Wednesday, August 31, 2011

More healing

Monday night, I ventured into my first lvl 85 Heroic with my Holy Pally. Now, as soon as I zoned in, I made the group aware of their dire situation: "This is my first heroic that I've healed; prepare to die!"

And die we did.

We had three wipes, one on the first boss when I didn't realize a different mechanic (move out of the way of the water spouts coming from the boss), one on the gobliny things on the way to the mind control boss (they hit HARD!), and the last on the last boss when I got hung up on the environment and couldn't save the tank.

Oh, and there were plenty of deaths in between; one of which was an 80% wipe with only me left standing (it was the gauntlet before the last boss.) I give my fellow puggers a lot of credit for sticking it out with me and not complaining.

I learned quite a bit, but most of all I learned that...I am not ready for Heroics! So, yesterday, I queued up for more random normals so I could practice and gain some Justice Points (JP).

Fast forward to the end of the evening, and I'm standing in front of the JP dealer trying to decide between the boots and the belt. I only have enough JP for one, and both of them are significant upgrades to my i316 gear.

Then I have an epiphany: JP = Justice Points.../2 Trade: "wts jp boot less than ah" = "Want to Sell Justice Point boots for less than you can find on the Auction House"...Those boots are BoE!

So, I shuffled on over to the AH, and lo and behold, the healing boots are only 850 gold. Youza! I snapped them up (they were usually priced around 1850 gold) and grabbed a set of the dps ones as well for 1k gold. Can you say, "Hey big spender!"

Then, I flew back to the JP vendor and bought the healing belt. Yay, I have both upgrades!

I spend the remaining little time I had getting gems cut and enchanting some scrolls, so I haven't had a chance to try them out. I am looking forward to seeing some improvement tonight! I don't think I'll try a heroic just yet, but I might this weekend.

In other news, I hit up BRC, or whatever the Blackrock lvl 80 instance is called, on my priest. I didn't have many issues with healing, although it was more challenging than the lvl 80 Wrath instances; I did, however, have issues with my fellow puggers.

D/C's, misspulls, standing in the first boss's AoE "kills everything", hunter pet collecting up a bunch of mobs after the hunter jumps down for the second boss. Yeah, we had it all. Miraculously, we didn't have any wipes, although I think we ended the instance with 8 or 9 people on Recount.

Oh, and a gripe: Kill the last boss quest rewards: Leather, mail, and plate. Srsly? Not even a dps cloth? Rly??? Just under 1/3 of all classes wear cloth, and there is no usable reward for them. That's just suckzorz.

Monday, August 29, 2011

On Healing

For those of you who are looking for running updates, you'll have to wait until Wed or later; my personal healing is not going as well as I had hoped. I fear my ab workouts have not allowed my groin to heal like I would have liked.

I now have enough healing experience in World of Warcraft on three different classes to write my impressions of each, but first, let me tell you about how I like to heal.

I'm a preferred passive/reactive healer; I like Heal over Time (HoT) spells and instant heals. I would rather heal a person up than try to anticipate incoming damage. I prefer passive mana regen as opposed to actively doing something to gain mana.

That pretty much covers it, so here are my impressions of the Pally, Druid, and Priest classes as healers. Oh, also, I use Healbot.

I have healed the most the last week or so on my Pally. I am still trying to get used to the play style as it is radically different than any other healer that I've played. As far as my preferred play style, it only meets the reactive part.

I feel like I'm always casting when healing with the Pally. There are no HoTs to fire and forget; I have to actively heal up all the group's damage. Thankfully, I have a number of instant casts that I can use to get people healed up (and that on the move too!), but usually, if you're getting a heal from me, I'm standing still.

Because I'm casting so much, I have little time to stand around and regen mana, which from what I've experienced, is the design. I have to actively do things to trigger mana regen, and the easiest thing that I've found is to judge Insight every time it's on cooldown. Well, easiest, if
a) I remember to do it and
b) I'm not frantically smashing buttons to heal everyone up.

Judgment has some quirks of its own; I like the fact that I will automatically acquire a target if I don't have one. I don't like the fact that I sometimes acquire a target (and judge it and pull it...) that is not currently in combat. Talk about your huntards...

If I remember to judge throughout the fight, I usually end the fight with plenty of mana, if not all my mana. If I don't remember to judge or don't have time, I find I go OOM fairly quickly. I can see why Spirit on plate armor is laughable.

