Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Maybe It Doesn't Need Saving

I just recently read the article entitled Ulduar can't save World of Warcraft's end-game at Examiner.com. Continuously, these types of articles irk me. Not out-right irritate, for honestly it's not worth the energy when I have so little to spare at the moment, but rather for the complete devotion to the writer's own opinion as signifying a trend.

"You’ve already done this hundreds of times before." The author seems to be complaining that WoW is still the same game. Literally, he says in the post that it doesn't matter what content was in the patch, because in the end, "it’s still the same game." I can't say for sure, but I'm certain if it added in a pinball machine and a guitar controller, the author would gripe it was trying to be something it's not.

A big point seems to be that end-game is flawed. Yet the only depth he goes into about these flaws is that it is a grind. Oh, and despite the four different ways to play Ulduar, mixing ten-man, 25-man, normal mode and hard mode, Ulduar is only for the HARDCORE. Funny, 'cause my Paladin in blues and a few purples managed to make a nice showing in a ten-man normal Ulduar last night.

My real problem with this post is that, besides taking his own opinion (one he says, however, that only three people hold while the rest of us are rabid wow fanboiz and gurlz ready to sacrifice our first born to the gods of Blizzard) as superior, he uses it to create "news," i.e. that Ulduar has somehow caused WoW to fail, and then doesn't talk about it. Eventually, the post seems to boil down to "this is so boring, why haven't you quit yet? Oh wait, you're addicted. Losers."

Still, he goes on to saying things like dual spec and no longer being dismounted in water are obvious leads into an eventual auto-pilot mode, where we won't have to play our characters anymore. This is the same guy who wrote briefly about the plight of healers and tanks being forced into positions they don't wish to be in in an earlier article.

I have no problem with his opinion, except that he waves it around like a club and talks about whatever it happens to smash into with some relevance. Posts like this are about on equivalent ground with those that highlight isolated cases of shut-ins who kill themselves power-levelling and use them to make broad generalizations about the WoW population in general. As well, the author's hostile approach to talking to his audience is just ridiculous.

I suppose the point of my own post is that I am really tired of seeing people write openly hostile posts about WoW and then invalidate rebuttal by saying those who disagree are of the "zombified population" a.k.a. "sheeple," making those who agree with him the privileged few. I can't disagree without being in a position that has already been compromised. It's actually almost sad that this sort of thing is put out by an author who is paid to write about video games. I suppose, though, "sensational" headlines (ZOMG ULDUAR KILLIN MAH WOW WUT) get more page views. I sent you there, didn't I?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Obligatory Noblegarden Post Here

The holiday is here, there's no denying it. And, well, since I completed it on Bellwether the first day, and have almost completed it on two other characters, I believe I know a little about it. If you haven't started or are just getting started, here are some tips for you.

First off, understand that no egg belongs to you. Whether you're spawn camping or circuit running, nothing has your name on it. Coming to terms with this will make the holiday less stressful overall. You still have a week, so there's no point in becoming completely freaked out the first few days.

A handy tip for people missing their female orc: If you know a female human with the Orb of Deception, putting bunny ears on them while they're in disguise counts. Seriously.

If you're going to Un'Goro and you're on a PvP server, take friends. I'm not telling you whether to gank or not, that's your personal preference, but having the muscle to take out any would-be gankers is always preferred.

When you're not being smiled upon by the RNG gods and are having a low drop of special items, collect enough chocolates to buy everything you need before you go purchase. This will help keep your blood pressure down, so there are less chances of buying something, then having it drop.

If you're hated by the goblins, but are going Desolace - Silithus - Tanaris - Thousand Needles - Badlands, remember that the flight path outside of Gadgetzan is controlled by a non-goblin, so as long as you kill the few guards around it, you are still able to fly out of there and up to Theramore to take the boat.

Remember to relax and have some fun with it. It lasts a week, there are no pure RNG achievements, and all it will take is a little time.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Second-Chance Evaluation

On Tuesday, our talent points were refunded again. This meant I had two characters with dual specs to point up. Bellbell was easy; I'm still trying out healing on her, so she went Retribution and Holy. Bellwether, I talented her first spec PvE resto and then...

Left the second slot blank.

