Warlords of Draenor: Alpha Patch Note Reactions

WoD - Title Bar

The Alpha testing for Warlords of Draenor has begun!  For most of us, that will not mean too much, except that the development of the new expansion is progressing.  Most of us will not hear anything until the Beta goes live, and perhaps longer out than that.  On the heels of the Alpha announcement came publication on the Warcraft site of the initial patch notes for 6.0.

There was a lot of stuff covered in the patch notes, but as a healer, a Shaman, and a Monk, I wanted to focus on my thoughts regarding a few things in particular.

Stat Squish

WoD - Orcs

Character stats have been squished into smaller numbers that are easier to understand. It’s important to understand that this is NOT a nerf as enemies have been squished as well.

I find it amusing that after everything previously published, Blizzard still has to preface that the “Big Stat Squish” is NOT a nerf.  They did a very good job of explaining exactly what the squish will mean for gear, characters, and mobs in the patch notes.

There has always been a big jump in gear from expansion to expansion – Wrath epics getting replaced within a few quests in Cata, for example – and this stat squish will even out a lot of those spikes in gear.

It’s no longer necessary for Borean Tundra quest gear to be nearly twice as powerful as Netherstorm quest gear, even though the two zones are only a couple of levels apart…

In order to bring things down to an understandable level, we’ve reduced the scale of stats throughout the game, back to as if they continued scaling linearly through questing content from levels 1 to 90.

I like this, because now while leveling, it will not be necessary to completely re-gear your character at 60-70-80 etc.  Gearing and leveling will be smoother.

Blizzard even addressed concerns transmoggers and achievement hunters may have in regards to soloing older content:

Players will deal bonus damage against lower-level creatures from past expansions, and will take reduced damage from them.

So all in all, I think the stat squish is being handled well.  I look forward to seeing it in action.

Retuning Healing Spells

WoD - Healing

This section was definitely the biggest focus of mine while reading the patch notes.

Before the Notes, Some Background

The transition between Wrath and Cata was a tough one for me, as a Resto Shaman.  Do not get me wrong, I enjoyed the change in healing mechanics – I am quite fond of the “triage” mentality – but as a Shaman, it was a most disturbing experience.  Honestly, I think Shaman performed as Blizzard intended when they made the healing changes, I loved the feel of it, but they were under-performing compared to the other healing classes.  I would watch the other healers in my guild fly through those early heroic dungeons with little down time, and in comparison the other guild Shaman and I would have to CC every pull, drink to replenish mana regularly, and still not be able to heal people standing in bad.

Because of this experience, I had some reservations going into Mists.  However, Mists swung the extreme opposite direction, and even early on in heroic dungeons I hardly had any issues.  Raiding was similar, and part of my reason for switching to a Mistweaver Monk hinged on the fact that Shaman healing was starting to feel same old, same old, and like all of the choices I used to have to make were no longer there.  I had certain buttons I had to push on cooldown to make my Shaman perform – period.

At least with my Monk, it was a completely new and different class, with different skills and healing styles.

Mistweavers had a rocky road through Mists, though.  Sometimes they were hot, and sometimes they were anything but.  I have spent the entire expansion feeling that my Monk would be better utilized in a 10man environment because of her skill set – particularly her spread-out, AoE healing style (Renewing Mist and Uplift).

I firmly believe that if anything gets changed with Mistweaving, it should be giving greater spread to Renewing Mist, even at the cost of a less efficient Uplift.  Nothing is more frustrating than seeing only half the raid with my HoT and not being able to Uplift on anyone who truly needs it – basically, feeling like I have to ignore half the raid.  I literally had to change my healing mentality to play a Monk.  There was physically no way to focus on everyone in the raid, and I had to retrain myself to focus smaller – usually myself, my group, and our tanks.

In addition, I think overhealing was a ridiculously awful trend this entire expansion.  Whether on my Shaman or my Monk, overhealing always ran high, and it ran high throughout the entire raid.  One of my goals as a healer through both Wrath and Cata was minimal overhealing – maximum efficiency.  I would keep up in heals, while bottoming out the charts in overheals, and that made me happy.

Overheals, and their ridiculous waste of resources, make me twitch.

Anyways, enough of my digression.  Onward to…

The Actual Healing Notes

One of our goals for healing is to tone down the raw throughput of healers relative to the size of player health pools…

…healers are [currently] able to refill health bars so fast that we have to make damage more and more “bursty” in order to challenge them. Ideally, we want players to spend some time below full health without having healers feel like their groupmates are in danger of dying at any moment…

To that end, we’re buffing heals less than we’re increasing player health. Heals will be deliberately less potent compared to health pools than before the item squish.

Basically, Blizzard wants to give healers back the feel of triage and eliminate the end of expansion bloating that leads to spiky damage boss mechanics.  They are confident the changes we will see in Warlords will result in a more gradual progression of gear and performance throughout the life of the expansion.

The other big thing that caught my eye was a mention of “smart heals”:

We want healers to care about who they’re targeting and which heals they’re using, so that their decisions matter more. To that end, we’re reducing the healing of many passive and auto-targeted heals, and making smart heals a little less smart. Smart heals will now randomly pick any injured target within range instead of always picking the most injured target. Priority will still be given to players over pets, of course.

Yes, yes yes!  Thank you!

At first glance, my thought was, “Damn, just take out all of the ‘smart heals’!”  (I’m looking at you Renewing Mist.)  But AoE heals are in many ways “smart heals” especially when they are affected by caps on number of targets.

Mostly, I am pleased about the line “so that their decisions matter more.”  THIS.  So much this.  Give me back control of how I heal.  Give me back the choices.  No more of this “healing rotation” crap, because so often playing my Monk came down to casting Renewing Mist on cooldown, Uplifting as often as possible, and filling in with Soothing Mist.  Sometimes, it was so mind-numbing I could not stand it.  Especially to do all these things and know there was hardly any room for improvement.

Another of our goals for healing in this expansion is to strike a better balance between single-target and multi-target healing spells. We’ve taken a close look at the mana efficiency of our multi-target heals, and in many cases, we’re reducing their efficiency, usually by reducing the amount they heal.

…players will face a meaningful choice between whether to use a single-target heal or a multi-target heal based on the situation.

Once again, yes, yes yes!  Give me the power to choose.  Make me think.  None of this crap where Shaman currently are more efficient to just spam Healing Rain than cast a single target spell or Chain Heal – even when only one person is standing in the rain!  For crying out loud, how did Healing Rain become the best single target heal??

Finally, we’re removing the low-throughput, low-mana-cost heals like Nourish, Holy Light, Heal, and Healing Wave…

This made me go, “Whoa, wait, what??”

During the triage period and even through most of the first tier of Mists, Healing Wave was my Shaman’s go-to filler spell.  It was efficient, and though it would not save anyone, it did keep those bars mostly full with good management.

However, we still want healers to think about their mana when deciding which heal to cast, and so the mana costs and throughputs of many spells are being altered to give players a choice between spells with lower throughput and lower cost versus spells with higher throughput and higher costs.

