Monday, April 26, 2010

Work, Work, Work

And that meant no posting as of late.

Allow me to update you.

An interesting thing happened on the way to leveling through the LFG on Daxxy the Druid. I mostly stuck to the plan for the BC content (a few quests for Honor Hold to get some gear) and abandoned it almost entirely for WotLK content. Why?

It turns out that the XP requirements up to level 70 are conducive to leveling in instances, but after 70, there are some steep increases to the amount of XP required to level.

Compounding the issue was the beginning instance for Wrath (UK) seemed to pack a wallop that was difficult to keep up with on my poor little healer. Of course, at level 68, that might be expected.

So, I figured I'd get some of the new gear from some of the beginning areas to see if that made a difference in the ease of healing. It did, somewhat. But the real kicker was getting to level 70 was much easier with questing rather than struggling to heal a 5 man.

Now that Daxxy is 71 and has several Wrath drops and quest rewards, healing instances is much easier, and I may return to just leveling through them, but I don't think I will. UK and Nexus can get a bit monotonous.

Also, I picked up epic flying for her and love just cruisin' around! I love the fact that I can collect flowers without shifting out of flight form.


Ok, so everyone knows I'm lovin' my alts. Currently, I'm trying to start new classes to replace some of my hunters in the trade skill areas (Daxxy will replace Smoochie as my Herb/Alc toon). So, to that end, I started a Rogue named Daxen on Kael'thas to replace Rysteranch as my Skinner/LW.

Yes, I plan on doing a lot of BGs with her ala Daxynn on Andorhal.

Yes, she's rockin' Heirloom shoulders, chest, daggers, and trinkets.

Yes, she did her first BG at 10. At 12, she topped the Alliance chart for killing blows.

Yes, she's Subtlety spec'd.

I just picked up a pocket healer in a guildy, so I'm really looking forward to the second half of the teens as an invincible rogue. rawr!

That's all for now, got to get back to work.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Word of Warning

So, if you happen to get grouped with Daxxy and are not the tank (ergo you are DPS), don't be surprised when you take it upon yourself to "tank" a group that the tank has not pulled and you don't get any heals.

No amount of "I could have taken them if I had some heals" will convince me to heal you for the rest of the instance. I will rez you only because it's faster than hearing you whine and complain about not getting heals while you run back.

It's one thing if DPS pulls off the tank either due to tank crappiness or 1337 DPS or shoddy mismanagement of aggro dumps. I'll heal that up to a point. But when a DPS decides to grab a group when the other four people have gone off in another direction, I'm not going to go back to heal them just to get beat on because of their stupidity.

Am I a diva? Probably, but someone has to let the DPS know where they stand in the order of (healing) things. Tanks first, me second, and the DPS dead last. Take a pot.

This public service announcement brought to you by healing Druids, Priests, Shammies, and Pallies everywhere.

(BTW, at the end of the instance, the tank said that I was his HERO. /giggle)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Blood Queen What's Her Face

We had the whole night, last night, to practice on Blood Queen (after a Sarth 3D, which Dwarfvader got in on and finally got his achieves).

In preparation for these attempts, I finally decided to pick up the Frost badge trinket for spell power and chance for mp5. I almost never used my old trinket and figured a passive proc is better than a rarely used use. Upon equipping it, I pushed into the 6k gear score realm.

So, for BQ, wipe, wipe, wipe, wipe @ 1%, wipe, wipe, blah blah blah, wipe, kill. Or something like that. We had maybe two attempts left for the night, so it came at an opportune time. Oh, and she had just enraged and was in the process of killing everyone when the DoTs and the few people alive finished her off. Yes, I was still alive, /flex.

Now, we have had the DK/Druid/Mage/Rogue(?) token dropping for the last couple of bosses (Putr and Sara), so it was a welcome relief to see a Priest/Pally/Warlock token and a Hunter/Shammy/Warrior token drop.

