This is My Last Post

… of 2007.

Tomorrow I will be out and about celebrating and counting down to New Year and all that fun stuff! I’m going to use what little time I have left today and tomorrow to finish up my new layout. It’s going to be simpler yet more functional. I hate coding. I transferred out of this profession years ago and having to modify this theme extensively for the past two months has reminded me why.

With a New Year comes new resolutions! Much like Honors Code who recently published his goals, here’s my list of things to do for 2008.

World of Warcraft

Mallet

* Kill Illidan
* Kill Zul’Jin
* Obtain Epic Flying Mount
* Break the base 2000 +healing mark
* Break the 300 MP5 while casting with full buffs mark

Saphfira

* Obtain 5/5 Vengeful Gladiator’s set (Elemental)
* Finish out Vindicator’s pieces (Ring, Belt, Boots)
* Level fishing to 375
* Improve myself more in PvP

Valoray

* Acquire Thunder
* Become viable in PvE as retribution (pigs might as well fly)
* Acquire a Flying Mount
* Become keyed for Karazhan
* Level blacksmithing to 375
* Become elixir specced
* Get reputation with Sporregar so I can transmute these useless Primal Earths to Waters

Personal

Blogging

* Start and finish out example healing assignments in Mag/TK/SSC
* Write less, but frequent
* Write more, but less often
* Continue pushing myself to deliver quality, timeless references

Academic

* Studying smarter, not harder
* Studying instead of raiding
* Not suck

Those are my resolutions. What’s yours? I will see you all in 2008!

Have a Happy (and safe) New Year!

Shadow Priests! Help!

I got a question from a guildmate who is a Priest of the… shadowy variety. Dealing damage and melting face is not my forte, so I’m hoping someone out there can help. I checked out Fate and Trollin’ as I know they’re both shadow but I couldn’t find their emails to contact them. So alas, I will post an open question on my world.

It’s a question of gear:

[item]Battlecast Hood[/item]
- OR -
[item]Uni-Mind Headdress[/item]

The Battlecast Hood has 2 gems on it: +6 Spell Damage and +5 Spell Penetration / +5 Spell Critical Rating and +5 Spell Penetration.

Let’s assume that there are head enchants on both of them (+22 Spellpower and +14 Spell Hit rating).

I have no idea what to look for in Shadow Priest gear. All I know is crit isn’t valued as highly. Help!

No One Else’s Fault But My Own

Masters Leiandra and and Trollin’ have asked the one question that sits in the back of our minds ever since we started playing this game.

Why are you playing this game? What made you get into this game? Who did it?

For me the answer is very easy but lengthy to answer. My first real game was Gizmos and Gadgets. Then I graduated to RTS’s with Warcraft 2. I loved the fantasy universe and I knew I would continue to play Warcraft games for a long time. Fast forward a few years and I met up with some people online in IRC (who happened to be local in my area). They asked me to play and compete with them in Counter-strike (1.5 was the norm back in the day). From that day onwards, we formed our own gaming clique. Whatever the current ‘fad’ in video games was, all of us would participate.

It started with CS
Then we moved to DoD
Warcraft 3 debuted and most of us played that
Back to CS: Source
DoTA
Lineage II Open Beta
Guild Wars
Then World of Warcraft hit

At first I resisted for several long months. I had a good excuse. I was just a poor high school student with no source of income. That summer I got a job and made a decent pile for a student. I decided to give WoW a try and I was hooked immediately. Several months later, most of us split due to some stupid issues. It was all my fault because I failed to heal one of my friends in STV and abandoned the field of battle because I didn’t want to participate in PvP anymore. I killed my subscription for a while and stopped playing. I stopped coming around on vent because I felt I didn’t deserve the flak I took for saving myself in a hopeless cause. It’s a little difficult to engage in combat as Holy and while I would perform well in PvE environments, I wouldn’t have a clue as to what to do in PvP. I didn’t really know anyone else to play with and it just wasn’t enjoyable without friends. I started nodding off when I did some quests or other things by myself. I got bored of the game, essentially.

Anyways, I started playing the game again because the same guys wanted to form a reroll raiding Guild. I figured why not? I’ve never truly seen the end of the game and I wanted to see what it was like. I picked a Priest to symbolize my dedication and goals: I picked, at the time, the class that was most in demand and underplayed (Dwarf Priests). You know what was stupid? Completely randoming his look. Sheesh, now I’m stuck with a scowl and a glare for the rest of my WoW career.