Alright, I am listening…  I have a good deal of trust in Blizzard and the goals they aim for.  So I am eager to see these changes in action, and learn what they mean to the healing classes.  (Particularly Shaman and Monks, but I play all the classes that can heal and eventually I know all mine will see 100.)

All of this discussion of efficiency may cause most healers to start worrying about mana regeneration and their mana pool. To allay those concerns, we’ve increased base mana regeneration a great deal at early gear levels, while having it scale up less at later gear levels.

Once again, more changes with the hopes that this will make the beginning and the end of the expansion equally as enjoyable.

That’s a lot of big changes for healers: reduced throughput, a more deliberate pace, less powerful “smart” heals, weaker absorbs, fewer spells, and a new focus on efficiency decisions. We’re confident that we can apply lessons learned from previous expansions to make this the best healer experience yet: more dynamic, less punishing, and frankly a lot more fun.

Okie, Blizzard.  You had me hello.  Let’s do this.

Racial Traits

WoD - Racials

One section I kind of glazed over was the removal of hit and expertise.  I guess I understand the reasoning for this, but at the same time, I feel it is further dumbing down the game.  Prove me wrong, Blizzard.

But with all of these changes upcoming, an adjustment of racial abilities and traits seems obvious.

I was most interested in the Draenei changes of course:

Draenei

  • Heroic Presence has been redesigned. It no longer increases Hit by 1%, and instead increases Strength, Agility, and Intellect, scaling with character level.
  • Gift of the Naaru now heals for the same amount over 5 seconds (down from 15 seconds).

A retune of Heroic Presence, finally!  I like this change, since it means the racial of my favorite race will now actually make sense for my favorite specs (healing).  The Gift of the Naaru change is nice too – a faster HoT is always a good thing.

Ability Pruning

WoD - Abilities

We decided that we needed to make a strong push for paring down the number of abilities each class/spec has. That means making some abilities restricted to certain specs that really need them instead of being class-wide, and outright removing some other abilities. It also includes removing some Spellbook clutter, such as passives that could be merged with others, or with base abilities.

However, this doesn’t mean that we want to reduce the depth of gameplay, or “dumb it down.” We still want there to be interesting decisions during combat, and for skill to matter. But, that doesn’t require complexity; we can remove some needless complexity and still retain the depth and skill variance.

This section was interesting, but rather than quote everything, let me suffice to say there are some good changes coming to all of the classes – in my opinion.  Have a look at the patch notes for all the details on each specific class.  I will keep this more general.

There are so many games now (including Diablo 3!) which use a very minimal number of buttons to accomplish a goal.  Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2 are also good examples.  I like choice and depth, but it does not necessarily mean things have to be extremely complex.  If I played solely one character, and did everything on that one character, then perhaps I would be more inclined to want more buttons.  But I prefer to play a little of everything.

One type of ability that we focused on is temporary power buffs (“cooldowns”). Removing those also helps achieve one of our other goals, which is to reduce the amount of cooldown stacking in the game.

I cannot say that less cooldowns will break my heart.  At least, not less purely DPS cooldowns.  Life-saving cooldowns are another story, but it does not look like Blizzard is removing any of those.

Instant Cast Heals

WoD - Insta Heals

We’re still preserving the option to instantly heal, but are reducing the number of instant-cast healing abilities overall. Raid and dungeon encounter damage during high-movement phases will be adjusted accordingly.

This section was probably my biggest place of indecision.  I am not entirely sure how I feel about these changes.

In this section, they list some of the skills being changed, by class, and I found it interesting and worth mentioning that Shaman are the only class not having any of their spells changed.  (Because their only instant cast heals are Riptide and Unleash Elements, and it looks like all the healers are retaining their single target, instant cast HoTs.)

Class Changes

I know there are a number of classes and specs, but I am not going to go over all of them here.  I will only be focusing on the Mistweaver Monk and the Resto Shaman, because those are the classes/specs I play the most.

Mistweaver Monk

WoD - Monk

Mistweavers had a bit of a rollercoaster ride, veering between weak and strong over the course of the expansion. Most of our changes to Monks will focus on Mistweavers, to try to get them just right.

Amen.

Mistweaver Changes:

All abilities available to Mistweavers now have a 1.5 second global cooldown (up from 1 second).

  • Stance of the Sturdy Ox and Stance of the Fierce Tiger now reduce the global cooldown of the Monk’s abilities by 0.5 seconds.

Stance of the Wise Serpent no longer increases Haste from items by 50%.

Focus and Harmony is a new passive ability for Mistweaver Monks.

  • Focus and Harmony: Haste effects lower the global cooldown of your spells and abilities.

Crackling Jade Lightning no longer generates Chi for Mistweaver Monks.

Soothing Mist no longer generates Chi for Mistweaver Monks.

Thunder Focus Tea now causes the next Renewing Mist to jump up to 4 times (used to cause the next Uplift to refresh the duration of Renewing Mists on all targets).

Healing Spheres now heal an ally within 12yd (up from 6yd) for 100% (up from 50%) of their normal healing, when they expire.

Detonate Chi is a new spell available to Mistweavers:

  • Detonate Chi: Instantly detonate all of your Healing Spheres, causing each of them to heal a nearby ally within 12 yards of the sphere. 15 sec cooldown.

I am really looking forward to playing with Detonate Chi.  I am very surprised and uncertain about the changes to Thunder Focus Tea, Soothing Mist, and to a lesser degree, Crackling Jade Lightning.  Because of the Stance changes (see below), I understand Crackling Jade Lightning, but I am irked about my primary single target Chi-generation being removed.  And Thunder Focus Tea sounds like a really gimpy version of what I WANT Renewing Mist to do.  Oh!  one whole extra target!

I suppose I will have to see these in play before I make hasty generalizations, though.

Another issue with Mistweavers is that of Eminence, which has never really played out how we had hoped. The intent with Eminence was to create an alternate play style to fulfill the fantasy of healing through dealing damage, since we knew a lot of players had that fantasy, and a new class was the perfect opportunity to satisfy that.

Having two play styles in one spec (Eminence, and traditional Mistweaving, healing primarily through casting heals) proved challenging to balance, because we don’t want players to take the best parts of both and stack them into an unintended superior spec. The most notorious of these cases was “Jab-Jab-Uplift”. In order to solve this problem, we’re giving Mistweavers two stances.

Stance of the Wise Serpent – This is the current Mistweaver Stance.  With the changes coming in Warlords, it will be our “Mistweaving” Stance.  Enveloping Mist, Renewing Mist, Soothing Mist, and Uplift will only be usable in this Stance.

Stance of the Spirited Crane – This is the replacement for our Tiger Stance (which never made any sense to me to even have, I only used it to reforge my Haste).  This will become our “Fistweaving” Stance.  Blackout Kick, Jab, Tiger Palm will only be usable in this Stance.

