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When Patience Breaks

I would like to think that, overall, I’m a pretty patient person when it comes to raiding, new content, etc. Most of us are; after all, we’re learning, gearing, checking strats…all that stuff, right? Most going Normal to Heroic to Mythic, even if the transition is a fairly short one.

Back during Cataclysm, my guild had a limit when it was a new fight or we were struggling: “give it a few tries, then let’s go to something else to clear our heads”. There’s something behind that, if you think about it – after so long, be it at work, school, raid, whatever, our brains tune out. We lose focus. Performance drops. Same thing if you work for longer than a certain number of hours; you lose that precious peak productivity.

Sometimes, it can’t be avoided – been there, done that. It sucked. It’s horridly stressful.

I’m gonna preface this by saying I know it isn’t true for all of us. To a degree, I envy those who aren’t in need of a break. Another preface: this is not a slight against my guild at all.

Fast forward from Cata to T17. I’m in a whole new group of people than I was then. The mentality from then isn’t there. My problem is, that was my mentality before I joined THG. I’m in the minority now. Tectus was a nightmare(40 wipes, maybe more – I just looked at the full wipes pre-kill). So were some other bosses. Imperator/H Imperator was a different story – you’re going to eat the floor repeatedly on end bosses; sometimes on others that have screwball mechanics. Got through that. Didn’t mean that I wasn’t at my limit several times – 18-20 wipes in a row…my headset was thrown at the wall, my cats were yelled at more than they needed to be, I was in tears at a few points. Basically, time in game doesn’t need to be hitting that limit of frustration. It’s fun. It’s an escape. Whatever you do in game, it’s your escape and you don’t need it pushing you to that limit, right?

Then BRF opened on Tuesday; we’d said previously(or it’d been mentioned…again, in the minority, so I said fine) that we were going to start with heroics, but some things had changed(another aside: I’m not a fan of going into one degree of difficulty without seeing the easier/normal stuff first with the group I’m running with and learning) . Normal Gruul? We learned him; he was pretty easy. Oregorger’s a pain…took us a while and eventually Blingtron 5000 had to be called in for assistance(apparently, Oregorger’s eaten too much ore and doesn’t want to play nice with more than just us). Then Normal Blast Furnace melted us(also issues with him from what I understand.)

Wednesday. HGruul gets smooshed after a few tries. We go to Beastlord; I’m betting almost no one had read up on him on our end. I know I hadn’t since I hadn’t expected to try him yet. Okay, whatever. By the end of that mess, I’d said the word “dispel” a lot. In vent and on my Twitter account. I was trying; I’m not glyphed for the second charge, which will change, but we had *two* Mass Dispels. That alone could have covered everything coordinated properly, I believe. Don’t get me wrong; it’s a fun fight! But, the mess that it was Wednesday was Breaking Point #2 for me.

Number three was last night. I was doing okay mood-wise before pull ten; I honestly forgot how many times we pulled or when my mood just tanked and my temper showed up. I’m not happy that I didn’t keep it in check, but that’s not the point; I eventually shut up for the most part by the time we stopped.

Little back story: we’d run around and explored after Wednesday’s raid and accidentally did an “attempt” on Normal Hans and Franz…one tank, two healers, random DPS, got them to like 50% or so before “oh hey look pop tarts and smashy things”. So, yeah, not too terrible. ON NORMAL.

Last night was Heroic. Shit hurts more. Most of us(including myself since I’d only seen what was done the night before since I was one of the two healers) had never seen the fight. We wiped over and over(no clue on the number of times because I haven’t uploaded the logs), progressed some, but over and over there was lots of ded. But progression so let’s keep going. That was the raid, which was around two and a half hours, maybe a little more. When I think of wiping on a boss(unless it’s an end boss – with a notable exception because of a crap composition), I have nightmares of Ragnaros and Tectus. At one point, I’d even said(off vent, just to myself) that I was done…that was around 11:25pm. Really, I think I was done well before that, but I was putting an effort in to keep going. Yeah, it probably impacted my mood, but so does one of the cats jumping up mid-fight and making me stop what I’m doing to get her off my chair so she doesn’t break things.

