Sweet, I got my Macbook

It’s awesome! It’s got that new fresh computer smell. I’ve been tracking it all morning on the Fedex tracking site. Problem is they keys do not appear to be sensitive enough or I am not pressing them hard enough or maybe Im just a bad typist. Anyway, I’m making this post up on the mountain at the University. Cognitive Science 100 starts in 10 minutes. Better run!

By the way, if anyone’s got any Macbook related products that you think I should grab, let me know. I’m looking for some kind of a case, or sheath for it. Not a dedicated bag. Something to help protect my keyboard too. I’m debating that product from iSkin which I use to protect my iPod Video but it protects the keyboard instead.

The Oh $#@& Reaction

Very sorry about the lack of updates. I’ve been overwhelmed with school. It’s only the first week and I’ve already been hit with several assignments! But it’s okay, because everything is fine now. I’ve gotten my time back from the hecticness of school. After perusing my daily dosage of blogs from my fellow Priests, here’s one that I want to share.

Ego provides an excellent overview of what to do when you pull a lot of mobs towards you without needing to. Her first rule in a nutshell? Don’t move, don’t worry, and most importantly don’t panic. In a party, getting aggro at worst will wipe the entire group. In a raid, getting aggro at worst will wipe the entire raid, rack up hundreds of gold in repair bills, and lose precious time in an instance. I want to provide you a list of actions that I execute whenever I gain aggro. If you see my spec, you’ll notice that I have zero points in Silent Resolve. That means it is quite likely and possible that I will pull aggro. Usually, I don’t but lets say for the sake of argument that I have. Most of these have already been repeated in Ego’s post, so I’ll touch on it briefly and add one more final step that many players overlook.

If you’ve taken any kind of logic and reasoning course or if you’re into computer programming, it’s kind of the same way.

If things go to hell, do this
else just heal the main tank.

I know that’s probably wrong, but I hope you get the idea. Here’s my sequence:

1st Option is Fade: Lowers your aggro temporarily. Problem? It’s on a 30 second cooldown. So if the mobs are out for healer blood, you have to live at least that long.

2nd Option is PW: Shield: Damage prevention. While you do this, run towards the tank. Don’t make them run after you.

3rd Option is Desperate Prayer: Granted, not all of you Priests have access to such a glorious spell. It is the ultimate Oh $#@& button. Take a few blows, then slam it to shoot yourself back to full. If you don’t have the ability to cast this spell, then…

4th Option is Prayer of Mending: It’s similar to a low cost PW: Shield. On your next hit, you gain this much health. Most of the time, mobs will hit you for under 1000. This spell guarantees that you will survive that one extra hit.

5th Option is to Die: This is slightly different in context but is still worth mentioning. This happened to us the other day. It wasn’t our best raid night, but we were in Voidreaver’s Room clearing out trash. One of our casters got caught facing the wrong way and got punted into another group. Instead of running towards the raid group and bringing extra mobs, he did the right thing and ran towards them and sacrificed himself to preserve the raid knowing that we were still under pressure from the initial mobs. In a raid environment, your first duty is to your raid. I cannot emphasize or stress this enough. There is only one main tank. There maybe 2 or 3 additional off tanks depending on the encounter, but there is only one main tank. Typically, there are 7 – 9 healers. If you go down it is not the end of the world. Let the others pick up the slack. So again, I will remind you. If you accidentally pull aggro from another group when your raid is not prepared, unequip your weapons and your wand and sacrifice yourself.

My panic buttons on my keyboard:
PW: Shield: 1
Fade: 2
Desperate Prayer: 3
Prayer of Mending: Ctrl+1

I usually never bother with binding heal. I almost never use it because I never find the right situation for it. Or I just forget and drop two flash heals instead. I suppose I should start using that more often. But it just feels so… weird.

I’ll have another large update tonight after the raid. I have lots of screens and it’s all sorted. Now I just need to upload them. Time for us to do some potential Priest theorycrafting and analysis.

Random Link Highlight: www.wowecon.com

Like many others of my brethren, I find it difficult to farm efficiently for gold. In order to get money, I need to either rely on daily quests or play the auction house. I stumbled upon this fine gem of a site several weeks ago and it only now occurred to me to share it with everyone else who has trouble making the barest of ends meet.

wowecon, through the use of addons and volunteers, is a huge price indexing database for items that are listed on the auction house. You can either do a global price check on an item (where it scans all servers where it is listed and takes the median price) or a server only check (of one faction). It’s really handy if you’re not near in Auction House and want to see what the average price of a Large Prismatic Shard is (16G worldwide, 19.99G on NZ, WTF!)

I’m not sure how it factors in the differences between buyout and bids. I’ll let someone else take a look at that and read it. I just want to know I’m getting a decent price for what i’m selling, which I suspect is what everyone else is looking for.

Actually, I’m not quite finished yet…

After Gruul’s last night, I popped onto a vent server of a guild that I am friendly with. I just joined the channel as they were beginning to engage Prince. I noticed some regulars and some new people who I assumed were pickups. He did a fairly decent job of explaining the fight, telling the MT where to stand, telling which healer should heal who, and all that. Then out of no where, someone else starts speaking up and re-explaining the encounter in a much greater detail (and he was wrong in some aspects) in a manner that was disrespectful.

Here’s my beef: If you’re the guest of a raid, that is, you’re not a regular member, you keep your mouth shut unless it’s something super important to say that the raid leader overlooked. Even then, there’s a certain amount of tact required. For one thing, you don’t just blatantly interrupt the raid leader as they’re speaking. There’s a certain amount of etiquette required. Even though WoW is largely considered a social game, a lot of players don’t have an ounce of social skills.

