consult your physician if you have an erection lasting longer than four hours.

Death Knight Tanking Step #3
I'm A Loser, After All

AoE threat is more complicated for a Dead Night than it is for any other tanking class. While Pallies (kek) can drop a Consecration and toss on Holy Shield, not to mention Captain America, Thor, being awesome....where was I? Oh, right. Droods have Swipe and *skill removed due to popular demand*, and Warriors have The Gift That Keeps on Giving, the newly minted Shockwave, and the Glyph of Awesomeness.

Death Knights have Death and Decay...and er....Death and Decay. But fear not, faithful listeners! MC Grand Master Funk Daddy Sannhet has the beat you need. Competitive AoE threat gen as a DK is possible, and while not exactly easymode, it isn't far from simple either.

After your first Icy Touch (hopefully applied during the pull itself, if you've been reading), drop Death and Decay, and follow it up with Plague Strike. If you're Frost and Rime procs, now is the time for Howling Blast. When your Runes begin regenerating, follow up with Pestilence and soon thereafter, Blood Boil. As in the discussion on rotation, continue as needed, doing your best to keep your Blood Runes down and Blade Barrier up. If your DPS is focusing as they should, at this point you should be pleasantly ahead on the next target. And if they're not, there's always plenty of DPS in LFG and sharks in the Atlantic that love fresh meat. Simple and effective.

And that's today's installment of "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot: Operation Dead Night". See you next time, and leave the vibrators at home. Remember, only you can prevent forest fires.

This is Sannhet, signing off.

TL;DR Version:
What, am I writing for my health? Go back and read it, ya knuckledragger!

*EDIT: It was pointed out that I linked Demoralizing Roar instead of Challenging Roar for the droods. But re-reading and seeing as Challenging Roar doesn't really offer anything in the way of threat per se anyway, it really doesn't apply, regardless. Anyway, thanks for pointing it out, I don't know what I was thinking about when I wrote it but I'm sure it'll come back to me.*

This is an Oath to the Fallen Heroes


What? No. Of course I can do this. I’m fine. Why wouldn’t I be fine? You act like I’m upset or something. Go away, Bellwether, I have writing to do. You’re making me, now let me do it.


I am not crying! You’re seeing things. I don’t cry! I’m a Paladin, we don’t cry.

Okay, she left.


Look, okay, fine. You know, Bellwether has said the crew needs to stay in Outlands. It’s not a good idea to just up and leave when the Burning Legion is still being active and everything. Plus I can’t mine the stuff in Northrend, and the Captain needs to free some dragons. It…I mean…okay, so it is a good…thing…that we’re doing. I know. But…but…


Fordragon’s dead! My heroes are dying in Northrend and I’m stuck on this Light-forsaken Void-rock! For what, goggles? I don't need to be a better engineer or miner to rip an undead monstrosity's skull open and shove a hammer inside.

I…I could have done something. I would have given my life for him, for Fordragon, for the Alliance, against that abomination that is the Lich King, against those…those…Forsaken rats. Instead, I’m picking pieces of ore out of the ground while the Arthas drop-outs run around like they own the place. Make them fight the Legion as penance for what they’ve done, not me.

Let me at that gate that separates us from Arthas, and let me chip it open. Let me invade the Undercity and bring that bloated rat to justice. Let me into that thrice-damned cold and I’ll burn it with the fire of vengeance, of retribution.

I swear by the Light, I will cut a path through that land like none have known, or die trying.

But there will be justice.

Monday, December 8, 2008

4 Haelz, LF PUG

Well, the holidays are upon us, and I, like many, will be going places, doing things, being all Christmas-y. From about the 15th of December to the 7th of January, my time online will be very, very limited. I do not, however, want this blog to not update at all in that time.

That being said, I have some things I wish to write up and will hopefully be ready before I have to go, but! I would like to extend the opportunity for anyone, anyone, who is interested in writing a WoW-type post for 4 Haelz to do so and send it in. Whether you have a blog, don't have a blog, are new to the game, want to talk about druids, paladins, etc., want to write a little bit of roleplay fiction, rant about what Blizz changed, rant about what Blizz should change, or what have you, I encourage you to send it in. Seriously!

I'll read them over, and post what I can (if it's appropriate and coherent).

That being said, to be able to read them before I have to take my hiatus, I need them in my e-mail (4haelz AT gmail DOT com) by December 13th, 12:00 PM PST. I would prefer a subject line that is amusing, like "hai u ned deeps lulz" or something, as I'm technically looking for a PUG. If you feel a deep need to be professional in your subject line, however, something like "4 Haelz Guest Post" wouldn't go amiss.

Remember, as long as it is well-written, grammatically correct, not overtly abusive, and is, of course, WoW-related, feel free to submit it!

Thanks everyone! :)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Major Glyphs for Restoration Druids

*EDIT* Now updated for 3.1 and Innervate change! *EDIT* Confused about what to pick for your major glyphs? Well, I’m not going to tell you what your choices should be, but I can perhaps make it easier for you. How is that? I’m going to run down all the Restoration (and a few multi-purpose) glyphs, detail their pros and cons, and just give you a better idea of what you’re getting into. Ready? Let’s go (in alphabetical order)!