When 3.1 came out, I was all excited to try out feral tanking on Bellwether. I had a full, though somewhat shoddy, feral tanking set. However, having not played feral but three short times in two years, I wasn't feeling keen on pugging a group as a tank. I didn't feel confident, and, as odds would have it, the majority of my friends are tanks and dps. They never need me to be anything but a healer. And everyone else is always in Ulduar.

As well, I am now focusing a lot on Bellbell and trying to get her decent gear so she can pump out some decent DPS. She's hit capped, a somewhat easy feat for Draenei with a hit racial, but her crit, ap and expertise leave something to be desired. Getting groups as a DPS is very painful, and often times the experience is so awful I'm beginning to suspect that my successes pugging on Bellwether were largely due to my own knowledge of my class.

So now I have an empty talent slot and few ideas what to do with it. A possibility is Boomkin, as it is always fun to typhoon people off of things and have a tree mafia. However...I am always irked by weak heals when I am on my Druid. Completely bothered by it. So, if I do dual-spec Resto, there are a few options...

  • Use my second spec as a different healing spec. One will be a raid focus, one will be a tank focus. Odds are there will be only variable output, but have slightly different styles and focuses. However, as I am not in a serious raiding guild, the likelihood that I need something so micro-managing is minimum to none.
  • Dreamstate! Decent damage dealing, decent healing, impressive mana regeneration, and I'm still a healer! It would be nice to finally try out the (in)famous Dreamstate spec and see what it has to offer.
  • Spec for PvP Restoration. Though I don't have an active arena team and PvP is a rather scary place of burst damage right now, I've been wanting to get back in. I've been considering an experimental double healer team ("considering" meaning it was proposed to me last night and sounds hilarious) and so PvP may be the way to go.

Now, I'm not giving up on the other aspects of Druiding. I still have the oft-neglected Feralicious who will continue being Feral forever. I have spec'd Moonkin for an achievement (Less-Rabi) and I do enjoy other aspects of being a Druid. But Resto is definitely my choice, always.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My Brute

Well, I'm on leave back in the states, having all sorts of fun with the fiance, but I thought I'd share what I do in my spare time at work (seeing as most sites are blocked from the Navys browsable internet content anyway):

My Brute

It's fun! And you clicking that link and making a brute serves a dual purpose by making my brute stronger....STRONG ENOUGH TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD! BWAHAHA!



P.S. You should go to mine instead (Bellwether and Bellbellz). Sann only put this out because Bellwether's pupils kicked his brute's ass (but Sann still roflstomped Bells brute when she tried to stab him in the back).

P.P.S. Bell went so far as to REMOVE me from the blog for this transgression. FIGHT THE POWA!

Is Swiftmend Still Number One?

Today as I was finally finishing updating my Major Glyphs for Restoration Druids guide to include all the new glyphs from 3.1, I reread a few of their descriptions (checking for errors). I came finally to Glyph of Swiftmend, and this is what I had to say:
If you have Swiftmend, you should have this glyph. No arguments; it’s just that good. I’m not kidding. It gives you a heal that works just like Swiftmend, without the need to reapply a HoT. It saves you mana and increases your healing done. There is no reason not to get this glyph.

However...is that still the case?

With 3.1 we saw the mana regen nerf to innervate that almost necessitates it being glyphed to squeeze just a little more effectiveness out of it. Two new glyphs entered the scene: Nourish and Wild Growth. Though one is more a tank healer glyph and the other a raid healer glyph, both are extremely valuable. As well, Swiftmend has more and more become a situational spell, especially with its cooldown and the high amounts of haste in the game making Nourish an extremely quick cast. However, not having to refresh a HoT on the target you cast Swiftmend on may also be extremely valuable in this brave, new, less-mana-rific world.

I have not yet changed the glyphs on Bellwether, largely due to not needing to (as I do not have a guild, I have not entered Ulduar and have not needed to max out my efficiency), and also largely due to this debate over what glyphs are appropriate anymore. While Swiftmend used to be king, I think it's actually been rendered level by the many other options available to us. Rather than being "number one," it's simply "another good choice."

Which, to me, is not a bad thing. Variety keeps things from being dull, and allows for a greater range of playstyle. Hopefully it will not paralyze people with choices, and simply allow for more exploration of their own playstyle (i.e. how often do I need/use Swiftmend).

Though I haven't set up my glyphs yet, I am curious - what is your set up? Why did you choose those glyphs?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Druid vs. Paladin Healing, A Noob's View

This post will include talk about Bellbell, but will not be in her voice. Sorry, fans!