Am I whining a bit? Sure, I’ll own that; that’s fine – sometimes, I’m a bit of a wimp especially if I have other things wearing me down. Do we all have different raiding styles and groups that can overcome bad? Yep. That’s a good thing. I envy the guilds who wiped and wiped and wiped on M Imperator but finally got him – it was awesome to get him down on heroic and I was genuinely thrilled for friends who got him on Mythic!

Back to my original point that I was trying to get at: raid leaders, do what’s in the ENTIRE raid’s best interest, not just your vocal majority – if you’re stumbling on one raid boss, go to another. Take some time, maybe kill something else, then go back and start over after heads are clear.

 

My first thought on the whole thing regarding all the class changes – no, I’m not going to get all uppity about changes I don’t like. These are subject-to-change previews, and there will be the class balancing post-release.  So, with that…

New Paladin Spells

Blinding Shield (level 81): Causes damage and blinds all nearby targets. This effect might end up only damaging those facing the paladin’s shield, in a manner similar to Eadric the Pure’s ability Radiance in Trial of the Champion. The Holy tree will have a talent to increase the damage and critical strike chance, while the Protection tree will have a talent to make this spell instant cast. 2-second base cast time. Requires a shield.

This is nice, and I’m saying that even in regard to PvP (healing and being able to blind anyone running up to get you out of the way? Handy.).  I can see a lot of uses for this – holy pallies to stop mobs from doing much damage to mobs coming up to say hi to them, prot, possibly a way to keep mobs in the Consecrate area so melee dps can come play, too.  My wonder is if it’ll be just a straight blind (where the mobs could move around in a limited area) or a blind/stun like Radiance (where you’re blinded and just stay put until the duration’s up).  Like I said – nice either way, but final judgement will come after I see it in practice.

Healing Hands (level 83): Healing Hands is a new healing spell. The paladin radiates heals from him or herself, almost like a Healing Stream Totem. It has a short range, but a long enough duration that the paladin can cast other heals while Healing Hands remains active. 15-second cooldown. 6-second duration.

I want a HoT, Blizz. I don’t want to be a fucking totem. Make it more like Tranquility, then I may not bitch. For now, TOTEM. DO NOT FUCKING WANT.

Guardian of Ancient Kings (level 85): Summons a temporary guardian that looks like a winged creature of light armed with a sword. The visual is similar to that of the Resurrection spell used by the paladin in Warcraft III. The guardian has a different effect depending on the talent spec of the paladin. For Holy paladins, the guardian heals the most wounded ally in the area. For Protection paladins, the guardian absorbs some incoming damage. For Retribution paladins, it damages an enemy, similar to the death knight Gargoyle or the Nibelung staff. 3-minute cooldown. 30-second duration (this might vary depending on which guardian appears).

I’m not sure on this. It kind of reminds me of this, sans the chicken-shit bubblehearther it summons and with an actual purpose.  Could be good for those “oh shit” situs where you don’t want to use LoH, but we shall see.

Next you will find a list of some of the paladin spell and ability changes, followed by our intentions for improving each talent tree for the release of Cataclysm. There will be further changes, but those revealed below should offer some insight into our goals.

Wait – Blizz has goals for pallies? Wut?

Changes to Abilities and Mechanics

  • Crusader Strike will be a core ability for all paladins, gained at level 1. We think the paladin leveling experience is hurt by not having an instant attack. Retribution will be getting a new talent in its place that either modifies Crusader Strike or replaces it completely.

Okay, fair enough. Anyone who’s leveled a pally (done it twice here) knows how boring it is until you start getting fun stuff later on. This will be a good change.

  • Cleanse is being rebalanced to work with the new dispel system. It will dispel defensive magic (debuffs on friendly targets), diseases, and poisons.

I didn’t say it when the original announcement was made on this, but PLEASE don’t make me talent into being able to dispel one particular thing. Also, it may be something to consider to dropping the level requirement down into the 20’s instead of making us wait ’til 42.

