Tip for Shadow Priests on Kael’Thas

Sasstar told me about this yesterday when we were busy heroically wiping on Kael. If you have Shadow Priests in your Guild, what you can do is have them cast rank 1 Shadow Word Pain repeatedly on all the weapons during Phase 2. This will stack the Shadow Weaving debuff (which increases shadow damage by a lot). Just cast Shadow Word Pain back and forth on the weapons.

Your Warlocks will love you.

By utilizing this, we’ve managed to kill the weapons quicker and get into positions for Phase 3 when all of his advisors are back up. Our best has been Phase 4. Sunday we’re going to spend the entire evening from 1630 – 2100 on Kael. Hopefully we can take him down early, go back to SSC and clear out Vashj.

New Poll: What’s Your Main?

The old poll is closed. Ventrilo, by far, is the most dominant 3rd party voice client in use today.

With that being said, there is now a new poll up! I’m a little curious as to what class you consider your ‘main’ character.

Which class do you consider your main?

  • Priest (28%, 92 Votes)
  • Druid (15%, 48 Votes)
  • Hunter (10%, 33 Votes)
  • Paladin (9%, 30 Votes)
  • Shaman (8%, 25 Votes)
  • Warrior (8%, 25 Votes)
  • Warlock (7%, 24 Votes)
  • Mage (7%, 23 Votes)
  • Rogue (7%, 23 Votes)

Total Voters: 323

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Several days ago, Exanimo (or the Full time WoW Addict) posed a question: What makes your main “your main”? No doubt there are now several of you with more than one level 70. I myself have 3! Even though nowadays I devote more time to playing my Shaman and my Paladin, I still consider my Priest my main character.

Why?

Here’s what I think.

I consider your main character as the toon that you use to help your Guild progress through whatever it is that they do. Your Guild could be a PvP Guild or a PvE one. But the character you choose to play with when they’re going through content is what I think is the main. Of course, you could always base your main on time played (/played). But then you just might ditch a character that you have invested a lot of time into for an alt which is better suited for the Guild that you’re in.

For example, one of the Priests in my Guild converted to a Resto Shaman because we had 4 Priests at the time. We had no Resto Shamans. It only made sense that he switch to Resto to take advantage of gear drops and further help progress the Guild gearwise instead of having our Priests dogfight over gear.

What if you’re not in a Guild? The answer’s still the same. It’s the toon that you want to progress the most with.

In any case, the reason I ask is for a little demographic reasons. I’m interested in knowing what kind of classes read my blog. Maybe I can tailor some of my content accordingly. *shrug*

Minimum Zul’Aman requirements will be coming up later on tonight or tomorrow morning. Definitely will be a work in progress and it’s based off of my observations.

Addition:

Phaelia mentioned that some players might have a PvE main and a PvP main. She suggests going with the one that’s your primary focus. I couldn’t have said it any better myself.

Reader’s Question: Should I Follow William Shatner’s footsteps?

“Hey, I like your site. Like you, I tend to play as a healer since that’s pretty much what everyone is looking for plus it makes playing with my friends enjoyable. I like keeping everyone alive :)
Anyways, reason why I’m emailing you. I have a 70 Holy paladin and as much as I love playing him, I wanted to try out another character. I don’t raid. I like to pvp. But I find as a holy paladin I lack a lot of cc compared to a priest and such. I wanted your opinion on a Shaman. I wanted to level one for the longest time and try making him a healer in the end. Do you recommend trying one? Should I try a priest instead? Just wanted your thoughts on this since you played them.”

Now this isn’t a question I’m best suited for. I’ll try to answer it as best as I can. I play my Priest primarily for PvE raiding. My Shaman’s up there for PvP most of the time.

I found that as a Shaman, I had a bit more of an active role in my game. You’ve got to rely on your Rank 1 Earth Shocks to slow down enemy casters while dropping heals on your guy at the same time. Furthermore, you have to keep an eye out on buffs that you can visually see so that you can purge them off quick as possible (Pain Suppression, Blessing of Protection, etc). The only tools that you’ll be able to use as far as healing goes is Lesser Healing Wave and Earth Shield.