I was second among the Pallies/Priests/Warlocks in DKP, so I bid it all. Thankfully, the Pally that was first didn't bid as much and I won! Woot! I bought the T10 helm upgrade, slapped some gems in it and an arcanum on it, and put it on my head!

Now, according to wow heroes, I'm the second best geared shadow priest on the realm and the best geared toon in my guild. Wow, that's quite the change from just 7 weeks ago when I started raiding with The Ebon School. I must say, I'm very happy to be here!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Pleased as Punch

My work on spell priorities and casting the right spell at the right time and keeping my DoTs refreshed is paying off.

Last night was VOA, the first ICC four, Rot, Fester, and two attempts on Prof. I was consistently in the top 10 for damage done. A screen shot, if I may:

This is the total damage done for the Saurafang fight. Now, I did not have to switch targets to blood beasts, so all I had to do was light up the boss. I was pretty happy with the results - almost 9k dps, single target.

One of the reasons I was pretty good on this fight was the previous fight:
Yes, that is the total damage from Gunship. The druid may have beat me on DPS, but I smoked everybody on total damage. Go me! By the way, 88% of my damage from that fight is Mind Sear.

So, what's the difference? I've got two things that I can think of:
1. Targeting macros. I've got one of these for every fight that I have to switch targets...even Marrowgar. I link the appropriate targeting macro to my 'c' key and spam away to get the next target. I spend very little time looking for something to light up.

2. Keeping my DoTs up. Yeah, I was keeping them up, eventually. Since Vampiric Touch is my highest damage spell, and since it has a cast time, I needed to get better about anticipating when to cast it so that it landed just after it fell off. I also tried to refresh Devouring Plague as soon as I saw the sparkle on the debuff icon on my PSP addon.

3. Adding the little stuff. Shadow Word: Death and Shadow Fiend are good spells in different contexts. SW:D is perfect for when you're on the move to add that little bit of DPS if you don't have a DoT that needs to be refreshed.

Shadow Fiend is a DPS spell; no no no no, it's not for mana's for DPS! And as a DPS spell, it needs to be smacked every cooldown, which means at the start of the fight and every time it's up. I beat a mage a couple of weeks ago by my Shadow Fiend's damage, around 60k damage, so it can make a difference.

So, there you go. I'm slowly but surely finding my way to great Shadow Priesting instead of just good! Thanks, Robin for pushing me to the dark side...

Monday, April 12, 2010

What I think vs. What I do

In leveling up Daxxy through instancing, I had wondered what I would do when I hit the 55-60 range. Would I do all the Oldworld instances that I've never done at appropriate level or would I book it to Outlands as soon as I could?

There are, of course, pluses and minuses to both approaches:

Oldworld Pluses: I have never seen these instances with a level appropriate group (or in some cases, ever at all). The instances that I'm referring to include Scholomance, Stratholme, Blackrock Lair, and Dire Maul (North and West.) So, I would be experiencing new content.

Outlands Pluses: Blizzard really got the instances right in BC and beyond - they are relatively short, most times the end dumps back to the beginning (which is moot with the LFG tool), and the fights are fairly interesting.

Another plus is the loot is better; I mean, just looking at the Oldworld gear sets makes me sad to be a healing druid. A slight minus here is that I can't equip certain BC items until I'm level 60.

Oldworlds Minuses: Long, long, long! If you don't have a couple of hours, then you might as well forget getting your random reward, much less finishing more than one or two bosses. It's not so much Dire Maul that I'm thinking of, but rather Scholo, Strat, and Blackwing Lair. Even BRD was a chore trying to get through with a level appropriate group; luckily, I found a group that was willing to do the whole thing a week back or so.

Another minus is the loot stinks; yes, this is meant to be a couplet to the aforementioned Outlands plus. A slight plus is that I can equip the crappy gear if I find it's better than what I'm wearing.

Outlands Minuses: While I have some nostalgia for the BC instances as they were really where I started doing 5 mans, I know that the umpteenth time that I get Slave Pens during my leveling will become tiring. In short, the lack of variety or choices is a minus. Then again, I'm not sure how many times I ran BRD during this particular leveling experience...