  • Blessing of Might will provide the benefit of Wisdom as well. If you have two paladins in your group, one will do Kings on everyone and the other will do Might on everyone. There should be much less need, and ideally no need, to provide specific buffs to specific classes.

Good, no more fighting over who does what Blessing. My question – does this mean BoW is gone and what about BoSanc?

  • Holy Shock will be a core healing spell available to all paladins.

No. That’s it, just no.

New Talents and Talent Changes

  • We want to ease off the defensive capabilities of Retribution and Holy paladins slightly. We think the powerful paladin defenses have been one of the things holding Retribution paladins back, especially in Arenas. One change we’re considering is lowering Divine Shield’s duration by a couple of seconds. Having said that, Retribution does pretty well in Battlegrounds, and Battlegrounds will be a much bigger focus in Cataclysm since they can provide the best PvP rewards. Furthermore, the healing environment of Cataclysm is going to be different such that a paladin may not be able to fully heal themselves during the duration of Divine Shield to begin with, so this may not be a problem.

This is another wait-and-see. Once we know how they’re going to change the healing environment, people can give better opinions. The ret stuff…well, I don’t play ret much and all I see is Arena/PvP/BGs which I also don’t partake in, so…*blink blink*.

  • We feel Retribution paladins need one more mechanic which involves some risk of the player pushing the wrong button, making the rotation a bit less forgiving. In addition, we want to add to this spec more PvP utility. Right now the successes of the Retribution paladin in PvP seem to be reduced to either doing decent burst damage, or just being good at staying alive.

PvP again *yawn*.

  • We want to increase the duration of Sacred Shield to 30 minutes and keep the limit to one target. The intention is that the paladin can use it on their main healing target. That said, we would like to improve the Holy paladin toolbox and niche so that they don’t feel quite like the obvious choice for tank healing while perceived as a weak group healer.

Ahem. We aren’t “weak” group healers. I can raid heal just fine. Would I like another means of helping me do it? Absolutely. Will I get it? I doubt it. Beacon was a god-send in Wrath because I didn’t have to pay 100% attention to my tank 100% of the time. On the Saurfang fight, it’s priceless for keeping Marked players up. But FFS, give me something that isn’t tied to another spell (the HoT proc off of SS, for example). The Sacred Shield change is also a good one. I’d like to see the duration of Beacon get bumped up (two minutes, maybe, nothing like SS), so if there’s a moment where mana is an issue, I won’t be trying to decide between re-Beaconing and throwing out a heal.

  • We want to add to the Holy tree a nice big heal to correspond with Greater Heal. Flash of Light remains the expensive, fast heal and Holy Light is the go-to heal that has average efficiency and throughput. Beacon of Light will be changed to work with Flash of Light. We like the ability, but want paladins to use it intelligently and not be constantly healing for twice as much.

Guess what, Blizz – your good holy pallies already use the limited tools they have intelligently. We do know when to FoL-heal someone, and we know when to HL-heal. We do have moments where we are going to be healing for way more than we need, maybe because we know someone’s going to take a big hit before the heal goes off, or maybe because splash heals are beneficial at the time. It just all depends on the situation.  That said, I wouldn’t complain if Beacon transferred full FoL heals and only a percentage of HL heals to the Beaconed target.

  • Holy paladins will use spirit as their mana regeneration stat.

*gag*

  • Protection paladins need a different rotation between single-target and multi-target tanking. Likewise, we’re looking to add the necessity to use an additional cooldown in each rotation.

Okay, this could be interesting. Not enough details to really say more than that now, though.

  • Holy Shield will no longer have charges. It will be designed to improve block chance while active, and will continue to provide a small amount of damage and threat.

\o/ But, will it have the same duration, or go longer? Again, WTB more details.

Mastery Passive Talent Tree Bonuses

Holy

  • Healing
  • Meditation
  • Critical Healing Effect

Meditation: This is the spirit-to-mana conversion that the priest, druid, and shaman healers also share.

*gag*Spirit*gag*

Critical Healing Effect: When the paladin gets a crit on a heal, it will heal for more.