There are also more improvements coming to Monk Healing Spheres.  They will be smarter about not overhealing targets running through them and they will heal for 100% when detonating upon expiration, instead of 50%.

So many changes.  But I knew they were coming.  Blizzard said at the start of Siege of Orgrimmar they wanted to overhaul Mistweavers, but wanted to do it right and wanted to wait until Warlords.

All I can do for now is wait and see what all these changes will mean.

Restoration Shaman

WoD - Shaman

Restoration Shaman had the most passive and smart healing of any healer, and so received some reductions in that area, along with buffs elsewhere to keep them competitive. One particular change is to Mana Tide Totem, which we made less effective for other players, but still just as effective for the Shaman.

This change is kind of a big deal.  I have mixed feelings about it, because though it reduces some of a Shaman’s utility, it also reduces the chance we will be forged into mana batteries for the rest of the raid.

Restoration Changes:

Chain Heal now heals each chain target for 15% less than the previous target.

Unleash Life no longer increases the healing from Healing Rain.

Earthliving Weapon now increases healing done by 5% (instead of increasing healing Spell Power by a flat amount).

Healing Stream Totem’s mana cost has been reduced to 10% of base mana (down from 23.5%), and its healing has been reduced by 50%.

Glyph of Totemic Recall now only increases the mana returned from recalling your totems by 25% (down from 75%).

Mana Tide Totem now increases the Spirit of allies by 50% (down from 200% of the Shaman’s Spirit). It remains unchanged (200%) for the Shaman activating the totem, and it still ignores temporary Spirit buffs.

Conductivity is no longer triggered by damaging spells for Restoration Shaman, or by healing spells for non-Restoration Shaman.

After Mana Tide, the biggest thing that catches my eye in the Resto changes is the change to Unleash Elements and it no longer effecting Healing Rain.  This will make for a big difference – Healing Rain was always my focus with Unleash Elements, because it gave the most benefit.  Not to mention, Healing Rain has become so incredibly powerful in the Shaman’s tool kit, it is a matter of casting both together on cooldown.

It will sting, but I think it is a good quality of life improvement for Shaman.  It will give us a better opportunity to choose our spells, rather than spam Healing Rain.

In Closing

I am sure there are many more things I could touch on in the Alpha patch notes, but these cover my initial thoughts and reactions.  What it comes down to at this point is really just keeping an eye on updates and hoping for a Beta soon, so we can start putting these updates to the real playability test.

Please feel free leave comments, to agree or disagree, and bring to my attention any topics regarding healing, Shaman, or Monks I may have glazed over and missed.

~ Effy

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SotR: Garrosh is Dead!

Final and I on our new mounts!

Final and I on our new mounts!

So I realize I have been severely lax in posting State of the Raider posts lately.  I realized this beyond a shadow of a doubt when we killed Garrosh this evening, and I came to notice that I have not posted a raider update since my first SoO post, where we killed up to General Nazgrim in our first week.

So now, time for the big long picture-post update!

Waiting for pull - still working on Malkorok

Waiting for pull – still working on Malkorok

Malkorok down in 25man!

Malkorok down in 25man!

Spoils of Pandaria down in 25man!

Spoils of Pandaria down in 25man!

Thok the Bloodthirsty down in 25man!

Thok the Bloodthirsty down in 25man!

Siegemaster Blackfuse down in 25man!

Siegemaster Blackfuse down in 25man!

Paragons of the Klaxxi down in 25man!

Paragons of the Klaxxi down in 25man!

We flew through the raid dungeon faster than I expected.  Then, we spent about two raid weeks working on Garrosh.  Finally, tonight, before our break even, we killed Garrosh!

Heart of Y'shaarj

Heart of Y’shaarj

Garrosh Hellscream

Garrosh Hellscream

Garrosh Hellscream down in 25man!

Garrosh Hellscream down in 25man!

Time for heroics!  Hopefully I will not miss too many of them.  🙂

~ Effy

Mistweaver Monk BiS 5.4

T16 - MonkIt is that time again – time for another Tier, another raid dungeon, and another BiS list.  Okie, okie, so it is past due time, but I have been BUSY!

Mistweaver Monk BiS – Siege of Orgrimmar

It is my second tier as a Mistweaver, and so I am once more putting together the list to plan my set.  This is to help me figure out where to spend extra rolls and EP in raids.

Bosses in Siege of Orgrimmar

First, a quick rundown of the bosses, and a glance at where the tier pieces drop.

Wing 1 – Vale of Eternal Sorrows

  • Immersius
  • The Fallen Protectors
  • Norushen
  • Sha of Pride – Tier (Chest)

Wing 2 – Gates of Retribution

  • Galakras
  • Iron Juggernaut
  • Kor’kron Dark Shaman
  • General Nazgrim – Tier (Hands)

Wing 3 – The Underhold

  • Malkorok
  • Spoils of Pandaria
  • Thok the Bloodthirsty – Tier (Head)

Wing 4 – Downfall

  • Siegecrafter Blackfuse – Tier (Shoulders)
  • Paragons of the Klaxxi – Tier (Legs)
  • Garrosh Hellscream

Tier 16 Set Bonuses – Mistweaver Monk

2-Piece: When Gift of the Serpent spheres heal a player, they gain an absorb for 45% of the amount healed.

4-Piece: When your Renewing Mist heals a target, you have a 4% chance to cast a Mist Wave healing bolt at a nearby low health friendly target.

Siege of Orgrimmar Drops

Next, here are all of the BiS items for the Mistweaver Monk this tier.  They are in order of best to worst.  This time around, I mostly just used Guild Ox.

Note: For some reason, even though I set the option, Guild Ox did not want to list the crafted items.  So I added those at the end of their respectful slot.

* – Denotes an item without Haste

# – Denotes an item without Spirit

We will start with the tier piece slots…

Head

Shoulders

Chest

Hands

Legs

Then, the rest of the armor…

Wrists

Waist

Feet

Jewelry and stuff…

Back

Neck

Rings

Trinkets

And lastly, weapons…

Main Hand

Off Hand

My BiS List

  • Head – TIER (Thok the Bloodthirsty)
  • √ Shoulders – TIER (Siegecrafter Blackfuse)
  • √ Chest – TIER (Sha of Pride)
  • √ Wrists – Bracers of Averted Fatality (Malkorok)
  • √ Hands – TIER (General Nazgrim)
  • Waist – Pennyroyal Belt (Leatherworking)
  • Legs – Pennyroyal Leggings (Leatherworking)
  • √ Feet – Saltwater Sandals (Immersius)
  • √ Back – Jina-Kang, Kindness of Chi-Ji (Legendary)
  • Neck – Rising New Moon Talisman (Ordos)
  • √ Ring 1 – Laser-Slice Signet (Iron Juggernaut)
  • Ring 2 – Seal of Sullen Fury (Malkorok)
  • √ Trinket 1 – Dysmorphic Samophlange of Discontinuity (Siegemaster Blackfuse)
  • Trinket 2 – Prismatic Prison of Pride (Sha of Pride)
  • Weapon – Horned Mace of the Old Ones (Garrosh Hellscream)
  • √ Off Hand – Purehearted Cricket Cage (The Fallen Protectors)

The trinket slot decision is tough without testing them all… and there are so many…  I might just stick with the two I have (Nazgrim’s Burnished Insignia and Dysmorphic Samophalnge of Discontinuity) for now.  I suppose it depends on how kind drops and bonus rolls are.  We shall see.