So, this weekend, I tried healing on my Paladin for the first time. Her gear, though not the best, has been sufficient for normal 80 instances (all that she has been healing since she dinged; did I mention she's 80 now?). Obviously, I have two more years of experience on healing with a Druid than I do with a Paladin, as before this level, Bellbell only threw out emergency heals until her tiny mana pool ran out. So needless to say, this has been an entirely new experience.

The first thing I noticed was that I could no longer jump around while healing. I was intensely stationary. Any loss of mobility has never been a problem for a druid (barring Judgement of Justice), and to suddenly be glued to the ground caused me some irritation. Yet, it was not an overwhelming problem; I still had Holy Shock should I need a quick, small heal while I was in transit, or Lay on Hands in an emergency. Sacred Shield, though not really a heal, is also instant cast and can ease the burden of mobility issues.

The next difference was the cast timer. Rather than the bulk of my heals being instant, I had to deal with cast times. This, I will not lie, stressed me out. It didn't matter how short the cast was, I was completely tense while I waited for the cast to come off. Why? Well, with a Druid, while your cast-time spells are going off, generally there are HoTs ticking on your target. You're still healing while you're casting. On a Paladin, no such luck. And though I am attempting to pre-cast my heals, the lack of practice makes me only correct about a fourth of the time.

Finally...no AoE. This has been a major adjustment. Though Beacon of Light takes some of the pressure off of tank healing during those times when everyone is taking damage, the lack of an instant (or even cast-time) AoE heal just plain hurts. Due to my current gear situation, it obviously hurts a little more than others with better stats, but, still. Ouch.

Paladin healing is by no means bad, nor do I dislike it. It has simply been a major adjustment, especially as I raised Bellbell since level 10 to be Retribution (I was Ret before Ret was cool). She is slowly gaining gear, and being able to try out a different perspective in healing has been very informative. It may just be the two years of experience talking, but, I still love Druid healing most of all.

Friday, April 17, 2009

3.1 Glitch Fun

Some things funny, some things disturbing, and many frustrating, but they're there. And did we really expect anything different? With new content patches with so many tweaks, it's pretty much guaranteed our servers and characters will be in turmoil for quite some time. So what's happened for me in this brave, new world? Well, besides instance freezing and crashes, there have been...

  • Lifebloom fun! Though hotfixed now, if you clicked off Lifebloom, you were able to gain the heal and the mana bonus, without dispell or the timer ticking down. This is no longer the case, but it was certainly interesting while it lasted.
  • Bellwether, for a time, was able to spec 72 talent points. I am, obviously, the uber Resto at a hidden level 81.
  • My innervate glyph no longer seems to be functioning, though that may be an isolated problem with my character.
  • Two of Bellbell's quests refuse to give her credit for kills or drop their items. These are The Purging of Scourgeholme and The Scourgestone. Both were partially complete before the patch came out, and now I am not getting any credit. The GM's, swamped as they are, were so very (not) helpful by sending me an e-mail suggesting I could be in a raid group. Seeing as how Bellbell is not 80 and her last raid was Onyxia, pre-server reset, and after leaving those two quests I was able to complete others without trying to leave a non-existant group, I am a little irritated by this explanation.
  • Unable to see any standing Consecration animation.
  • Interesting visual glitches! Take a look at what is hanging over Moroes's head, and what color those prissy Blood Elves are trying to turn the lava on the way to Molten Core.

What have you noticed?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I Have to WHAT?!

I cannot believe this.

Hey guys, it's Bellbell again. And something absolutely terrible has happened.

I broke my arm. Do you know what that means?!

Well, before that, let me tell you how it happened. It's rather simple, really. I was in Zul'Drak, killing things, and there's these weird dogs. I've heard hunters like them, but really they're kind of ugly (though I think Sugarcake would disagree). Anyway, they apparently like the flesh of the living and so I was forced to do some things the D.E.H.T.A. would not condone. And in the process, this happened.

The bitch broke my arm!

To be fair, I did not actually check if the canine was male or female or had whelped, but still, it was a bitch. And now my arm's in a sling. How do you wield a two-handed axe with a broken arm? I'm not some Warrior hopped up on steroids. So I went to the Captain (that's Bellwether) and told her my problem.