And that’s different from now how exactly? *scratches head*

Protection

  • Damage Reduction
  • Vengeance
  • Block Amount

Vengeance: This is the damage-received-to-attack-power conversion that all tanks share.

Soooo…get hit more, more AP = more threat since one means of our threat gen is reactive?

Block Amount: We want to keep the kit of the paladin as a tank who blocks a lot. So by contrast, the warrior tank will sometimes get critical blocks, but the paladin will absorb more damage with normal blocks.

More damage blocks only hurt us in regards to mana regen via Spiritual Attunement. Less taken, less healing done, less mana regen (’cause Divine Plea isn’t the be all end all sometimes).

Retribution

  • Melee Damage
  • Melee Critical Damage
  • Holy Damage

Holy Damage: Any attack that does Holy damage will have its damage increased.

This is the way it *should* have been all along.

That’s my take on things, even my limited rambling on the prot stuff. Ret looks like they’re really trying to work it for PvP, which seems to be a trend in the changes. I don’t like seeing talents or specs reworked on a part of the game where players are less focused (yes, I know a lot of people do casual PvP, and for some, it’s their whole game, but it’s still the minority), but one side of the fence is always going to be bitching about it no matter what.

Hopefully, we’ll get more info on all the classes soon, especially as beta gets closer.

We’ve all been in groups where, if there’s a wipe, someone immediately looks to the healer to place blame.  Generally, that “someone” is the tank, but if a DPS is the first to bite it, they’ll start in on the healer first.  Most of the time, us healy types can shrug it off pretty well, but going into groups where this happens and knowing that it’s *not* our fault (at least not completely)…well, after a while, it takes it’s toll.

As healers, we have a lot to watch: health bars, our mana bar, Omen, what the other players are doing, what the boss/mobs are doing, the area around us to make sure we’re not the ones standing in the bad stuff, etc.  Now, you might think that, no, we don’t need to watch all that, but if it means that the group doesn’t wipe because of a member running off to go loot/herb/mine somewhere and accidentally pulling a mob, then, of course we do. (And if you’re that person who does stuff like that, just quit it.)

With the LFD tool, a lot of the groups I’ve been in brute force their way through instances (with the exception of H-Halls of Reflection, since that one likes to repeatedly bash you over the head and tell you you suck, no matter how well-geared you are).  This means that the tank will pull multiple packs of mobs at a time, and when they’re dead, the tank will race off ahead.

Normally, not a big deal.  On my raid-geared pally and semi-raid geared druid, not so bad.  On my not so well-geared pally who I warn the group at the start isn’t geared the best yet, could be potentially bad.

Overall, she’s done fairly well – most groups don’t care how she’s geared as long as we make it to the end.  But when mistakes are made and wipes happen, she’s the instant target.  This happened in a H-Pit of Saron earlier this week – tank ran ahead (out of range of me), grabbed two packs (the skellies and the necromancer types), and died.  Now, what else happened?

  • Three party members were cursed. The mage in the group couldn’t be bothered to decurse. Seriously, folks, if you play a mage or a druid that is not a bear, take a GCD or two and use an ability that, yes, you do actually have. Don’t look to your pally or priest to do it – we can’t! No, we don’t like making you have to stop generating pretty numbers, but a dead party member makes things go that much slower.
  • We got some additional mobs pulled over by AoE…it was accidental, it happens.
  • Life Tap happy warlock – my Holy Shock will heal through maybe two, but LTing yourself under half health? You’re on your own for the remainder of that. (Not surprisingly, he died first.)

When we got back in, the tank insisted he was in range. I knew quite well he wasn’t – the box on Grid gets greyed out, and the spells on my main action bar goes red when my target goes out of range.

Then came the comments about the gear Ali has – 3 piece T9, some ToC5 stuff, and a mix of vendor/crafted items. It’s better than what Rhyane had when she started and about the same as Lanatha.  I warned them upfront about my gear, and it didn’t matter then.  I’ve gotten the majority of my healing gear on my own, same with my newer tanking gear. Anyone who knows me knows that I very rarely ask for help – I know people have better things to do with their time than get Ali geared.