Here’s another response that covers more in depth in PvP then I ever will. An answer from official World of Matticus PvP Correspondent, Pwyff!

Currently in arena PVP, Priests are a lot stronger than Shamans. The difference between the two lies in what they bring to a team. A Shaman can run a huge amount of interrupts on any healer or caster with clever management of Earth Shocks and Grounding Totems, but you’ll find that you’re lacking in any significant preemptive heals. What this means is that every heal you do must always land after the damage is taken, and you have nothing that can help with this. Priests and Druids in particular are much better at preemptively healing, due to the nature of HoTs and the Priest’s Shield.

A Shaman only has Earth Shield as a preemptive heal, but many Shamans can attest to how frustrating it is to constantly have such a huge mana cost shield dispelled off. The other thing that might bother you is the complete lack of defensive dispels. A Priest has both offensive and defensive dispels, and in my opinion, he’s kind of a more defensive version of the Shaman. The Shaman can run extensive control upon the other team, while still helping his team and remaining on the front lines, while the Priest is more designed as a full support role.

It really depends upon your style. I myself am going to play a Shaman in my off-time, because I really enjoy the sturdy nature of the Shaman, and the fact that even as Restoration, a Shaman can bring decent offensive prowess to the table. I enjoy interrupting and playing a more offensive oriented style of play, and that’s something that cannot be said of Priests, unless they pair themselves with fully offensive classes. Restoration Shaman + Warrior is capable of bringing a lot more pressure to the 2s table than Priest + Warrior will. Resto Shaman + Resto Druid + Warrior is currently one of the highest rated matrices in BG9 (the most competitive battlegroup out there at the moment), so take that as you will (although there are more Mage + Rogue + Priest teams out there at high ratings).

If you enjoy pure healing and support, then a Priest may be for you. Manaburns, Power Infusion and Mass Dispels will be, for the most part, your most offensive oriented moves.


Keep those questions coming! If I don’t feel confident enough to answer your question, I will find someone who will. =)

Discipline Priests Unveiled: What Your GM’s Won’t Tell You

I received an email several days ago asking about the bastard brother in the Priest talent trees. Er, I mean the Discpline Priest. By Discipline Priest, I mean 41 points.

Matticus – I’m known as Hawk 99% of the time, but on my off days I join the ranks as Farrow, a now lvl 53 Belf priestess. I haven’t noticed many Discipline priests my level…ever actually. I love it though. I spec’d far into it and am finally starting to go into the holy tree and will put my remaining points there until I’m 70. I was wondering though – is discipline just not a comment way for priests to roll? I was heavy into Holy for a long time but like to solo…discipline enables me to do that easier. I just don’t have it in me to be shadow. Don’t ask me why! I did try it! (dont knock it til you try it)

What is your take on discipline priests? Am I doomed in this spec even though I enjoy it?

Matt’s Note: Hawk also has her own blog which I won’t hesitate to shamelessly plug because I enjoy reading it.

The truth is, until recently, Discipline Priests had no business being in a Raid. One of the recent patches changed that when it was announced that Pain Suppression could now be cast upon any member ony our party.

You don’t have to be a Gnomish Engineer to figure out what that means.

My History

When I was a wee little Dwarf Priest, I leveled from 1-60 as Holy/Disc. In my case, I had no problems at all getting the experience I needed. When TBC came out, I specced completely in Disc so I could get to 70 in a manageable way. I’ve had no experience playing Shadow.

My secret? The server I leveled on was brand new

Levelling

What Hawk is ding is leveling as Discipline. I wholeheartedly commend her for doing that. The Discipline tree requires… well, discipline to play. You get a ton of stats and your survivability is almost as notorious as a Warlock. I don’t see any problems leveling as Discipline because that’s what I did. Granted, you may not kill as fast as our dark, shadow brethren. But at least you can live.