What I want to say is the only reason I’m playing this game isn’t for the raiding. I’m not here to get all the best loot as possible. I don’t care about progression and epics and the like. I’m not interested in showing my dominance and prowess in PvP. Some people take pride in pressing buttons faster and more accurate than the next guy. I lost that drive after Guild Wars.

Digression: We worked our asses off in Guild Wars to take the Hall of Heroes and get our damn sigil. Then we stopped playing after that.

Anyway, without caring about loot or PvP abilities, what does that leave?

Why then do I continue playing this game?

Because all of my friends are playing it. Truth be told, if my friends all stopped playing WoW, I would stop playing altogether. A lot of people have this idea that all WoW players are addicted to the game.

They’re not.

It’s their choice to play it. If I wanted to quit WoW, I could easily pull it off. I just don’t want to.

They’re not addicted to the game. They’re addicted to the friends and the people they’ve met playing this game. The reason I play WoW is because of the people I play with.

Told you the reason was simple.

The Problem With Enchanting: Part 1 (Demand)

The problem with enchantingI was reading one of Tobold’s latests posts on enchanting and I just had to write a response. You can imagine my amazement when he wrote that he is one of the few 70′s who runs around without any major enchantments on his gear.

Why?

Because enchanting your gear is one of the most expensive things you will ever undertake.

The gear selection and vast selection of raid instances are at the point where you could replace a piece of gear you got today with one later on in the week.

So herein lies the dilemma. Why spend copious amounts of money investing in enchants for some item when it might be replaced later?

It’s like shopping for computer parts. You could upgrade your memory now or wait and watch it drop in price. You never know when a better deal might come along, right?

Let’s take a look at the price for 81 Healing to weapon. WoWecon.com reports Large Prismatic shards having a price of 19G (Ner’Zuhl has ridiculous prices with 25+G).

Primal Life: 10 gold x 8 = 80G
Primal Water: 20 gold x 8 = 160G
Large Prismatic Shard: 20 gold x 8 = 160G

That’s about 400 gold spent just to increase your healing by 81 on your weapon.

Obviously, your weapon is the most expensive piece to enchant. Factor in bracers, gloves, boots and your chest and watch the costs double or even triple on some servers. As raiders, I’m not sure what we spend omre of our money on: potions and flasks or enchants (or even jewelcrafting).

With costs like that, you want to ensure that your gear pieces that get are here to stay. I’ve had cases myself where I got an item one day only to replace it the next. What sucked the most is that I had the original item enchanted before I got the upgraded piece.

Knowing When to Enchant

Get the most out of your enchants! It should be an investment on gear that you know you won’t replace for a while. Typically, I follow the 4-week rule. If I know for certain that I’m replacing this item within 4 weeks, I won’t enchant it.

Start reading up on boss drops. Know which boss drops the items that you’re looking for. Calculate the probability of you getting an upgrade. Remember that not only does the encounter have to drop the item for you, you may need to compete with other players in your Guild for it. If you’ve got the most DKP, then you’re set since you can either bid a high amount or get first option.

Great example: Your Attumen bracers drop for you but you’ve been steadily collecting badges for better bracers anyway. You figure you’ll easily obtain the amount of badges you need within a week. Therefore you shouldn’t enchant your Attumen bracers.

Matt’s Philosophy: Assume what you want from a boss isn’t going to drop and enchant your present ones. Be the best player you can be statwise as that will help the Guild more in the long run.

Be prepared to pass on an item because your enchanted gear is better then that unenchanted piece. You can score major brownie points and save precious DKP if you pass it off to someone else.

2007 Best of World of Matticus

Boxing day shopping is one of the most grueling things anyone can do. It takes a lot of heart for someone to crawl out of bed at 3 AM to go line up in front of a store. This year I camped out in front of Best Buy to snag some swag.

This year I picked up some DVD-R’s (50 pack for $18.99), iLive iPod dock ($89.99), Rayman Raving Rabbids ($19.99 but dang if it ain’t an awesome game), 40 GB portable HD, and some other miscellaneous stuff.