Glyph of Barkskin
This glyph was created in 3.1, probably to try and offset the high damage now taken in PvP encounters. This is not a PvE glyph, for if you're getting hit with physical damage, it's highly situational and something is very wrong (note that this is a guide for Restoration Druids; not Ferals). It's also important to remember that the glyph only affects melee criticals; not those brought about by spells.

Glyph of Entangling Roots
Wait, what? Glyph of Entangling Roots? Isn’t that a Balance glyph? Well…yes, yes it is. However, it’s not strictly Balance. Sure, in a 25-man raid group, it’s not going to be the best use of your slots. Perhaps not even in a 10-man group. Where this would shine is PvP. It would allow for more splash or focused damage to be applied to your immobilized target before they could move again (barring their release due to various abilities and items). Overall, this may be best for a Dreamstate PvP spec, and not for a straight Restoration or raiding spec.

Glyph of Healing Touch
The Glyph of Healing Touch is actually a highly debated glyph of questionable help. It cuts down cast time and healing of Healing Touch by 50%, but the mana cost by only 25%. Therefore, casting two glyphed HT’s in a row would do the same amount of healing in almost the same amount of time, but cost 50% more than a single unglyphed HT. Many people seem to be picking it as a sort of “Flash Heal” for a Restoration Druid; however, at level 80 we achieve the spell Nourish. It has the same cast speed as a glyphed, non-talented HT with arguably more healing done. It is rather expensive, however, but it leaves your long cast HT as an emergency button with your Nature’s Swiftness. The argument for this glyph is almost always that it’s for leveling Druids and Moonkins/Ferals who need a quicker straight heal. Since it’s available at level 15, this argument makes sense.

Glyph of Innervate
Glyph of Innervate changed a bit from its original. Now it returns 90% of your base mana to yourself if you cast it upon someone else, or combines the 90% with the 450% of base mana return when cast upon yourself. This means a return of 3146.4 mana to yourself (at 80) when you cast it on someone else, or a total return of 18878.4 mana if cast upon yourself, since you receive 15732 mana normally. This isn't a bad option if you're constantly having to boost that silly Priest or Paladin up from a dead mana pool, especially as it no longer relies upon Spirit.

Glyph of Lifebloom
This, at first, looks like a rather under-powered glyph. Only one more second on the duration of Lifebloom doesn’t seem like a lot, until you add in the talent Nature’s Splendor, which increases Lifebloom by 2 seconds. This greatly increases the timing of your Lifebloom, giving you more room to cast more spells, raid heal, run Lifebloom stacks on more people, or cast Nourish, Regrowth, or Healing Touch without letting a stack drop off on someone. With the nerf to Lifebloom’s ticks, it may not be the best choice for PvP, where the bloom portion can be more important than the periodic.

Glyph of Nourish
This handy glyph came in 3.1 as well, and it basically copies the bonus from your T7(.5) set. A 6% increase to Nourish's effectiveness with each HoT application isn't too shabby, and with the T7 set bonus, it's pretty intense. This glyph was most likely created to make Restoration Druids less hesitant to break their set bonus when heading into Ulduar. It is a very tank-centric glyph; not many people other than your tank will be taking enough damage to have stacked HoTs. If you're not often healing the tanks, this may not be the glyph for you, despite its power.

Glyph of Rebirth
This Glyph is a very raid-oriented glyph, as it can never be used purely for your own benefit. However, if you’re learning new content, facing bosses that will always kill people in your party just because that’s how the fight works, or you’re always having to use your Rebirth during the course of a raid, this isn’t a bad thing to invest in. It provides a buffer so that your reborn target is less susceptible to rezzing in a bad place and immediately going back down.

Glyph of Regrowth
Though it’s been nerfed, it’s still a good glyph depending upon your situations. I can foresee it being much more beneficial to five and ten-mans where your healing may need to come in bursts that ticks can’t cover, and you won’t have a wide range of healing abilities within your party. It’s not a bad glyph, but odds are you won’t be spamming Regrowth too often.

Glyph of Rejuvenation
I was under the impression for a while that this glyph was not functioning properly. However, after reading the comments on Wowhead and doing my own experiments, I found it to be the case that the 50% extra healing when you’re under 50% total health comes as an extra, in-between tick rather than on each normal tick of Rejuvenation. So, if your Rejuvenation would normally tick for 1k, at 50% health with the glyph, instead of going 1.5k---1.5k---1.5k--- it goes 1k-500-1k-500-1k-500. Extra healing, especially at those points, is never bad, and if you’re keeping HoTs rolling on a tank, Rejuvenation should be up in any case.

Glyph of Swiftmend
This glyph used to be the number one most important glyph of a Restoration Druid. However, since 3.1 and the introduction of new glyphs, this may not be the case anymore. Though being able to cast Swiftmend without worrying about refreshing your HoT immediately is more mana effective, Swiftmend has been rendered even more situational due to its cooldown and the variety of other tools available. Though by no means a bad glyph, it is no longer a necessity.

Glyph of Wild Growth
The final new member of the 3.1 glyphs, it extends your Wild Growth to another teammate, so it now hits six members of your raid or group. Though not the best choice for five mans unless you're running with a pet-heavy team, if you're often placed on raid healing, it could be invaluable. Since the cooldown of Wild Growth is six seconds, that's one less person to worry about during that time.

I hope this helped your choices!