Consider this list a work in progress.

Using My Warforged Seals

My biggest question now is where to use my Warforged Seals.  I think my current priority bosses are:

  1. Ordos
  2. The Fallen Protectors
  3. Sha of Pride
  4. Malkorok
  5. Siegecrafter Blackfuse
  6. Thok the Bloodthirsty
  7. Garrosh Hellscream

This is also a work in progress, and subject to change.

~ Effy

SotR: Entering SoO

Siege of OrgrimmarPatch 5.4 is live, and we are now a week in.

Siege of Orgrimmar is proving very interesting so far.  I like the layout, with several very different “wings” that in reality take you through the destroyed Vale, underneath it, through Orgrimmar, underneath it (yay! Ragefire Chasm!), to who knows where, because I have not seen the entirety of the raid dungeon yet.  From what I have seen, it is visually captivating and tugs at my lore-strings.

From a healing point of view, it is a bit of a change from last tier.  We seem to be swinging in the direction of “overgeared” and therefore we are dealing with more spike damage then before.  There is no real use for fights where we can steadily manage our mana, since Spirit is steadily climbing.  We are moving more in the direction of the faster, more expensive heals.  Otherwise, one big spike hits and half the raid dies.

So goes the aging expansion for the raid healer.

I am enjoying the mixture of many mechanics with bosses that fall to good raid coordination.  So far, they require interesting dancing and dynamic mechanics, some of which grate against the good sense of every raider…  “What?  I have to stand IN the purple stuff on the ground??”  Or like on some fights, with more ingrained mechanics, like our part time real leader, Gv, is fond of saying, “There’s too much to explain.  Just avoid stuff.”  I like commonsense mechanics, but I do not mind the occasional curveball, as long as my guildies do not mind it meaning we wipe a few times while everyone mentally adjusts.  🙂

It has only been a week so far, but UR has made some awesome progression.  We are 8/14 already.  I have confidence we will get further this week.

Missing Wednesday night raids is proving very difficult for me.  (Poor Final, he is constantly dealing with “How goes raid?” and “What boss y’all on?” all Wednesday night while I am at school and after I get home.)  I know school is important, and I am doing well and enjoying myself and learning a lot.  But…  RAIDING!!  I miss my guildies on Wednesdays.  I miss being there, especially this early in the tier, for new kills, progression kills.  Heck, missing the first raid night of the week is meaning I am never going to see the first three bosses of SoO on Normal.  :/  And that number of bosses will grow as gear improves and the bosses become more farmable.

But I love my guildies.  I cannot fault them for being so awesome.  In fact, I commend them for the great job we are already doing this tier!

~ Effy

For the killshots I am missing, check out our guild’s front page!

Immerseus via Flex

Immerseus via Flex

The Fallen Protectors via Flex

The Fallen Protectors via Flex

Norushen viz Flex

Norushen via Flex

Sha of Pride

Sha of Pride

Sha of Pride DOWN in 25man!

Sha of Pride DOWN in 25man!

Galakras DOWN in 25man!

Galakras DOWN in 25man!

Iron Juggernaut

Iron Juggernaut

Iron Juggernaut DOWN in 25man!

Iron Juggernaut DOWN in 25man!

Kor'kron Dark Shaman

Kor’kron Dark Shaman

Kor'kron Dark Shaman DOWN in 25man!

Kor’kron Dark Shaman DOWN in 25man!

General Nazgrim

General Nazgrim

General Nazgrim DOWN in 25man!

General Nazgrim DOWN in 25man!

Malkorok

Malkorok

SotR: The State of Healing

SotR - The State of Healing

Last weekend, I was leveling my Druid (AKA pretending at being a boomkin BADLY) with my friend Finalflame’s Priest.  We managed to get both to Level 90, and then we began piecing together the best iLevel gear we could find for his Priest.  We fairly easily got her to LFR, and I accompanied him with my Paladin, Lazheward.  (Yes, yes, the gender-reversal did not escape either of us.  lol)

I quickly remembered how much I enjoy healing on my Pally!

Granted, his gear is a tad high for Mogu’Shan Vaults LFR (about 501), but there were fights where he pushed nearly 40% of the overall heals, similar to my Monk’s recent LFR adventures.  Even with his gear, this surprised me.

Final was doing incredible as Holy for his entry-level gear, but OOM’ing himself regularly.

As the day and the LFR’s progressed, we chatted about what I was doing, what he was doing, what could be improved.

Healing with Laz

Healing with Laz

Many a time, Final bemoaned the fact that there was nothing to heal.  (Sorry!)  This, while I continually cast spells, and rarely stopped even when I had to move out of bad on the floor.

That was when it hit me…

On my Monk, I never stop casting unless I have to.  I am maintaining Renewing Mist.  I am Uplifting.  I am filling in with Soothing Mist to keep my Chi flowing.  I am using Thunder Focus Tea on cooldown to lengthen my Renewing Mist ticks.  I am using Mana Tea on cooldown, along with my Soothing Talisman of the Shado-Pan Assault, to manage my mana.

But my Monk is a constant flow of casting/spending: mana -> Chi -> Mana Tea -> mana -> etc.

Healing with Iree (Fist-weaving)

Healing with Iree (Fist-weaving)

I then thought back onto some of the frustrations of doing LFR with my Shaman recently.  During T14, when I was still raiding on my Shaman, I excelled with single-target healing.  I rarely touched my Healing Rain or my Chain Heal.  This had carried over with me from all of Cataclysm – I enjoy the triage healing that was introduced there.  But I realized in recent LFRs, that that is not performing as well as we move further through T15.  I bemoaned this fact to our guild’s now-sole Resto Shaman, Walterpayton, and he agreed with me, but admitted that Unleash Elements -> Healing Rain -> Chain Heal -> Chain Heal -> Chain Heal was his new mantra for Shaman healing.  I tried this, and quickly realized that the 8k Spirit I was carrying over from T14 was NOT cutting it in the transition from single-target to AoE.

It was a harsh reality, but one I am trying to adjust to.  Because, honestly, the game is not going to change around me – I need to evolve with the game.  I realize and accept this.

Healing with Effy

Healing with Effy

For my Monk, there was no adjustment, she is a completely new character to me.  I have no habits to carry over from Cataclysm.

But I healed in Wrath, and I remember the style of healing from then.  So let me try and impart some of that mentality onto those who may have also happily pushed it aside for triage, or did not raid before Cataclysm:

  • Blanket your heals (AoE, AoE, AoE and manage those HoTs)
  • ABC – Always Be Casting
  • Anticipate hits/Pre-heal
  • Snipe those heals!