2007 – World of Matticus debuts

I started this blog at the end of August because I was growing weary at the amount of Priests who were running around without a clue as to what they should be doing or the best way for them to maximize themselves as healers. BBB’s post accurately summarized my feelings on the topic.

Start your own blog (it’s free btw) and prove it. Write. Be brilliant. Show us how awesome you are and how crappy we are by comparison. Don’t just say it, DO IT.

What a brilliant bear. He’s way smarter than the average picnic basket to boot! He’s even secured a spot on WoW Insider!

I did exactly what he said. I went out, purchased my own domain and server because I had a vision. I wanted to help educate people and show them what works and what doesn’t. If they choose to follow my teachings, power to them. If they don’t, that’s perfectly fine. I wanted to be a resource for aspiring Priests and raiding officers. World of Matticus evolved from Priest topics to an interesting blend of tips, tricks, and techniques for the new GM or the officer (while maintaining stuff for Priests). The one thing that’s been a constant in all my guilds is a Holy Priest in a position of leadership. Maybe that’s just me. Anyways, that was my main goal: to help, to educate, and to teach.

I think I did a pretty darn good job for 4 months worth of work.

Statistical Growth

I never believed I could reach these kind of numbers by New Years. When I look at them, sometimes I’m still in a little bit of disbelief.

  • Subscribers: 124 – At least it’s above 0.
  • Posts: 150 – I’m averaging a little over 1.1 posts per day ever since I started writing back in August. Heh, I definitely would not have been able to make the WoW Insider quota.
  • Comments: 490 – Feedback is always good to have no matter how much there is.
  • Site Viewers: 10000~ – I installed Google Analytics around mid-October. Right now it reads around 9670 visitors. There’s no way to know for sure down the decimal, but I think a figure over 10000 is believeable.
  • Site Views: 23000~ ~ Again, same reason as above. The actual figure is 21484 since I started using Analytics. Factor in the uncounted stuff during August and September, and it should be around 23k.

Bests Posts of 2007 – By Month

I’m not basing these on page views or popularity or the number of comments or anything else like that. I’m basing this list on what I feel is the best that I’ve been able to do.

August

September

October

November

December

One More Thing

If even one or any of my blog posts have helped you become a better player in any fashion, then I know I’ve done my job. Without your support and readership, World of Matticus would not be what it is today. I want to take a moment to thank everyone for reading my corner of the WoW blogosphere. There’s a lot of WoW Bloggers that I hold a lot of respect for even though we may disagree on some points. If I’m not able to read your respective blogs throughout the week, I would not be able to get through my lectures nor have (relatively) interesting topics to blog about. Galadria (whose been quiet lately), Ego, Fate, Megan, Mercuri (AWOL) Kestrel and Kirk for the Priests. Phaelia, Karthis, BBB have all been terrific. Gwaendar, Galohart, Rohan, who have done an admiral job representing my plate wearing brethren. Pike, One Among Many, and BRK of the sharpshooting variety. The insights of GMW and Leiandra continue to be valued.

There’s a lot more people I want to thank. All the Guests writers who have volunteered to help pitch in when I was not able to do so (Leiandra, Ryan, Brendan, TDQ’s Matt, etc).  My bed looks enticing right now. There are more blogs I’m following now but I can’t possibly list them all. Next year, no doubt this list will increase in size. Some of you will retire from writing or WoW entirely and move onto other projects. But that’s getting too far ahead. 2008′s almost here and I can’t wait to share another new year of WoW adventures with everyone as well as reading about yours.

Okay, bed.

P.S., to all bloggers, I’d love it if you all highlighted your best posts from ’07!

A Much Needed Break

Blogging is tough business, it really is. I’m not able to stay on top of writing as usual. With family in town for the holidays, it’s up to me to play the good host. I might put up something short tomorrow and on Boxing Day (26th), but there’s always the fatigue factor.

Last week, the entire Guild’s been shut down with players heading home or just taking some much needed time off to relax. All mandatory raids have been suspended until January. It’s nice to have 2 weeks off when you’re a casual raider. I imagine with so many people enjoying the holidays, it would be difficult for guilds to successfully pull off 25 mans. It doesn’t seem to be worth it to me right now to go through all the trouble of rescheduling the umpteenth Christmas dinner or party just to attend a raid.

How’re the smaller Guilds handling it I wonder? By smaller, I refer to organizations who don’t have enough to step into 25 man raids on their own but large enough for rotating Karazhan groups. Has your Guild shut down?