Raiding as a Discipline Priest

As Healing

Just like in hockey, players in a team have to remain aware of what their roles are and what’s being asked of them to do. You don’t ask a shadow priest to heal your tanks. You don’t ask a resto druid to light up wrath and starfire.

I’ve spoken with several friends and colleagues in the game about Discipline Priests could be slated for. In raiding, you play 1 of 3 possible roles:

  • Tanking
  • Healing
  • Beating the crap out of the boss

Pwyff, a blogger on Gameriot (and friend), sees Discipline Priests as “fantastic panic healers”. True Disc Priests must have Brodeur like reflexes and can bail out your healers if crap hits the proverbial fan.

In other words, like Luongo (or Jesus), Discipline Priests save.

But herein lies the 5200 G question:

If you consistently rely on a Disc Priest to save your healers, what kind of healers are you bringing to a raid? Disc Priests are an excellent crutch and support class to have in a raid, but I think their presence isn’t necessary if you already have outstanding healers. Sure they can Power Infuse your best casters every few minutes at a time. Other than that and Pain Suppression, there isn’t much else.

Disc Priests cannot match the healing output of a Holy Priest, period. If you think otherwise, I expect several WWS reports as evidence.

As DPS

Don’t even think about it. You’re competing with Mages, Warlocks, Shadow Priests, and Boomkins for cloth gear.

PvPing as Discipline

As a healer

I’ve PvP’ed with my Shaman both against and alongside Discipline Priests

Nothing pisses me off more than seeing a player with that Pain Suppression blue glow around them. I end up spending precious time spamming Purge instead of Lesser Healing Wave, or Shocks offensively.

Nothing gives me greater pleasure than seeing that blue glow around me when I’m at 10% after popping Battlemaster’s Perseverance and a Fel Blossom to stay alive because I’m being focus fired.

They’re a pain in the butt to take down, especially with those stat bonuses. Then they sit behind one of those pillars in Nagrand spamming Mass Dispel, Mana Burn, and Power Infusion.

As DPS

No. It does’t seem to fit with pre-existing arena team setups. By DPS, I mean a Priest who actively Smites/Mana Burns and the like. I think they’re a reactive class. They cannot ever replace actual DPS like a Warlock or a Mage. If you think I’m wrong otherwise, I invite you to show me. But please do not give me theories or opinions. I do not want to know the maximum amount of DPS a Disc Priest can do under ideal conditions when his opponents are CC’d and there is nothing he’s doing other than spamming. Discussing theory is like discussing experiments in lab conditions. As a student, I know lab conditions do not equate to real life situations. The same should be held true of WoW.

Again, the only thing I know of offensively is Power Infusion, Mana Burn, and Mass Dispels. Healing and DPSing roles aren’t that far off from one another.


I know somewhere in here I’ve pissed off many readers. Good! Because anger breeds reaction and discussion. I want to know your experiences and thoughts about Discipline Priests. Specifically, I want to know from readers who are:

  • Priests who raid as Disc
  • Priests who PvP as Disc
  • GM’s who have Disc Priest raiders (and why)
  • Guildmates of Disc Priests
  • Anyone who has ever been in contact with a Disc Priest in any way shape or form (playing alongside or against

Over the next few days, I hope to compile the most insightful comments into a future blog post about what other players think about Discipline Priests. I want to get some community feedback and start involving more. I’m hoping for some feedback from GMW, Kirk, Ego, Kestrel, Karthis, Phaelia, Megan, and Galadria/Vladvin others that I’ve no doubt forgotten due to lack of memory.

Who knows? Perhaps Discipline Priests will earn the respect and prestige that Protection Paladins now have. After all, 10 months ago we were laughing at the idea of a Prot Pally. Now we beg them to come tank our runs.

Talk About a New Look Healing Corps

Our healing corps looks a lot different than it did in 2007. It’s become a lot more balanced (well, kind of).