Back to the point, though, I decided to cut my losses at that point. I apologized and said they should find a better geared healer, then left.  I haven’t been back in an instance since then on any of my characters, nor do I intend to for a while.

Does it bother me? Yes. I want to get better gear, but not at the cost of my enjoyment of the game.  It’s already been taken down some to where I don’t play much on Icecrown anymore.

I may be a big proponent of skill meaning more than gear, but hearing people harp on players who aren’t up to their standards has had a bad impact.  Even the best geared players will still mess up – tanks will get too far ahead (yes, it’s happened in other groups…I’ve even seen a guildmate do it), DPS will get stupid and pull aggro, healers will misclick and heal the wrong person at the wrong time or accidentally pull something – we’re human, it happens.

And if you wipe, stop and consider that the next time you go to place blame on just one person in the group.  Slow down, know when to start attacking then stay on target, be situationally aware.  Also remember that you were gearing up at one point in time, too. Have a little patience and keep the negative comments to yourself.

I Think I Broke It…

Erm, yeah, I did kinda break it…back in October.  I was getting ready to fly home from PA and decided I wanted to do a quick post.  I logged on on my adopted brother’s computer and noticed a parse error.  “No problem,” I thought, “I’ll fix it when I get home later.”

Well, I exported my DB in the wrong format and my posts are now a lovely mess of posts and random characters that I’m trying to sort out.  My about page is back up (shush, it’s a start) and hopefully I can work on the rest.

What happened to my domain?  I’ve ended up in a very bad place financially, so it’s going by the wayside until I get on my feet again, which I hope will be soon.  When you’ve been out of work for two months and had no luck on finding a job, it’s very disheartening, but I’m trying.

Anyway, that’s it for now! :)

~Lesa/Deelah

Healy-Qs

So, there I was, struggling for something to post, and I find this over at Miss Medicina, and I figure, what the heck? (Not to mention a bunch of other healers are doing it, so…)  :)

What is the name, class, and spec of your primary healer? Eeep, primary? That would be Rhyane, my holy paladin (who moonlights as a retadin, but don’t tell anyone).  I also have my newest capped girl, Lanatha, who is a part-time resto druid.

What is your primary group healing environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans) During the week, it’s heroics. Saturday nights are when my guild raids primarily and we currently stick to ten-man content (working through Ulduar right now).

What is your favorite healing spell for your class and why? Bacon…I mean, Beacon of Light. Before the 3.2 change, it was a little nicer splash healing those in range, but since then it’s given me more freedom to spot raid heal and not have to worry about my tank getting smooshed by a boss.

What healing spell do you use least for your class and why? Divine Favor.  Where most pallies may have their “oh crap” button as Lay on Hands, this is mine.  It’s reserved for when one of my DPS happens to pull aggro, which they’re smart enough not to do on a regular basis.

What do you feel is the biggest strength of your healing class and why?
The fact that, while people still say it, we’re not necessarily a single target healing class anymore.  Beacon means I have the ability to focus on both tanks and can take over if my other healer needs to focus elsewhere for a few.

What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your healing class and why? The fact that I have to plant to heal and my only HoT is tied into another ability.  I’ve learned to work around the first one as best I can, but I don’t like suddenly forcing 90% of my healing onto my other healer for the few seconds I need to move, stop, and start casting again.

In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best healing assignment for you? I can raid heal, but I prefer being stuck with the tanks overall.

What healing class do you enjoy healing with most and why? Priests, priests, priests!  Don’t get me wrong, I play nicely with the other two classes, but my healing partner is a priest.  Since the player behind her has gotten her to 80 and geared up, we’ve learned to play off each other quite well.  It’s very easy for either of us to switch targets on the fly if we see that there’s a need to and can generally anticipate what the other is going to do.

What healing class do you enjoy healing with least and why? Honestly, I’d have to say shammies.  We don’t have a resto shammy in our raids (we have two 80 shaman though – one’s an enhancement shammy who’s one of the top DPS and the other’s an alt of our MT), so while I know their abilities, I’m not sure how to heal around them.  (Yes, all you resto shammies out there – I know you love your Chain Heal, but I get flustered when I see it hit the target I’m healing/getting ready to heal.)