Admittedly, I didn’t miss heal-sniping, but it has become clear to me over the course of T15 and playing my Monk, that it is once more the way of things.  Uplift and Revival are my lifeblood.  A well-timed cast of either is the only thing currently keeping me competitive as a 25man raid healer.

SotR - The State of Healing - Sif

Maybe 10man healing is different, but I can only speak to 25man.  I do not heal in 10mans near enough to comment there.

In our 25man, it is a regular occurrence for the Druid/Monk/Shaman healers to be topping the meters, and our Priest/Paladin healers to be further down.  I have finally started to figure out why – HoTs and AoEs.  Priests and Paladins tend to thrive in the triage situations with more powerful single-target healing and bubbles.

So let me try and give some more specific pointers for the tactics mentioned above:

  • Druids: Keep HoTs rolling – use these to your fullest advantage with other spells
  • Monks: Keep Renewing Mist rolling on as many targets as possible – Uplift often and fill-in with Soothing Mist to keep your Chi up
  • Paladins: Holy Radiance and Light of Dawn as often as possible – weave in single-target heals as needed
  • Disc Priests: Always be casting Smite/Penance – Spirit Shell/Prayer of healing on all parties as you can and Cascade/Halo on cooldown
  • Holy Priests: Prayer of Mending, Circle of Healing, Holy Word: Sanctuary and Cascade/Halo on cooldown – weave single-target heals as needed
  • Shaman: Healing Rain on cooldown – Chain Heal and Healing Stream Totem while HR is down

Note: Smart Heals are your friend.  They will target and respond quicker than you can.  (Except in the annoying instance they instead heal a pet.  heh)

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I am a firm believer that keeping the raid (especially the tanks) alive is the primary goal of the healers in any raid encounter.  But as we progress through T15, especially through Heroics, I am seeing more and more need for large amounts of raid-wide healing.  This lends credence to the idea of focusing on AoE heals, constant casting, and smart heals.

I also realize that this means we probably all need more Spirit than we originally think we do.  But with gear increasing dramatically, especially with another tier coming soon, this is less of an issue than I originally thought with my Monk.  She hit 10k fairly easily, and has been increasing in small increments beyond that since.  I consider myself to be good at managing my mana and continual casting is no issue, but I find that Spirit buffer to be good for clutch/oh-shit healing AKA Surging Mist.  (It is also really nice for fistweaving, but that is beside the point.  heh)

Just remember, and I personally find this the bitterest pill to swallow: blanketing heals and constantly casting will equal a large amount of overheals.  There is really no way around this, and it is just the name of the healing game as it currently sits.

These are my thoughts, discovered through trial and error and play on my various healers, and I hope they prove to be some useful pointers to others.

~ Effy

AND I have happy news to add to this State of the Raider post: a new Heroic kill!

Heroic Iron Qon down in 25man!

Heroic Iron Qon down in 25man!

SotR: The UR Summer Party

SotR - UR Summer Party - IreeniaThe irony is profound, and most certainly has not escaped me…

So yesterday morning, I posted about how I finally feel like a Monk healer.  I finally feel I am growing comfortable with Ireenia and am starting to consider her my main.  I finally feel I am succeeding.

Last night was Undying Resolution’s summer party.  Amongst promotions and awards for attendance and a grand ol’ game of lawn darts (which OMG, I won!), I was surprised with the most wonderful gift possible from all of my guildies – an award for Most Improved Raider.  (Which I tied for and shared with Otoka!  Grats, O!)

That's me, under the pile of chopped meat (which happens to be Ranico), to the left of Mindy.

That’s me, under the pile of chopped meat (which happens to be Ranico), to the left of Mindy.  You can just barely see my hooves!

I am not sure if anyone else realizes how much this – something that might seem small – means to me.

I came back to WoW in October, after a hiatus of about six months.  At the time, there was no question in my mind that I would come back on Effy, even if that meant I would likely be DPS’ing instead of healing.  Effy has always been my main and my raiding toon.  The Shaman was the one and only class I really wanted to raid on.  Heck, Effy has been my persona since I started playing WoW, and especially since I started blogging.

DPS’ing did not last (thankfully) – I am horrible at managing myself in a raid as a DPS – and I started healing on Effy again soon after returning.

I was ridiculously happy to be raiding again, and more importantly, to back with my guild, all of whom I adore to no end.  ❤

I raided on Effy through the first tier of MoP, and then made the very difficult decision to switch to a Mistweaver Monk, because we were growing heavy on Shaman and completely lacking in a reliable Monk healer.

It was a trying switch for me, having only raided on my Shaman up to that point.  It was awkward.  I missed my totems.  I missed my Shaman utilities.  I missed the buttons I knew where and how and when to press at precise times in nearly any situation.  I looked to the internet, and came back with little to help me, the Monk class being very new still.  Unlike my Shaman, there were not heaps of reliable sources from gamers who had been through trial and error and multiple tiers and expansions and changes with the class.

I felt very much on my own when I started out.

But I looked at other Monks I ran across in dungeons and LFR.  I obsessively monitored Skada.  I used the Armory.  I searched out every shred of information there was to be found, even if most of it just seemed to be more wordy tooltips of my skills and glyphs and talents.  I am even trying to get more comfortable with World of Logs and Raidbot/Epeenbot, and compare myself more there to other Mistweavers.  I wrote my best in slot lists and guides (of which I plan to write more, as well).

Through all of it, I have come to understand my Monk better.  I have learned to perform with my Monk better.  I have even started to field questions from guildies and friends about how to play a Mistweaver.  And believe me, as someone who has only played one for about five months now, and has had to kind of rebuild myself around the class, that too is awkward for me.  Who am I to tell someone else how to play this class?  Even if it is just simple guidance.  Usually a skill A or skill B and why sort of thing.

Momma Effy making an appearance and showing Iree her support.

Momma Effy making an appearance and showing Iree her support.

Last night felt like a justification of my progress.  I felt like my improvement was noticed.

Now, I know I should not need justification.  I know I should not need people’s approval or commendations.  But I do.

I talked about Shaman, because I could rehash the findings of others, and add my own small two cents about what worked best for me within those general parameters.  I did not rock the boat on anything anyone else had already tried and tested.

Everything about my Monk has felt like me giving my own two cents.

My Monk has felt like a project.  A project that many times over the last several months I felt I was failing at. I cannot begin to explain how many times I wanted to run back to my Shaman.

But I kept pushing.  I kept tweaking.  I kept adjusting what did and did not work for me.  What managed my mana best?  How much Spirit?  What put out the most heals in crunch times of heavy damage?  When were the best times to use my cooldowns?  What rotation would keep me healing from start to finish, instead of scraping the bottom of my mana pool halfway through a boss fight?  What stats were most important for my Monk healing style?  What talents did or did not work for me?