-BEFORE-

4 Paladins
1 Resto Shaman
2 Holy Priests

These were all the possible raid healers we had. More often then not, they were all we brought into the raid. We had 7 strong capable healers. Now that we’ve entered the new year, we’ve lost one of our Holy Priests to personal issues that he needs to sort out in life. Best wishes to him. One of our Paladins accepted a position in a higher progressed Guild (another post for another day). During the 3 week holiday break, we had a lot of interest. A lot of people applied and we filtered out several that didn’t make the cut. But since we weren’t raiding then, there was no real way for us to evaluate them in situations that matter the most. We’re throwing these guys out of the frying pan and into the fire (literally). Tomorrow, some of the recruits will be brought into Tempest Keep.

-AFTER-
3 Paladins
1 Holy Priest
2 Resto Shamans
2 Resto Druids

You guys all know what that means! I’m going to have a FIELD DAY on cloth healing drops. Unless a Holy Priest manages to apply. Or a Disc priest. But hey, I can live with being the only Holy Priest in the raid. I’ll have to enjoy it while I can. I know sooner or later I’m going to have some competition at some point. But what a difference several weeks can make on a Guild.

Now I can Heal in Style

Cowl of the Avatar

Does it not reek of complete and utter awesomeness? I finally got my Cowl of the Avatar! What good timing too since Carnage will no longer be running SSC as much anymore. We’re going all in on Kael.

The T5 helm now brings me up to having 3/5 T5. I also picked up another item to replace my Ribbon of Sacrifice. From Lurker, I managed to collect Earring of Soulful Meditation (it’s the class trinket at the T5 level). I lose a slight drop in healing (a whopping 7) but if I manage to remember to activate the Earring, I’ll gain 300 spirit for several seconds to further increase my longevity in combat. Combine the earring with Pendant of the Violet Eye and I will be able to sustain myself for a long time.

Before and after effects of Earring of Soulful Meditation

Yikes that’s a substantial increase!

Preform Leaders Revealed: 6 Ways to Attract Players into your Organized BG Group

Some large creature attacking Theramore

It’s Arathi Basin weekend! I had a total blast last night in this PvP preform. Nowadays, it seems that the only way to win or get any real meaningful honor is in premade groups. I’ve been in my fair share of preforms. Some of them fall apart after 1 or 2 rounds. Others continue going for several hours with a core of people that stay consistent. Usually these PvP groups consist of well geared and knowledgeable players. But like an army, these players need direction in order to be focused into a machine. My preform leader (let’s call him K) was different from other preform leaders. I’ll tell you why.

Embrace Challenge

More often than not, most preforms I participated in had leaders constantly queue between AB and EoTS (tThat’s AB and Eye of the Storm) in the hopes of running into a pickup group. Over time, the amount of honor stemming from easy wins is mitigated by the endless amount of queuing and re queuing. The first thing I noticed about K was that he was willing and eager to go up against other premades. Others in the groups had their doubts, but after we trounced a Tichondrius preform those doubts were erased.

His secret? He didn’t limit his scouting to just what servers the other team was from. He opened the player listing and identified the amount of potential healers they had. That Tichon group only showed 2 druids, 1 Priest, and 1 Paladin. Every other class was DPS only. While there was no guarantee that those 4 players were all healers, it was reassuring to know that they were all the healers they had possible. They were identified and promptly annihilated.

Flexibility

Good commanders lay out and spell out what the purpose of each group is. Great commanders rarely follow them.

K devises 4-1 initial setups against non-preforms and 3-2 setups against preforms. The numbers refer to the amount of nodes that we aim for after the gates open. But after the dust settles and the smoke clears from the initial rush, K rarely forces groups to go to their assigned places. In fact, from his perch in stables, he’s able to direct players to where they are needed most depending on calls. K doesn’t follow the plans that he lays out. He reacts to situations with whatever players are nearby

Enforcement

When K asks for players to come in, he checks them to make sure he’s getting a player that he wants. He ensures that the player coming in is able to fulfill a requirement that we need (DPS, healer, +150 resil). At the moment, armory is down so he had to resort to other players visually inspecting the ones who wanted to get in. It’s his way of helping to ensure that we get quality geared players who aren’t going to get squished. Almost everyone in the raid had 10.5k health unbuffed. I don’t know about you, but I found that reassuring. I think Megan would approve.