She, in her misguided attempt to make me feel better, changed my wardrobe, taped a shield to my back and tied a glowing scepter to my belt. Which thoroughly confused me, as she also gave me 1,000 gold pieces and sent me to my class trainer. When he explained to me what the money was for, I was livid. Dual specs? Why would I need another specialization that Retribution? I specialize in smashing face with axes!

Still, I did what the Captain said and got the second spec. Now, with the shield attached to my back, I assumed...tank. We could just tie the shield to my broken arm, and block that way. Might hurt, but it would still be smashing face. That's what we're going to do, right? Right?



Yeah, that's what happened. I managed to tinker myself together some healing goggles, too, muttering and grumbling the whole way. And Bellwether was trying to give me handy tips, but it all had something to do with HoTs and weird Druid things, and it was extremely annoying when I was trying to get her to hold onto the goggles so I could screw in a bolt.

Right now, the world seems to be in chaos as the Kirin Tor make parts of the map randomly disappear and all of us black out and wake up somewhere else (I'm sure it's all very funny for them), but after that...if I want to get at Arthas, I have to keep gaining experience.

If that means I have to spend a while as a frilly finger-wiggler, so be it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I hate when I do this

Wrong. Blog.

I hate when I post stuff here not for here.


DING! (Again...)

Yes, I hit 80 some days ago, but I've been working on gearing up and such so that I can possibly see Ulduar before my potential deployment in May, so I haven't really had, or rather made, time to post here and share my accomplishment. But, with the server down and little interest in anything other than watching Firefly and taking a nap, I figured I'd come around and bore you yet again with more musings about myself.

Sometime around 73, I respecced prot (as you might have noticed by my cameo in Bell's new banner ^), and have never looked back. I haven't tanked since early BC, when I went prot from Holy paladin because our small-ish guild lacked a MT, and I've always been one to fill a need, but I have to admit, not only the being needed but the sheer awesomeness of being a prot War is something that I wish I had discovered months ago. I soloed every group elite I came across as I made my blood-and-entrail-strewn path across Northrend, and laughed as the Horde attempted to gank me as they had in the Outlands, even when they came in 2s or 3s.

After many instances, and many different quests and zones and gankages, I successfully dinged 80, and began my long (okay, not that long) quest towards becoming geared enough for Naxx and heroics. It took me, oh, about 4 hours. I was accepted into [Eternal Fate] at 78, and when I dinged 80....well, look at the screenshot:

Yes, that's right, my t7.5 helm within hours of dinging 80. Needless to say, I <3 my new guild. But, enough about me, I have thank you's to hand out.

1.) Derae - Though she's quit WoW, she didn't give me any crap for playing as a stress reliever from all the nonsense I've been dealing with in my shop at work.
2.) Bellwether - Running me through instances, stopping by to help me with quests, shes just as helpful in person as she is on her blog.
3.) Nosaaj - Letting me borrow his DK for random quests I couldn't find anyone else to help me with, running me through everything from VC to Nexus, can't thank him enough.
4.) Tekuo & Bidelia - For likewise helping me with quests, and eventually getting me into [Eternal Fate].
5.) [Eternal Fate] - For running me through 25man naxx as a 2nd OT they didn't need, looting me not one, but 2 tank helms because the first dropped from Saph and they said the t7.5 was better and I *needed* to roll, and consistently running heroics with me so that I can get geared as quickly as possible.
And last, but most certainly not least:
6.) You guys, for being awesome and making me feel like I was doing something worth writing about, heh.

One last screenshot, one that made me feel all fuzzy inside when a few idiots starting yelling in Dalaran about how I was a "ninja".

And yes, I have a bit of an ego. Not such a bad thing, I say....


Monday, April 13, 2009

Druids, Don't Delete that Tier 7!

Seriously, just don't do it.


Well, besides it's nostalgic value (el-oh-el), coming 3.1 you're going to want to have two sets of gear. This isn't about the high iLevel thing for the vehicles; obviously retaining your Tier 7 over your Tier 7.5 won't really help much there. Rather, this gear set will be your mana-hound set, one for ten-mans and heroics.

With the advent of 3.1 drawing nigh, the mana changes will be going through. While it has been reported that those in raid groups of 25 will see little difference due to massive buffs, ten- and five-mans will be a little more limited based upon group composition. So, you see those gem slots on your gear that you've inserted spell power or spell power plus spirit into? Go ahead and replace those with mp5 or spell power plus mp5 gems (depending upon your needs). Ta da! You have your mp5 set.