And I have noticed a remarkable improvement in my performance.  I have noticed I can manage my mana through most situations, and even when I do hit bottom, I have the means to keep going.  Because if I don’t run myself out of mana sometimes, how else am I going to learn?  I have become comfortable enough to vary my rotation depending on the situation, even to the point of Fistweaving my way through most normal mode fights.

I still have much more to do, but last night, I came to the realization that I am not the only one who has seen an improvement.

Thank you, Undying Resolution.  🙂

~ Iree?

SotR: Where Do Baby Dinos Come From?

SotR - Where Do Baby Dinos Come From - Dire Call

I promise there is nothing R rated in this post!

Funny story: While working on Heroic Horridon, one of the issues to come up was from where the pink dinosaurs from Dire Call spawn.  Well, they spawn right from Horridon of course.  (So apparently Horridon is a she?  Sweet.  Add her to the list of leet female raid bosses, right up there with Blood Queen and Lady Vashj.)  This trail of thought could lead to nothing but trouble, and something along the lines of the title of this post.  ❤ my guild.

I had another major epiphany during last night’s raid.  I am finally feeling like a Monk healer.  As opposed to a Shaman healer playing a Monk.

Ireenia is finally starting to feel like my main.

SotR - Where Do Baby Dinos Come From - Walking Eugene

This is a pretty big deal for me.  Cuz honestly, I have been fighting it for – what? – 5 months now?  Ever since patch 5.2 went live, anyway.  I kept telling myself Ireenia was a temporary raid toon, bore of a need in my guild’s healing roster.  And eventually I would go back to Effy, who would always be my main.

Maybe it’s better gear.  Maybe it’s the guides I have been working on.  Maybe it’s finally creating a BiS gear list of my own.  Maybe it’s just purely a matter of time.

My Monk is feeling comfortable.  I am getting more confident.  I finally feel like I know what I am doing.  And admittedly, I am having fun.

Certainly, I miss my Shaman terribly.  I miss her utility.  I miss her totems and managing them.  I miss her healing style.  I miss my Effy.

But Ireenia is finally coming into her own.  She and I are making good progress with Heroics, and I imagine there is still plenty of room for me to improve.  So it is all upwards from here.  🙂

I will aim to post another State of the Raider, with some more actual content to it, soon.

~ Effy (Ireenia)

I also realize I have been horribly slacking on kill updates!  I never even posted our Lei Shen kill!

25man Lei Shen Down!

25man Lei Shen Down!

On to Heroics!

On to Heroics!

25man Heroic Jin'Rokh down!

25man Heroic Jin’Rokh down!

We have been alternately working on Horridon and Ji-Kun in Heroic, while killing Heroic Jin’Rokh weekly.  Summer always complicates the roster, and so we have been slowly making progress in both, but without a kill yet.  But I have high hopes we will finish off Horridon tonight!

The 25man Mistweaver or How I Monk: Stats

How to MW - Stats

Part of what helps me as a healer is to analyze myself and my performance.  I am still technically in the adolescent stages of learning to Mistweave, and therefore trial and error and some research have been necessary over the past few months.  Another thing that helped me with my Shaman was to post a guide.  Sitting down, putting some thought into how I play enough to explain it, this helped me analyze myself and what I could do better.

I finally feel that I am to a point with Ireenia where I can make some statements about how I Mistweave, and not sound completely ignorant.  🙂  Hopefully this exercise will also help me to improve even more.

Unlike my Shaman’s guide, though, I have decided to break this guide up into more bite-sized pieces.  This portion will focus on Stats, and the next two will be Talents and Glyphs, then my Rotation.  Maybe I will even attempt something about World of Logs and parses… maybe.  😛

Stat Priority and Reforging

One of the biggest issues I have had since beginning to raid on my Monk is stats and what I feel the most important focus should be.

The Mistweaver Mastery is okie, but lackluster, so I have never put much focus into it.  I don’t mind the random Monk-balls, they are a nice bonus, but they are not something I can control.  So I would rather focus my stats elsewhere.  At least with my Shaman, my Mastery affected how much I healed if I healed lower targets.  That is something I can focus on.

Crit is okie, but not as impressive as it was on my Shaman, it has no mana regen capabilities like it did there.

But Haste, Haste seems to be the shining star of channeled spells and HoT ticks.  Not to mention, more Haste means faster casting, and faster generation and usage of Chi.  Monk healing is a loop of using mana, using Chi, and using Mana Tea.  As long as I can maintain the mana-Chi balance, the more and faster I can cast, the better.

Priority

There is an updated Mistweaver guide on MMO Champion, and from it, I pulled this nifty little guideline for prioritizing.  As you might notice, they seem to feel similar about Mastery.  Personally, I think Intellect factors more strongly, though, since I cannot reforge into Intellect.

If below ilvl 489:

  • Spirit until satisfactory mana regen. > Intellect > Crit > Haste > Mastery

If above ilvl 489:

  • Spirit until satisfactory mana regen. > 3,145 Haste > Intellect > Crit > Haste > Mastery

If above ilvl 510:

  • Spirit until satisfactory mana regen. > 6,141 Haste > Intellect > Crit > Haste > Mastery

Haste

I am leaning most heavily toward Haste.  Having more gear is definitely helping in this regard.  For quite some time, I was focused on the 3145 Haste break, and everything else into Crit.  Mistweavers seem to be somewhat dependent on gear, and as mine has improved and I have been able to push my Haste more, the boost has made for a noticeable difference.  This seems to coincide with the priorities I listed above from MMO Champion.

After some searching, I have finally stumbled across some updated information about Mistweaver Haste break points.  In the same MMO Champion guide I mentioned above, there is also a more extensive chart for Haste break points.

As you can see from the chart, the two major (and attainable) Haste break points are at 3145 and 6141.  These are the same break points referred to above in the stat priorities above.  (These are also assuming you are running with someone with the 5% Spell Haste buff.)

How to MW - MOAR Haste Break Points

I am currently at 6409 without Stance of the Wise Serpent on, and 9614 with it.  Honestly, I have been somewhat confused about whether I am suppose to figure my Haste with or without it.  So I decided to do some math.  (Disclaimer: I hate math!)

My conclusion?  It seems to be before figuring in Wise Serpent, because according to the tooltip my Renewing Mist lasts 17.94 seconds and ticks every 1.63 seconds, which equals 11 ticks if my math is correct.  So that seems on par with my 6409 without a 5% spell haste buff.  (Because I was just standing around, solo, in the Shrine.)

So remember to turn off Stance of the Wise Serpent before reforging or examining your Haste.

Spirit

As for Spirit, I am sitting at about 10.7k with a 529 iLevel.  10k-11k seems to be a happy area.

More Haste might lead me to more Spirit, but for now I seem to be in a good, balanced place.  I can use mana and Chi and my Mana Tea and manage my mana pretty well, if I am straight healing.

Honestly, I might look into boosting my Spirit some more, simply because I like fiddling with Fistweaving.  The healing is so-so, but the damage is pretty nice.  It is just too mana intensive for me to be able to maintain it throughout an entire raid encounter just yet, especially using healing spells and damaging skills together.  But I think even in that regard, I am getting close.  I am regularly doing heroics and scenarios with almost pure Fistweaving, and in an LFR earlier this week, the bosses were dying fast enough that I kept up my mana throughout.