Our raids resume in January.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Teen Lit on Fire By Self Acclaimed Fire Mage

After losing a fight in school, a 17 year old boy in Beijing covered his classmate with gasoline and lit him on fire. According to Beijing News the teen claimed that he “had lost himself in World of Warcraft” and “transformed into a Fire Mage.”

Source

I don’t understand. I just don’t understand.

Will I Ever Get a Christmas Hat?

Bad rolls

Not even a 97 could’ve helped me here.

WoW Struggles: The Undergeared

Picture this.

You’re sitting in Ironforge with a half filled raid that’s pumped to do Zul’Aman after pulling consecutive 3 hour clears of Karazhan.

You spam your Guild looking for that extra DPS or extra healer.

“I’ll come!”

It’s that new Paladin your Guild recruited. His status says ‘Trial Member’ in the Guild window.

You fill out the rest of the raid with power DPS and dependable tanks and then you’re on your way to Zul’Aman. You clear up to the Bear boss no problem because your Pally tank is so damn awesome that mages beg YOU to come because their sheeps aren’t needed. You, the Priest, start nodding off because the trash pulls were so lax and simple. The bear boss looms before you. A quick glance upward at the clock shows 8 minutes left before hostages are executed. Raid mana and raid health are both at 100% and you give the ready signal. Your raid’s been brought up to speed on what needs to be accomplished.
“Tanks, on your go!”

The tanks rush in and engage. There is not a single problem on the initial transitions. You and the other healers are doing an excellent job.

Until you look at your healing meters and see this:

Recount Healing Done

You blink wondering why the Paladin’s heals are low. Then you inspect him. Your jaws drop. He’s got barely +1300 healing.

Congratulations! You just invited an undergeared Paladin to a place where he has absolutely NO business being in!

And he’s a new trial member in your Guild!

I vow to never take an undergeared person into ZA ever again. My standards? Having at most 1 blue. You must need nothing else out of Karazhan if you want to go on a ZA run. I’m sick and tired of players who think that just because they ran Karazhan on their alt, they’re able to do ZA on their alt. It’s two different levels of play! I can’t believe how many “oh &#$%” spells and cooldowns I had to blow just to keep the MT alive ON TRASH.

When I was in the LFG channels and in Ironforge looking for players to fill out raids, my Pally tank said he got tells from people who wanted to come. A quick inspection showed that their equipment wasn’t quite up to snuff. He explained that to them. You know the answer he got?

We’re in this AWESOME Guild that’s doing Hyjal and BT. We’re so good we want to bring our alts in. No, you’re not! I don’t care if you’re a Death & Taxes Paladin alt with 1200+ healing! Your guild tag does not determine your suckiness. Skill can only carry you so far. It was a miracle we even got to and downed the Lynx boss.

People decked in dungeons blues and a sprinkling of epics have no purpose in Zul’Aman!

I’m going to do some quick research and survey my friends, guildmates, and even some of my blogging colleagues on their opinion.

You know your class. What would you deem are the minimum requirements go even go into Zul’Aman? If you’re a healer, I want to know what you think your health, mana pool, mana regen, and healing should be at. For tanks and DPS, I’m asking you for the relevant stats that are needed. Take a look at my Karazhan minimum requirements for an idea.

Healing Tips for 25-Man Raiding: WoW Insidered, Matt Reviewed

I woke up this morning and decided to check my grades to see how I did this semester. Turns out I got an F in Cognitive Science. Now I’m really depressed about it, but I’m working on a plan to address it next year.

Anyway, aside from that I was catching up on a little bit of light reading on WoW Insider. One of the columns featured is that on 25-man raid healing by Marcie Knox. The article essentially summarizes the tips and tricks that healers can pull off in order to succeed in end game content. Let’s see if WoW Insider experts and I agree:

You need at least one of each healing class. Yes, even a holy priest and the rare resto druid. No matter what you’ve heard, running with all paladins really won’t get you very far, nor make the journey pleasant.