What is your worst habit as a healer? Dropping a Holy Light when I really only needed to do a Flash of Light.

What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while healing? Outside of guild runs, it’s the standard “hey, heal so and so”.  And if said person gets healed the second after you opened your mouth, chances are I was way ahead of ya there, Skippy.  (DPS who say this or tell me how to play my class are first in line to die when I “forget” how to heal suddenly.)  I trust you to do your job tanking or DPSing; trust me to keep people standing.

Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other healers for PvE healing?
Overall, yes.

What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a healer? If nearly everyone’s alive at the end of a boss fight (gnomes, unless they’re tanking, can be sacrificed).  I can’t focus solely on meters – I’m a holy pally, I overheal by nature.

What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your healing class? That we can’t raid heal.  Beacon the tank, start healing the raid – sorted.

What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new healers of your class to learn? That, yes, you can take a second out to use a Judgement on the tank/raid’s main target. Judgements of the Pure and the mana regen from Seal/Judgement of Wisdom are you and your raid’s friends – the mana users will love you for it especially.  Also, if things aren’t too hairy and you trust your other healer to be on their game, take a few swipes on the target – Seal of Wisdom procs quite a bit and a few hits will get you a decent amount of mana back.

If someone were to try to evaluate your performance as a healer via recount, what sort of patterns would they see (i.e. lots of overhealing, low healing output, etc)? Overhealing’s consistent (again, that’s the life of a pally), but my healing overall depends on the fight.  If the tanks don’t take a lot of damage, I’m not doing a lot of healing except spot heals.

Haste or Crit and why? Crit more than haste…Infusion of Light procs off crit Holy Shocks, and in some fights (*cough*Loatheb*cough*) it’s absolutely necessary.

What healing class do you feel you understand least? Resto shammies…I tend to have the *blink blink* reaction when the shammies in guild start talking shop over vent.

What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in healing? No macros, but Grid for raid frames and Clique to heal/beacon/cleanse.

Do you strive primarily for balance between your healing stats, or do you stack some much higher than others, and why? I try to balance, but the two I tend to focus on are mp5 and crit.

Hiding Out

Okay,  cheating a bit on the first NaNo blog post, but seeing as how this was a night were I was goofing around during a round of Horseman summons, it had to be done:

We Remember You, Too…

…and those mountains – helluva lot of fun to B.A.S.E. jump off of,  just so you know.

We knocked some sense back into Thorim…payback for all the “go here, do this” stuff in Storm Peaks, maybe?  It was not only a one-shot, but our first keeper kill.  Honestly, I was just glad we’d made it that far with me playing no where near close to 100%.

The goal for this week: take out Assembly of Iron.  Yes, you three bastards heard me – you all gon’ die.  So there. :P

(Oh, yeah, there’s my crappy updated UI…sorry for it being there.   I swore I hit Alt+Z.  Oh well.)

Need More Be Said?

Best GMotD Ever

Best GMotD Ever

Yeah, I don’t think so either.

Sorry, K'T, this is our place now.

Sorry, K'T, this is our place now.

Kudos to the absolutely amazing (or, should I say epic) efforts of our guild – Brayn, Skie, Dark, Drak, Daine, Daksa, Gwenora, Rags, Eradin, Iolite, Nytesong, and that silly pally healer that tags along. Congrats, guys – we finally did it!

So, about that Malygos quest…

In Case You Missed It…

I actually posted not once, but twice over the weekend. Little stuff, but hey, I posted.

I have three other posts being worked on, but working on them at work is a bit challenging at times. They should be out later in the week. *crosses fingers*

The drunken holy pally and her pointy sword of doom!

The drunken holy pally and her pointy sword of doom!

In my last post, I mentioned that Rhy got herself a shiny new toy last night in Ulduar. I didn’t know that Flame Leviathan dropped anything other than the trinkets (Energy Siphon – have,Pyrite Enfuser), tanking bracers, and DPS necklace (also have), but then this dropped.

Needless to say, the pally is quite happy with her pointy sword of doom.

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