Hopefully, Blizzard has learned their lesson from Sartharion 3D and ten man Ulduar will be attuned so that it is, in fact, easier than 25, so the slight dip in spell power will not be such a problem. And the boost in mp5 will make it so you do not need to rely upon group composition to make it work. This will also give you a healthy mix of gear to choose from should you come across mana issues or spellpower needs. And you'll already be one step ahead of other Druids, who may only do this when they have their whacked out terrarium-shoulder tier 8.

The above is wrong, and due to my own misconceptions. I admit its fallacies. However, holding onto your T7(.5) is still a good idea, as stated in the comments, due to having a Nourish bonus set. It's also good to have a set which has a lower repair bill for five mans and older raids.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Who's Afraid of the Big, Bad DPS?

The answer would be me (and no, I'm not talking about arena; that's a whole different animal). What do I mean, then, if not PvP? I'm talking about the difficulty in changing from a healing perspective to a DPS perspective

Besides one or two isolated cases, I have never done serious DPS. I've done a few five mans on Bellbell, one Karazhan, a few Outlands dungeons on Sugarcake, and one stint in Karazhan as a Boomkek. Since I began actually understanding how the game was played, I've been healing. I have learned through what annoys me or my tank some of what DPS does, but more what I should not do. That's why I'm mortified if Cinnamon has his Growl on, or if I hit the wrong mob, pull aggro and die.

I've spent two years working on my healing. I'm far from perfect, but I'm always striving for it. So placing myself in a DPS position is a practice in suppressing my urges to drop out and heal (especially when I'm playing Bellbell and I don't believe the healer is doing a sufficient job; it's easier to resist when playing Sugar since she can't heal anyone but her pet). Unless there are marks, and there often aren't, I haven't learned how to prioritize targets to kill. Obvious exceptions would be bosses; I've spent too many times explaining why you should kill the adds on this boss and not on this boss to not understand those.

Organized DPS is also a supremely unforgiving environment, at least in the PUG world I currently reside in. Not due to the game itself; without CC being a requirement or necessary except in the most extreme cases, DPS is free to go all out with relative abandon, its only focus being "kill that big spider thing, and maybe get somebody webbed off the wall." DPS is most unforgiving due to meters; the highest placed person is touted, the lowest place is ridiculed. This makes a highly hostile environment for the new 80, the undergeared, and the inexperienced (or newly respec'd). I've seen, and tried to prevent, people being ridiculed or their opinions being invalidated due to a couple hundred points in damage difference.

Besides, everyone seems to expect you to just know what to do. Perhaps not on boss fights, but they expect you to understand how to use a DPS rotation, how to spec, how to gear, how to gem, and just what to do. And though I have many of the concepts understood, putting them into practice is an entirely different animal. I've improved with Bellbell, I believe, but Sugarcake is Beast Mastery, and managing both melee and ranged components (competently) is almost overwhelming. I barely avoided breaking two CC's by quick switching Cinnamon's targets, while I accidentally pull the mob with the least threat on the tank and forget that Oh yeah, I can feign death.

With Bellbell just reaching level 77, I have a lot of catching up to do, and only a little time to do it.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Being an Effective PUG Raid Leader

Rather than rant about the absolutely terrible raid I had last night of Obsidian Sanctum, I feel giving out advice will be more beneficial for myself and you guys who read this. So, diving right in, this is what I feel it means to be effective at leading a pug raid.

Know the Fight
You cannot lead something you don't understand or have never experienced. Go to someone else's raid first. Complete the objectives. Pay attention to gear levels, healing and tanking assignments, what causes wipes, what adjustments are made, and how the fight works. Don't just assume you know it because you read a few strategy guides; try it out. This will give you more confidence when directing your own raid, and help you make better tactical decisions.

Understand Requirements, but Be Realistic
It's a PUG. You're not going to get the best players from the top guilds. You might get their alts, in which case you're pretty lucky. Be understanding of people whose gear is not in top form. At the same time, understand what an instance requires to complete. If the vast majority of your DPS is only doing 1200-1500 DPS, one-drake Sarth is not for you, especially if they're also dying to void zones or not going through portals. Don't leave out someone due to less than spectacular gear, but know that what you bring affects what you can accomplish.