Disagreed. Ideally it would be nice to have all four healing classes, but sometimes it simply isn’t possible. Can you do some 25-man content with all Paladins? Yes. Is it recommended? No. But you do not NEED a Resto Druid, Shaman, Holy Priest and Paladin. If you set it as your goal to recruit one of each healer before trying your hand at raiding, you’ll be stuck for a long time. Carnage is incredibly stacked on Paladins and Priests. We have one Resto Shaman and no Druids (WE COULD USE ONE THOUGH SERIOUSLY). We went from Karazhan to Kael since we started back in June.

You have 6-8 raid slots for healers to work with. Start with 7 and make adjustments as you go.

Agreed. Typically, I would start with 7 and work my way up or down depending on the following:

  • The encounter
  • The gear of healers
  • The skill of healers

You’ll only need to do this the first few times when you’re working on a boss. After a while, when bosses can be done with no effort, you can remove healers as necessary to speed up the fight.

All healers must have the following information instantly available at all times:
a) Raid Health Monitor
b) Range Indicator

Kinda. I do keep the raid health monitor window open but I never make use of it. I’m not sure if Knox refers to the health of the entire raid as a percentage or the health of each individual raid member. Regardless,everyone’s health bar should be on the screen. Don’t just have your party window open in a raid.

As for the Range Indicator, it’s a good idea to have one. I’ve grown accustomed to my Priest that I can visually tell whether or not I’m in range of my tank. If I’m able to, I do a quick range check before a boss by lighting up a Prayer of Mending to ensure line of sight is not an issue. It’s a good tip for Alar when you’re not sure if the ledge the tank is standing on is going to interfere with your LOS heals. If your tank isn’t, a quick bark over vent should move them an inch or so over.

Have at least 2 people willing and able to handle the healing assignments.

Agreed. When I run my pickup Magtheridon, I make a deal with my partner. He runs the strats and I take care of the healing. He tells me whose tanking what, and then I pick out the healers who’re going to cover each tank.

In Carnage, our healers take it one step further. The raid leader puts up icons and calls out which tank is on which trash mob. Our healers take a more active approach and type in our healer channel which tank we’ll cover. Here’s an example for Hydross:

  • Resto Shaman: Raid
  • Holy Paladin 1: Water Tombs
  • Holy Paladin 2: Active Tank
  • Me: Active Tank
  • Holy Priest 2: Melee DPS
  • Holy Paladin 3: Elemental Tanks
  • Holy Paladin 4: Elemental Tanks

Active tanks refers to the one who is currently tanking the boss. Remember Hydross needs to be alternated between two tanks. This way, our healers are much more alert and everyone is accounted for. We have clearly defined our roles to ourselves and to each other.

You’ll need a way to do healing assignments. Here’s some common methods:
Macros – Easy, in-game, and nothing to download; this is what I use
Text File – WoW crash-proof, alt+tab then copy/paste into chat; Notepad, etc. (Watch for the multi-line limit)
Text Addons – Like a text file but in-game, good if you have 1k macros already; Notes (Is it still around? Can’t find it.), etc.
Assignment Addons – Fill out a form

Agreed. Typing it by hand sucks. Typing it again because someone was AFK sucks more. Personally, I use macros. Example:

/rw HEALING ASSIGNMENTS:
/rw —
/rw Tank 1: Healer A, Healer B
/rw Tank 2: Healer C
/rw Tank 3: Healer D
/rw Tank 4: Healer E
/rw Raid: Healer F and G

I mainly use this one for my own pickup raids on Mag and it spits out nice lines and alerts everyone.

Set up a healing channel to broadcast the assignments or use the Guild Info window if you’re an officer

Agreed. A typical channel name is GuildHeal or something. Just type /join GuildHeal and type / followed by the channel number. Usually it’s something like /5.

I like to change the color of all the text in the healer channel to something bright so that it stands out. To do this, right click on the tab above your chat window (General). Mouse over to Channels, then there should be a red square next to the name GuildHeal. Click the square and a color wheel should pop up. Drag the circle to any color you like.

Get set up to record your combat log and parse it via WWS.

Agreed. Post raid analysis is always important when you can’t seem to do a boss properly. You need to troubleshoot and diagnose the problems in order to fix it. For in game, I suggest an addon called Recount. I’m going to post an indepth guide to it later on in the week when I start accumulating some screenshots.

Well for the most part, it looks like we do agree and emphasize the same things (except for the first point). Knox’s healer is in Mount Hyjal. My Guild’s working on Kael. Who knows? Maybe I’ll radically change my views once I get into Hyjal.