Another observation is about Beacon of Light. I put BoL on the tank so that all of my heals do something for them. I do not like the fact that I have to recast the stupid thing through the instance as it falls off after 5? minutes. That seems pretty lame, and I have no idea what the developers are trying to prevent with such a short duration.

I don't believe BoL has a cool down, so I just thought (as I'm writing this) of moving my Beacon around to heal up the group if the tank doesn't need the heals. I'll have to investigate this idea further.

And finally, group heals are teh suckzors in my opinion. One requires the group to be close to me to get effective heals and the other requires them to be either grouped up or in a cone in front of me. Yuck yuck and yuck.

This is pretty much the opposite of the Pally and meets all of my preferences as to healing and mana regen.

HoTs? Yuppers, in spades. At 64, I'll get Lifebloom which will make 4? HoTs that I can use. The druid is the king (queen) of HoTs and can be sitting around scratching their behind (if they're a Tauren) for most of the instance. I like that.

Group heals are very nice with Wild Growth, Tranquility, and the proc that puts the circle thingy on the ground. Rapid fire Rejuvs are also a nice alternate form of group healing.

The one lack that I've seen so far is no good big heal. Now, I know I get something in the 70's, but until then, I prefer to throw a Regrowth instead of a Nourish because it's just as good, and it's faster. Oh, and it leaves a nice HoT to boot!

Mana regen is fairly passive with good Spirit gear, and I have Innervate to help out. Not much more to say other than I get a lot of standing around time in.

Priest (Holy)
I still think that this is my favorite, especially with the Cata changes. As far as sheer variability of spells, priests have it all covered. We have a HoT, a number of instants, a couple of group heals, an instant group heal, a big heal, a fast heal, a damage preventer, AND teh frisbee!!!

As a priest, I can have several heals going on all at once: Renews on whoever needs it, the frisbee (Prayer of Mending) dinging around, and whoever I'm actively healing at the time (and myself if I'm casting Binding Heal!) That's a lot of throughput!

My favorite combo for overzealous DPSers is PW:Shield + Renew; if they need more than that, they need to trigger their aggro dump! I don't really like using it on certain classes as they tend to get the invincible rogue syndrome...

The Cata change that I alluded to is the Chakra mechanism. I always trigger the...uh, Serenity(?) option so that I get another instant heal...that also refreshes the Renew on the target. I love that. Most of the time I use it for the secondary reason rather than the instant heal.

As far as mana regen, the Shadowfiend is ok, although using it on trash is next to useless, and Hymn of Hope is ok; I just wish I could fire and forget it rather than stand still to channel it. Most of my regen is gained through high quantities of Spirit on my gear and...standing around.

My little Hordie priest just hit 80 and has snagged some gear to qualify to heal the new Cata instances, so hopefully tonight I'll get a chance to see how well my play style meshes with the Cata damage. I'm thinking that it should go pretty well.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Empty nest is...empty

Last Wednesday, we dropped our youngest son off at USI in Evansville. We are now officially part time empty nesters.

And let me tell you...the house really does feel empty. You see, our youngest son is very quiet...some would say abnormally quiet, and I thought that there wouldn't be much of a change in the house with him off at college.

Boy was I wrong! It turns out that while he doesn't talk much, he does make noise- tapping at the keyboard, playing his video games, thumping down the stairs.

Then there's our noise directed at him: "Can you take out the trash?"; "DINNER!!"; (In response to what's for dinner, which he asked every day) "We're having X for dinner." And all the other little items that need communicating among household members concerning various chores.

For all of our time as a family (20+ years, 18 for T), we have always eaten dinner together as a family. None of this grab and go back to the video games, or snag and dash for the bedroom! We made dinner together a priority. Now, of course, there's a big empty chair where T used to sit.

I miss him. We both miss him, but I really do miss him more than I thought I would. And that's a good thing!

Parent weekend is Sept 24-25; I need to leave for a school in California on the 25th, but if we go down on the 23rd and leave by a decent time on the 24th, I should be all right. I think we'll be doing that.

How the blog decays

No real reason to post, well, there is, and I'll make a separate post about that, but things in this corner of the world are pretty much the same.

Well, except for a huge familial change, which is what that other post is going to be about.

You know what? I should just go write that other post first. brb.

Ok, you've probably already read the post that I'm talking about, now I can talk about more mundane things like...Warcrack!

Since the 12th, I have gotten some time in on the olde toons:

Daxynn the Pally is 84, picked up dual specs (FOR 10 GOLD!), and is leveling BS. Oh, and healing instances. Yes, I finally made the switch and picked up a Holy spec and am learning how to heal on a Pally at 84. Tanking was just too stressful.