Swallow Your Pride
You are the raid leader. However, this does not necessarily mean you are the best tank/healer/DPS for the job. Understanding when someone outgears you, or that their class would be better suited than your own, is paramount for success. Ignoring this can still bring a successful run; however, it can be a lot less smooth and bring forward more wipes than necessary. And, if what you're trying isn't working, try listening to the raid members so you don't have to have half of them mutiny to take down Tenebron because it is clear to everyone but you that the raid cannot handle it (oh, was that a bit ranty, there? sorry).

Lead By Example
If you're leading a raid, don't be the one who cuts through the raid through a polarity switch or stands in the void zones or drags a spark through the other dragons. If you do this, people begin to doubt that you know what you're doing. They have, most likely, no previous knowledge of you or your skills. Letting them down in this way does not promote a stable raiding environment.

Know When to Call It
You're down to the last wing of Naxx, everyone's cranky, the priest who died five times on Frogger is being ridiculed, your tank is falling asleep on his keyboard and your healer's wasted from taking a shot each time the Death Knight pulled aggro. It's time to call it. Don't keep pushing; it will be there the next day, or the next reset. If this continues, the bickering will worsen, D/C's from sleep deprivation will increase, and your raid will fall apart anyway. Know when it's better to wait than push on.

Understand How to use the Master Looter
If you've never master looted before, have someone with you who can explain. Or here, I'll do it. You set it to Master Looter, set the rarity (most go with the Blue "Rare" setting). Then, when a mob dies and you go about the appropriate methods of deciding who receives the loot, you click the piece of loot, find the person's group, their name, click their name, and confirm it. Make sure you have the right name. This means reading the full name and verifying this is the winner. Also, make sure you loot the same item you have linked. Looting the Bag to the person rolling for the Spoils looks incredibly bad on your part.

Create Loot Rules and Stick to Them
Nothing causes more problems than loot. Express your loot rules clearly at the beginning of the raid. And follow them, discussing any change with the person the change would directly affect (i.e. asking if someone would pass for another since they have won so much already). Do not arbitrarily decide in the middle of the raid that you'll decide who wins a tie. Do not change loot rules to suit yourself and your friends.

Don't Overreact on Wipes
Not Safe For Work. You all know what it is.

And as amusing as it is, you can only pull this off with a guild. Do this to PUGs, and they are gone. And you have likely become your server's newest widely-known jerk.

Most Importantly, Learn from your Mistakes
You're not perfect. You'll mess up. Everyone does. Sometimes it's a bad pug, sometimes it's a bad day, sometimes you didn't know any better, sometimes you just do. Instead of dwelling on it, learn from it. Take the chance to see what you could have done better instead of blaming others or persevering in your screw-ups. This could be something like, oh, taking responsibility for standing in void zones and fire walls while tanking Tenebron, instead of saying you didn't get any heals.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Healing Assignments and Execution Thereof

Imagine you’re in Kel’Thuzad’s room, finishing up 25 Naxx. You have an assignment to heal one of the add tanks. Spacing is everything; there needs to be at least one healer in range of everyone, and at least one healer in range to heal if one should get trapped in a block of ice. You have a place you’re supposed to stand and people you’re supposed to heal, with a little leeway. Everything’s going well.

Then KT whines to the Lich King and there’s scarab lords running through the raid. The OT’s pick them up and drag them to opposite sides and you find…your OT is on the other side of the raid. You can’t reach him, not without running through a crowd of people and leaving a portion of the raid without its healer. You watch with apprehension as the tank you’re assigned to has his health drop dramatically. You start getting heals up on the tank next to you and try to explain the situation in clipped, quick terms over Ventrilo in order to halt the progress of the paladin who has started to abandon his post and run over towards you. Disaster? Possibly.

Healing in a raid can be terribly easy or extremely difficult depending on a variety of situations. However, probably the most influential aspect of healing success is synergy. How well do you know the other healers? How well do you trust them? Were the healing assignments handed out appropriately?

Following the healing assignment given to you is of utmost importance in most cases. You were given that assignment in the hopes that you would actually heal who you were assigned to, obviously. There may be only one person besides you on your assignment, and it’s not always possible for one person to heal through all the incoming damage. And if you’re the only one on raid and are ignoring them in favor of the tank, it’s quite possible you could lose all your DPS and your other healers. Or if you’re splitting your attention away from the tank in order to heal the raid, your tank may go down faster than you’re expecting.