But as far as straight healing goes, 10k-11k and my Shado-Pan Assault trinket are working out well.

Crit

Crit is an okie stat for throughput, but a bit too unpredictable for me.  Without the added bonus of mana regen, like on my Shaman, this makes me more interested in Haste.  Only once I figure out exactly where I want to cut off my Haste, might I reforge the extra points back into Crit.  But I have not made a solid decision in that regard yet.

Gems and Enchantments

Even though I am listing gems and enchantments last, these are best done before reforging.

Gems

I still stand by matching gem sockets and getting socket bonuses.  I see no reason for losing out on free stats.

Red

  • Brilliant (straight Intellect)

Blue

  • Purified (Purple – Intellect and Spirit)

Yellow

  • Reckless (Orange – Intellect and Haste)

Meta

  • Legendary (Intellect and Chance to not use mana) — if you have it
  • Burning (Intellect and Increased Crit Effect) — the primary choice for a non-Legendary meta
  • Revitalizing (Spirit and Increased Crit Effect) — a good alternative if you need more Spirit

Enchantments

Most of the enchantments have little room for choice, but there are a few that have some wiggle room.

For hands, you have a choice between Mastery and Haste – I say Haste, because I value that over Mastery.  For chest, you have a choice between all stats and straight Spirit – I say stats, because that means more Intellect, but if you are really hurting for Spirit, that is an option.  For feet, you have a choice between speed and Mastery or straight Haste – I say movement speed over Haste, even though it means choosing Mastery.  For the weapon, there is Jade Spirit and Windsong – I say Jade Spirit, unless you have a low iLevel weapon you want to enchant cheaply, because the Intellect will help more than a random secondary stat.

  • Shoulder – Greater Crane Wing Inscription (+200 Intellect and +100 Crit)
  • Chest – Glorious Stats (All Stats +80)
  • Wrist – Super Intellect (+180 Intellect) — w/Leatherworking: Fur Lining – Intellect (+500 Intellect)
  • Hands – Greater Haste (+170 Haste)
  • Legs – Greater Pearlescent Spellthread (+285 Intellect and +165 Spirit)
  • Feet – Pandaren’s Step (Increased Movement and Mastery +140)
  • Weapon – Jade Spirit (Intellect and Spirit proc)
  • Offhand (if applicable) – Major Intellect (+165 Intellect)
  • Cloak – Superior Intellect (+180 Intellect)
  • Rings – w/Enchanting: Greater Intellect (+160 Intellect)

Keep a look out for the followups to this post real soon.  🙂

~ Effy

The Better Mistweaver BiS List 5.3

Better BiS

Eugene approves of this message.

I have been playing with some different combinations of stats on my Monk throughout the tier.  Mistweaver Mastery is sill meh and although I was letting my Crit climb in lieu of Mastery and to keep my Haste at 3145 for the longest time, I saw no real benefit to Crit.  I have come to realize I am most impressed with just beefing up my Haste.

So I have been reforging every piece to Haste, and looking at pieces carrying a large amount of Haste natively.  This is somewhat contrary to my original BiS List, which focused on pure amount of stats, simply because I really had no idea what was best for my Monk.  (Even now I am still kind of guessing, since there is so little on Mistweavers still.  If only I could Theorycraft!)

If reforging everything to Haste is good, then dumping all my other stats for pure Haste is better, right?  😀  Well, that is the plan, anyway!

My logic?  More ticks for Renewing Mist.  Also, faster casting of Soothing Mist, which I use quite often to “fill in” while waiting for Renewing Mist to come off cooldown and to build Chi for Uplift.  Quicker casting of Crackling Jade Lightning is another nice bonus, as I have noticed it to be good damage and healing.  A kind commenter on my original BiS list mentioned a higher Renewing Mist tick at 6145, making it 12 ticks, which I am currently past and loving.

The biggest hurdle will be keeping my Spirit up to speed with my Haste.  I have several pieces without Haste currently.  Replacing those pieces with Haste/Spirit pieces this should logically continue to balance out my casting speed and mana regen.  So far, my mana regen is very manageable, but I fear tipping the scale too much in either direction will cause me some problems as we push further through Heroics.

At this point, though, my gear is good enough that I am only focusing on pieces with more Haste and Spirit if they are either Thunderforged or Heroic (or both!).

So here is my “better” BiS list, now with more Haste!  (Except in slots I could not find a piece with Haste, which made me sad.)

BiS Normal

My list includes only 3 Tier pieces, because I cannot bring myself to get excited about the 4-piece bonus.  The 2-piece seems to work nicely, though.

BiS Heroic

After a good hard look at Heroic and Ra-den drops, I really see very little changes in my gear list, except Ra-den’s ring and a possible swap of trinkets, since I cannot get the Shado-Pan trinket in Heroic.  😛  Honestly, I am quite fond of my Shado-Pan trinket, and might not even upgrade that!  I am not yet sold on the proc from the Chalice.  I suppose I would have to see it in action.

Ra-den’s drops appear to be guaranteed Heroic Thunderforged items, which is interesting, but it also means with some luck from other bosses, unnecessary.  I am okie with this since I was not thrilled with the stat distribution of most of Ra-den’s drops upon a second glance.

Definitely

Maybe

With Ra-den’s ring, that would put me with Haste and Spirit in every slot except my helm.  I can deal with that!

I did see a Heroic Thunderforged version of the Deeproot Treads on WoWHead, but I am unsure of where/how they drop, since the normal version drops from trash. Random boss drop maybe?

Closing Thoughts

Next on my list is improving my playstyle more.  I always have more room for improvement.

The Haste has made a notable difference in my performance so far, but I am sure my technique could use some tweaking.  It is really hard to gauge most of the time, since we tend to run heavy on healers and my Monk’s particular healing cooldown, Revival, is more of an “Oh shit!” button for when things get messy.  This means I usually go several attempts, or even several bosses, without using Revival, which is certainly affecting my overall performance.

But I would rather save lives and brez’s than blow Revival just to make my numbers pretty.

~ Effy

Better BiS - Eugene

Ketchup

Ketchup - Isle of Thunder

I really do not care for ketchup a great deal – a very tiny bit is good with french fries sometimes, though, hash browns are the one thing I really do like with ketchup – at least, not enough to so casually post with a title seeming to praise it.  It is more the fact that the English language never fails to amuse me.  Words with similar meanings, words with similar spelling, words with similar pronunciation.  So many ways to play on words.

I figured an update was long past due, my blogging has been far too infrequent lately.  But with the new job, I am just trying to stay focused where I need to be.  So far, things are going great.  My stress and anxiety are relatively low.