Not only that, but he also enforced usage of voice communication. No vent, no group invite.

Repetition

He tried to keep group makeup the same as much as possible. This helped us get to know each other a little better. I noticed that I continued to be paired with Rogues and Warriors. I responded by dropping WF (at least for the Warriors since I’m not sure if Rogues want poisons instead) and Heroisms on first contact. The warriors noticed that I generally stay out of sight when I heal. I’d hide behind some foliage, heal from the blacksmith hut, or even in the water to remain inconspicuous and to not draw attention to myself. They made sure they fought far enough away so I could heal in peace but close enough to intercept any dirty Rogues that found my hiding spot.

K would repeatedly drill players to not only relay that there were horde coming but to how many people were coming. He held them accountable when they failed to pass out necessary information. If K knows the amount of horde that are attacking, then he can respond with a number of our guys to help repel the threat. He verbally calls out players to go to a particular node. He doesn’t ask for volunteers, he assigns them. By doing this, he doesn’t over commit anymore than he has to.

Vocal

K is almost always talking the whole time on vent. He encourages everyone to speak up if they notice something at all. He actively participates and leads. If taking one node clearly isn’t working, he’ll direct people to a different point. If he notices a lot pf players coming to a tower, he’ll relay it too. He repeats everything seen in raid chat for us players who are too busy to read it. If there’s a lull in the battleground, he checks in with every guard at every node to see if everything is okay (some people are shy). There is always a steady stream of useful and relevant information coming to us all the time from him and other players. Everyone else picks up from that and they volunteer any thing that might be of value (ie, 1 guard at farm, looks like a Priest). We know what’s going on where. This allows us to react quicker in anticipation of K’s instructions.

Any monkey can set up macros detailing vent information and assignments. But it takes a true Donkey Kong to deliver wins consistently. If you ever get into an organized group led by a player who is keenly aware of what’s going on, you be sure to add him to your Friends list. If you’re looking to run your own organized groups, set yourself apart from everyone else and earn a reputation. Great commanders are far and few.

Do you participate in organized BG’s often? What has your experience been like? Are you a leader or a follower? What keeps you coming back?


On another note, does anyone know what that big fish is that’s attacking Theramore? It’s gotta be new. Check out that screenshot at the beginning.

Your Tank Died. Want to Know Why?

Here’s the story. You’re healing a raid group on a boss like Nightbane. Things are going steady and smoothly. Then your tank drops from 80% to0. WTF just happened?

No more will you wonder why.

Enter Recount

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce to you Recount. It’s a diagnostic mod that has a ton of features and tools which can help track an assortment of information and display it graphically or output it as text. It keeps track of information like:

  • Damage done
  • DPS
  • Healing done
  • Dispels (what you dispel)
  • Dispelled (what you’ve been dispelled by)
  • Deaths
  • Interrupts
  • Ressers
  • Activity
  • Mana, Energy, or Rage Gained
  • CC Breakers
  • DOT Uptime
  • HOT Uptime
  • Spells Used

Tracking Deaths

This is the main reason why I use Recount. If I can determine why my tank or assignment died, then I can take measures to prevent it from happening again. There’s also this "peace of mind" factor. By knowing why my tank died, I can either accept responsibility or say that there was nothing I could’ve possibly done.

Recount death tracking in raid

Take the above image as an example. Chamelion is one of the tanks for Gruul and he died. Within the space of 2 seconds, he went from 90% to 0%. From this image, I know that Chamelion absorbed almost 17000 damage under half a second. It would’ve been very difficult for healers to react that quickly to that kind of damage. I have the peace of mind knowing that there would’ve not been anything for me to do (PW: Shield and a Prayer of Mending would’ve been eaten).