So, what did I actually do?

I had put aside the random satchel LFG in favor of queuing for the harder Oldworld dungeons - DM North and West, as well as Blackwing Lair - at level 56. I had run Dire Maul: East a number of times and wanted something different.

After I hit 57 and did do a random (Dire Maul:East), I found a tank that I liked and queued with him for another (DM:E....again). So, I was maybe halfway through the level (or a bit less than halfway), took a break, and came back.

Upon my return, I decided to queue for a specific instance, and that's when I saw HC: Ramps as a choice. It seems that the decision I was looking at making when I was 58 was upon me! What would I do??

I ended up queuing for HC:R just to see if I could heal it. Once I saw that I could, well...I kept on queuing for it. Yes, I chose nostalgia and loot over new (to me) content. The length of the instances played a pretty big part in it as well - hop on, run an instance or two, hop off. Badda bing badda bang!

...ok, maybe it'll be hop on, run instance after instance after instance, and hop off at bedtime...yeah, that's what'll probably happen.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Daxie and Daxxy

We took Easter night off from raiding, so last night was our second night of the cycle and included Blood Princes, Dreamwalker, and a new boss, Blood Queen.

We had to take two attempts on Dreamwalker, with the first one being a .00001% wipe (or thereabouts) and one (sloppy) shot of the Princes. Oh, we also did a 3D Sarth earlier in the evening.

Well, with the afks and general mucking around, we didn't get to Blood Queen until about 9 pm EST, which left us about 1/2 an hour for attempts.

And 15 minutes of it was talking, positioning, talking, and questions.

We ended up with three attempts over the next 45 minutes. I can't speak for anyone else, but I feel that I'm on top of the things that I need to do as a ranged DPS, except for the biting someone else.

I got the shadow "run away and drop the stinky cloudy trail behind you" thingy a couple of times, and I executed the running away part just fine.

I got blood linked two or three times and ran to the center to meet up with my linkees like a good little raider.

Oh, and I dps'd the boss.

The only part of the fight mechanic that I didn't experience is getting bitten and by extension, biting someone. And as one of the lower DPSers in the raid, I won't get bitten until pretty far down the chain, unless I'm the first one bitten.

With the reset today, we'll have a fresh ICC to work with on Wed, so if last week was any indicator, we'll roll through the first 4 and the Plagueworks. Then on Sunday, we'll get Princes and Dreamwalker with some attempts on Blood Queen, and finally, on next Monday, we'll have a whole night dedicated to BQ.

On a related note, I really haven't been playing my 80s very much at all. I can't remember the last time I ran a Heroic on Dwarfvader or Vanco, and I haven't even run a daily Heroic on Daxie for at least a couple of days.

I have, however, been playing a lot on Daxxy the Druid. She has healed her way up to 52 now, has Herbalism up past 300, and Alchemy up to 290 or so. I'm also doing the daily Noble garden quest for the 8K XP boost and...candy!

I'm looking forward to hitting some of the Oldworld endgame instances - Dire Maul, Scholomance, and Stratholme. I've had some experience in DM on Daxen the BE Hunter, but Scholo and Strat are still somewhat of an unknown to me.

Also, I'm really looking forward to all of the BC instances (well, except for Shadow Labs.../shudder). Hopefully, by the time I hit Northrend, I'll actually want to run those instances again (right now, it's kind of like ho-hum).

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Bike Ride

9.89 miles
47:55 mins
57/57 deg F
This ride was one that I'm fond of doing, the ride out to a destination, do whatever at the destination (usually involves eating, one of my absolutely favorite things to do) for an hour, two, or more, then ride back. I total my miles and minutes and note the temp out/temp back. I do the same for the weather conditions.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Bike Ride

8.81 miles
43:22 mins
82 deg F
Sunny sunny sunny! I'll probably have a sunburn to contend with, but...I....don't.....CARE! It was nice! There was a 15 mph wind out of the SSW, and I headed out right into it. Coming back was nice with the speed boost, but going out was torture!