Speaking of focus, I have developed a spreadsheet for my Level 90’s.  Something to track who’s killed what world boss, who’s VP capped, who’s done their LFR runs.  I am even using it to monitor if I harvested and planted my farm on a toon, if they did their daily profession research cooldown, and if they did a dungeon that day.  It worked better than intended last night, Monday, the day before reset, when I am usually scrambling to figure out who needs what.  A Nalak raid formed, I knew just which toon to bring.  Sha and Galleon were next, and I knew at a glance what toons to switch to.  A few LFR runs were made, and I went on a different toon each time, based on what we queued for.  🙂

Ketchup - Effy and Effy

Effy and Effy waiting for an Oondasta pull

And Nalak, the World's Worst Gatekeeper (Not only have a 20manned this guy, but this guy just lets adventurers stroll right past him into his master's lair!)

And Nalak, the World’s Worst Gatekeeper (Not only have I 20manned this guy, but this guy just lets adventurers stroll right past him into his master’s lair!)

In fact, I should just show you what the spreadsheet looks like, eh?

Ketchup - 90s SS Cropped

Oh, but while I was taking that screenshot, I realized how very awesome screenshots are from my desktop with two monitors!

Ketchup - 90s SS

HUGE!

And yes, that has been my desktop since around Christmas.

Anyway…  Even though I did not cap all my 90’s, I felt it kept me aware of what I should be working on.  And I say “should” very emphatically.  Because despite all my organization, I spent most of this past week on the wee Hunter.  Actually, she is not so wee anymore, she is 78 already.

DING!

DING!

One thing that is awesome about a Hunter, is taking great time and care to determine what pets I want to run with.  (The next step in this being to of course create a transmog outfit around the chosen pet.)

I have always liked bug pets.  The silithids and wasps are some of my favorite.  (I have mentioned before that I have a fond curiosity for the Silithids and their lore, since it was them who in fact got my interest with WoW lore started.)  So it did not take me log to decide that the rare wasp in Silithus, Rex Ashil, was the pet I really wanted.  He is unique, the only wasp of this color, and in fact the only pet with this color.  WTB silithid pet in this awesome blue-grey!

Ketchup - Rex Ashil

After picking my wasp up, I was talking to my guildie, Otoka (whom we all call simply O), and realized I had intended to find the perfect battle pet to name for him.  Hunter pet?  Even better!

Just for the record, apparently you cannot name a Hunter pet with only one letter.  So I could not name my wasp “O”!  So I settled for “Oh” and had a giggle with O about the philosophical significance of the name.  Not only does it give a name, but it is also a pondering noise, thus naming one for their deep thoughts.

Rosa and Oh

Rosa and Oh

Rosa’s outfit to match her pet is still a slight work-in-progress.  I cannot be 100% happy with boots, it seems.  Silly humans and their FEET.  What the heck?  I am thinking of boots much like those she is wearing above, but more blue.  I think I can get some from a Dragonblight quest.  I like the black outfit with the Level 70 PvP bow very much, and I have received several compliments through whispers while doing dungeons with her.  🙂

Ketchup - Sifaol

Among doing lots of dungeons on my Hunter, I have just about caught up Sifaol, my Disc Priest, gearwise.  I have not been heavily focusing her, she progresses slowly, but she has made remarkable improvements.  I realized soon after getting her a few LFR pieces that I am quite fond of her in some current content gear.  This is even after being so appalled with her quest leveling outfit not too long ago!  Sure, the outfit is a mixture of various things (and the staff is a re-skin) and I would really like some MSV shoulders, but it looks quite good on her.

Even as a human!

Even as a human!

I missed Atonement, I really did, and I am thoroughly annoyed that as soon as I start getting back into my Priest, Blizz is nerfing Atonement (in 5.3).  ><

Ketchup - Guild Achievement

Oh!  And we also got a random guild achievement the other day!

State of the Raider: Guilty Conscience Edition

Now, so that I do not feel so guilty about falling behind, I am also going to post a condensed State of the Raider!  (AKA progression and kill screenshots!)  I left off last on our Durumu kill.

The Mysterious Case of the Lemming Blobs

SotR - The Mysterious Case of the Lemming Blobs

A strange sight, in the halls between Durumu and Primordius

I cannot quite get the oddity of this out of my head.  These lil guys just endless ooze down the hallway, and then throw themselves off the side!  It is an endless cycle of lemming-like suicide, so it seems, as they somehow flow back up to start all over again.

Poor blobs.  You should live!  There is so much out there!  Don’t give up!

Seriously, though.  GG Blizzard at giving us something to wonder about.  I cannot figure out the purpose of these guys for the life of me.

Primordius, the Visually Pleasing

Progression and Pretty Colors

Progression and Pretty Colors

Maybe it is more my guildies and their spell effects that are visually pleasing...

Ooh, shiny!

Primordius down in 25man!

Primordius down in 25man!

Okie, so maybe it is more my guildies and their spell effects that are visually pleasing… Either way, I was tickled by the colorfulness of the shots.

Primoridus, after what seemed forever on Durumu, went down in one shot.  He is a nifty boss, I like the idea of mutating into a Saurok for a short time.  His monologue, though, is a bit creepy and very Gollum-like.  I think this guy went down so easily because one thing that motivates my guildies is telling them “X will make you do more damage!”

I Sing the Body Animus

SotR - Dark Animus Before

Dark Animus down in 25man!

Dark Animus down in 25man!

Dark Animus was an okie fight.  It was pretty much all or nothing.  Either we wiped early because adds got out of control, or we killed him.  Once it is just the boss, it is a pretty straightforward tank-and-spank.  Yah yah, there is other stuff going on, but there were no transitions, it was really just a burn.

It did take us some organization and some practice to manage all the adds.  It was a different kind of fight, certainly.

Ice, Wind, and Fire… and Iron Qon

SotR - Iron Qon

Iron Qon down in 25man!

Iron Qon down in 25man!

Huh, that is my best progression shot from Iron Qon?  Bad Effy.

Iron Qon was a challenge, especially the final burn phase when it is just him.  As a healer, I got to take advantage of the preferential treatment as #1 priority to use a Warlock gate out of the wind storm.  There were several times I just did it with some well-timed Rolls, though.  It was cool to have four quite different phases in that fight.

Twin Consorts and the Anti-Climax

SotR - Twin Consorts Down 2

Twin Consorts down in 25man!

Twin Consorts down in 25man!

Take that as you will in its purposeful double meanings.  After all of the… commentary… over the Twins and their “place” in Throne of Thunder, they went splat with a disappointing quickness.

Thunderstruck by the Thunder King

SotR - ToT

SotR - Starting Lei Shen

SotR - Starting Lei Shen 2

Lei Shen, however, is not disappointing.  He is proving to be just what an end boss should be, many phases and many mechanics… and when things go bad – MANY ADDS!  Unfortunately, this means that he is a nightmare as an LFR boss.  I think a mechanic or two could still use some tweaking, or even removal.  But on normal, he is perfect, and though he is not dead yet (Sunday was our first full night of work on him), I do not think it will be too much longer and when he dies, it will be a great accomplishment for my guildies and me.

~Effy