Trust is an important part of healing. Being able to trust the other healers to do what they should do is what keeps people alive. In 25’s, at the least, one healer cannot do the work for everyone. There is just too much incoming damage. There is some leeway, especially with HoTs, but not always. And as much as it may go against your own survival instincts, sometimes there is just no room between global cooldowns to heal yourself. You have to rely on the other healers to catch you as your bar is falling. It might not be the most comfortable of experiences, but often times it’s your only choice.

And just like you need to trust others to know what to do with the healing assignment, it’s important to also be flexible. Like in the example that the post began with, without flexibility, the attempt would most likely be a wipe. Excuse me, without flexibility and communication the raid would most likely wipe. If you are adjusting your healing assignment, it’s important to let your other healers know so they can adjust as well. You can’t just do it and expect them to pick it up (exceptions do apply, especially if you’re working within a guild that has incredible, even psychic, synergy).

Healing requires a good amount of attention to detail, and few misclicks (alt+right mouse button = Nourish, alt+left mouse button = Abolish Poison…always messing those up…). It also means relying on your other healers, understanding your assignment, knowing your limits and just plain doing your job.

And, please…if I battle rez you while we’re fighting Kel’Thuzad, go back to your spot. Don’t stand on me, and don’t run to the opposite side of the room from where your spot was. You’re going to get people killed.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Ninja versus Pirate versus...

While my server has been inundated with "ninjas," some legitimate, some not, it's gotten me thinking about labels. Why did people who take loot that doesn't belong to them come to be called "ninjas"?

When I think of Ninjas, I think of stealth. In, out, no one knows they're there until it's all over. If anything in WoW would be a ninja, it would be a successful steal of a raid ID. However, taking items when the entire raid/group is aware of it and can see it happening, is not stealthy or subtle. It's not really a ninja.

It's more like a pirate. A pirate's in it for the booty anyway, so their motivations are clear. However, pirates operate outside the law and are subject to punishment by it. So, that doesn't seem to really fit either, due to Blizzard deeming "ninja" type activities as outside the realm of punishment. So, perhaps, Privateer would be better. A fancy kind of pirate whose only real difference is their government sanction.

I suppose, in the end, though...they're all just names for "jerk."

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Just to Clarify

Yes, I deleted the other post.

Yes, I read the stuff about the phishing stuff yesterday.

Yes, I did something stupid anyway.

Authenticators are sold out, check. My antivirus/spyware subscription expired today with the school's being incompatible to my computer, check. Changed my password, downloading AVG, running scans, beating myself up.

Yes, I am an idiot.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

DING! Thats Not A Moon...

Hint: Look at the chat log, my achievement screenshot addon malfunctioned.

I won't lie and tell you it's been a long, hard road. Liberal applications of the RAF program, full complements of Heirlooms, and two hours after work with a few more on the weekend reduced my least favorite part of the leveling grind (1-60) to a little under a week.

The BC grind was a little harder, though nearly as short (I took a week-and-a-half break where I did little more than log on to check auctions and berate people for not inviting me to raids I really didn't want to go to anyway). What there was of "difficulty" came not from the grind itself or the group quests (having an 80 DK parked nearby to dual box came in handy, yes, I cheat), but from something I did not forsee: the ganking.

Now now, don't get it twisted, it's a PvP server, I expected to be engaged in some sort of world PvP as I leveled. What I did not expect was to be so utterly rolled by every single class, save a few priests. I'm rusty, sure, but I was an honest-to-god Gladiator, not some scrub slamming his face into the keyboard. I found myself ghostwalking back to my corpse, shaking my head, knowing I had done everything I could have and still gotten rocked.

I had some inkling of the shambles Warriors were reduced to in PvP, due to practically laughing them off on my pally, but I think a part of me, deep down, half asleep, believed that there were no good warriors left, that they had all rerolled much like myself, or quit entirely like Dajin, one of the best 2400+ warriors during this Arena season (there's only a handful of them to begin with).

During the past week, reality snuck up on that comatose part of me and smothered it with a pillow, giggling all the while.

EDIT: Great minds think alike, I had forgotten that Bell had posted Light At the End recently, which coincidentally shared the original title of this post. Whoopsie.