There’s a lot of things you don’t do in life.
You don’t date your best friend’s sister
You don’t tell racist jokes at your black girlfriend’s house (saw the movie on tv yesterday, it was pretty funny)
You don’t go over to someone’s house and tell them how to do things without being asked to
and you sure as hell don’t overrule the raid leader

If you’re going to go join a pug raid with another guild, it’s important to remember that you are just a guest. If you leave a bad impression like the aforementioned fellow did, don’t expect to get an invite back if they ever need an extra body. It’s wrong, rude, and impolite. It took me an insane amount of effort to tell that player to stuff it. But of course, I wasn’t in the raid nor was I in the guild and I did not have the authority to do it. After speaking to a few of the players afterwards, they agreed with me in thinking that that player was a pompous zealous idiot. While his intentions were good, he mistakenly assumed that my friends were all idiots who were starting Prince for the first time when most of the players in the raid already have half the gear that he drops. It almost sounds as if he’s got some kind of superiority complex involved where he likes to tell players what to do when they don’t need to hear it. Don’t insult their intelligence. In addition to that, the extra crap he was spewing out was largely irrelevant or had already been covered. It was already 11 PM server time, and he was wasting precious raiding time.

My friends, when you have a chance to join a pickup group to raid Karazhan or Gruul’s, mind what your manners. You are a guest of the group, nothing more. You can be replaced at any time if they feel like it.

I’m Still Alive (barely)

Not much time to write anything informative or analytical today. Even though it’s labor day, I’m still one of the poor chaps that needs to go work. After that, school starts tomorrow and I should be back to my usual daily schedule.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take any shots yesterday of Gruul since the bosses went down way too quick and there wasn’t a whole lot of healing required. But, I did get this gem…

Somehow I got knocked into the air and miraculously landed on this ledge without sustaining much damage.

After the raid tomorrow, I will continue and finish up my piece on raid healing: what spells to use, when to use them, and who to use them on. I’ll post screenshots of the raid at varying stages to detail what’s going on inside my head.

Campaign Creations podcast & How to Assign Raid Healers

Podcasting

I just wanted to plug a side project of mine. I’ve been involved with the Campaign Creations community for a long time. They’re a closeknit group of Starcraft and Warcraft 3 mappers (modders). If you liked playing custom user made campaigns, the stuff they carry is top notch. Most of the projects have custom voice actors, 3D portraits, units, music and the like.

Now I’ve teamed up with some of the guys on Campaign Creations to create a CC podcast that would discuss Starcraft or Starcraft 2 related material in addition to upcoming projects or campaigns being developed. This was our first shoot, so BE NICE. I was a nervous wreck to the point where I introduced my two partners but forgot to introduce myself. Oh well, everything is a learning experience, right?

I’m extremely tempted now to run another WoW related talkcast on my blog alongside Doc Holiday where all we’d do is talk about WoW: What we like, what we hate, what we want to see more of, that sort of thing. Like I said, for the time being it is just an idea being floated around. But, I’ve already finished shooting a segment with Doc. All I need to do now is convert it and set it up on site. Expect to see that sometime early this week.

Effective Raid Healing

I’ve had some fellow priests ask me ‘how do I heal a raid?’. It should come as no big surprise that healing a 5 man party and healing a 25 man raid are two different things entirely. But before I can answer that question, another question should be answered first: How should I organize healers in a raid? Ideally, that job would not belong to the raid leader. He’s in charge of telling players what to do, what spells to cast, what mobs to cc, which boss to target, and all that stuff. It would not be fair to place him in charge of the healers because there’s already enough on his plate. The best person to organize raid healing is another healer. But first thing’s first…

Set up a private healing channel

It can be something simple as /join guildnamehealers or /join guildnamepriests or /gnomestastelikechicken. Use whatever channel you want to use and ensure that only the healers in your raid are the ones in it. Raid chat is already cluttered up with instructions from the raid leader or other players spamming crap. Set up another channel away from it. I personally set the text color to a bright yellow so I can distinguish it easier. Either elect a person to assume command of all the healers or do it yourself. But coordination is more important then before.

Know Strengths and Weaknesses

This is very, very important. You need to have an understanding of what all your healers are capable of and what they’re best suited to do. For example, Paladin’s are endurance healers who are able to go a long time without needing mana regeneration. Priests can help mitigate spike damage. Shamans can chain heal multiple targets. Druids… uh, they’re really good, too. So know what your healers can and can’t do. If a player has a slow reaction time, or a really bad computer, you may want to assign him to a tanking target or DPS target who takes a while to go down. Next, keep in mind their strength of +healing and mana per 5 gear. The players with the highest +healing should almost always be assigned to the main tank or a target that’s absorbing major punishment. For example, the mage boss in the Gruul encountered is typically tanked by a mage with a lot of stamina. You’ll want to task a Priest to this to maintain heal over times and greater heals while shielding when the mage absorbs a huge blow. Don’t be afraid to move people around or stack additional healers on another player. Once you get to end game, it’s common to see 4 or 5 healers on the main tank.

Once you’re aware of what your other healers can do, then you can assign them appropriately to whatever tanks you need up. I’m going to show an example healing setup of what we use on a certain encounter. I haven’t decided which one yet. It’s going to largely depend on what boss we go after today (Gruul or Fathom-Lord). But regardless, check back later on in the evening.

Consider this the first part on how to raid heal effectively. Either tomorrow or Tuesday, I’ll take some more screenshots of my raid at different stages of health and I’ll highlight my thought process on my actions. Actually, just check back Tuesday. I realized I have a double shift tomorrow from 10:15 to 23:00. I had a double shift yesterday on Saturday that’s why I had nothing new there. Sorry guys!