I've had a couple of deaths, some wipes, and a number of OOM situations. I think I've settled down on a decent healing plan (Holy Shock, Holy Shock, Holy Shock, dump the holy power spell, Flash of Light as needed and Judge Insight every time I can.) By the third or fourth instance, I actually got complimented on my great healing. Yeah, I should have screenshotted it for proof.

Daxea the Priest is 78, finally got to 410 Tailoring to make Frostweave bags, and has equipped a number of Cata greens. I can now heal instances and occasionally out DPS some of the dedicated DPSers. That's fun!

My hunters both dinged 83 and have been working on their respective crafts. I burned off the rest XP for Daxeo the mage (24), Daxone the warrior (18), Daxxy the rogue (42 EDIT: actually 43...), and Daxenos the druid (58). The only alt that didn't get played was Vancomyacin the DK.

My immediate plans for my Pally are to gather up enough Volatile Earth to make the polearm for my two hunters, gather up enough metal to start buying BS recipes, and make the necessary armor for both my healing and tanking (solo) specs. I already have the Cata starter healing crafted set as well as everything but the chest piece for my tank spec. I'm pretty sure I won't complete all the quests in Deepholm before I hit 85.

My priest's tailoring stands at 413, and I would really like to get to Cata levels (425) by making Frostweave bags, but that takes a lot of cloth, so we'll see if I can collect enough Frostweave cloth to make that happen.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Warcrack update

Since I'm not running, I have had more time to spend in Azeroth, and looking back, I see that my last Warcrack update was over a month ago. Well, for those of you not interested in my gaming, this would be an excellent place to check up on another blog. 8~)

Alrighty, from the top:

Daxynn, my pally, is 83, tearing up Deepholm, and has both BS and mining at Cata levels. I actually just picked her back up last night as I've taken a couple of weeks to work on my other toons.

Daxea, my priest, is 75, healing instances, working on the Wrathgate questline, and has her Tailoring and Enchanting above 400. I've got 5 levels to gather up Frostweave, and I find it difficult to resist buying up the mats. My main push is to get to 415 Tailoring so I can make Frostweave bags; I believe I'm currently at 404.

(In an effort to move things along, I took Daxynn through UK solo and only gathered up 22 pieces. Really? In the whole instance? That ain't right!)

Daxen, my hunter, is 81, questing in Hyjal, and has both JC and Mining to Cata levels. I've been splitting my time between her and the troll lately as I've finally gotten comfortable with the Hunter changes. I still don't like them, but I can deal with them. I did get into 1.25 Cata instance runs last night; the first, I got pulled in on the last boss of Throne of the Tides - I died in a swirl of black stuff on the ground. Oops.

The second, with almost the same group, I made a better showing in Blackrock Caverns(?). I topped the damage meter over all, got two or three upgrades, and only screwed up a couple of times with no wipes. I even saved the day when the tank died and my puppy tanked! /rawr!

Rysteranch, #1 hunter, is 81, getting gear in Hyjal, and has both LW and Skinning to Cata levels. What's the deal with Vashj'ir??? I mean, I can appreciate the whole "on a boat to the middle of nowhere/shipwrecked/save everyone from drowning" bit, but to not provide hardly any equipment as quest rewards in the first 6 or 7 quests to help gear up for the area?? That seems a So, I headed out to Hyjal 'cause I hear the Druids are willing to help a brutha out.

Daxxy, the PvP rogue, is 41, lounging in TB, and occasionally does a Cooking/Fishing daily. She went from 39 to 41 by questing in Duskwallow marsh.

Daxenos, the healing Druid, is 55, sitting around in UC, and occasionally does a Cooking/Fishing daily. I can't remember what he was last month and still can't motivate myself to play him. Poor Dax.

Everyone else has been sittin'. I keep meaning to burn off the rest XP on at least my low level toons because it burns off so fast, but I don't.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Four years of nonsense

Well, well, well, what do we have here??

Another blogiversary. Turns out I've been boring the Interwebs for four years now; how time flies! This link right here sums up my journey thus far.

Anyways, you may have noticed that I haven't blogged for two weeks, which means I haven't been running. I have decided to take 4-5 weeks off to finally let this groin strain heal.

Of course, decisions have consequences, and one of the casualties of my time off is my goal of running a marathon this year. I'm just fine with that; I would rather run a 5K in Oct/Nov without pain than run a marathon with pain.

I'm kinda funny that way...