Do I have your attention now? Good. Want to learn more about it? Keep reading. However, there is a downside (scroll to the bottom).

Usage

Let me show you how to use it. It’s fairly intuitive (for some). I’ll start with the Death tracker. This is one of many different possible windows that you can switch through.

How many times did you die? Here you go!

From top left to top right, you’ll see several different icons. There’s icons that show horn, gear, page, xpage, left, right, and the X.

Horn: This controls output properties. You can relay information into Guild chat, officer, raid, party, say, current target, player name, or special channels that you are in (custom channels). Using the top slider, I can control how many people to report in whatever channel I like. Note that I can only do one chat channel at a time. I cannot broadcast in Guild and Officer chat simultaneously. If I want to broadcast in both, I’ll have to do them one after the other.

If I want to whisper to a certain person, then I check the box next to "whisper", type the name on the bottom, and press report.

Window where you can choose which channel to output information

Gear: This opens the detail window of the particular tracker that you have open. Each tracker has it’s own specific set of options. I’ll write more about this later.

Page: You can control which chunk of data to look at. Here’s a screenshot below. I can include cumulative data up to the point where I’m at, echo the current fight, or examine individual encounters.

The window where you can choose which part of the fight to look at

Xpage: This button resets all information that you’ve collected up to this point.

Left/Right: Using these buttons, you can cycle through the different windows.

X: Closes the Recount window but it still tracks data in the background.

Death Tracker in Detail

The death counter here allows you to track the amount of times that players have died. Not only that, it can show you why they died. Press the detail button (looks like a gear) brings the following window up. On the left side, I can choose which mob killed me. On the bottom, I can filter what kind of information I want to look at. In this case, I’m looking at any information that’s relevant to me EXCEPT for Heals. From the timeline, I can see that it took me about 14 seconds to die from Akil’zon.

Tracking deaths in Recount window

You can also select which deaths you want to echo and display. Pressing the little horn icon lets you echo what you have in front of you to whatever channel you want (See above).

Anyway, there’s simply too many features in Recount to be covered in one article alone. Over the next week or two, I plan to break down certain features of Recount that apply to us healers and officers. Maybe I’ll skim the rest.

The Bad Thing About Recount

I’m going to copy and paste the author’s own words and warnings about Recount.

Warning – Recount can use a decent amount of memory at default settings due to saving of DPS and other stats every second. These can be disabled if not used in the options under filter by unclicking checkmarks under the stopwatch. Memory usage though shouldn’t effect your performance though.

In other words, it’s a HUGE resource hog. Try it out and see if you can handle it. If you notice yourself lagging a lot during Raids, disable it immediately.

Download Recount:

Curse.com

Just For the Sake of Evidence

Wager with Hankwilliams

Also as a reminder in case I forget. I wonder if that breaches the TOS. I suspect that there will be a lot of gold changing hands tomorrow (maybe). The Superbowl isn’t even here yet!

My Recount piece is almost done. Hopefully it’ll be up sometime around 1 AM.

Unique Equipped Doesn’t Mean 1 Per Character

You’ve seen these items drop in some heroic instances. They’re these epic high powered gems that used to say Unique on them. I had a Luminous Fire Opal drop twice in heroic Shattered Halls last night. Sadly my Resto Shaman only got one because some Enhancement Shaman I know need rolled on the other one. This Enhancement Shaman, to my knowledge, has no INTENTION of healing or going resto *GLARE*. I could’ve used 2 of these Fire Opals *sniff*.

Definition of Unique-Equipped Courtesy of WoW Wiki

If an item says it is “Unique-Equipped”, it means that you can have only one of those items equipped at any one time. You can have as many as you see fit in your inventory, but only one actually equipped to one of your items.

This is mostly to prevent absurd overpowering of characters with amazing gems, but still allows them to craft and sell them to others even when they already have one.

I know I’m not able to socket the same epic gem on the same item. I can put it on separate pieces. The definition on WoWWiki confuses me though. From what it says, if I were to socket Luminous Fire Opal on my pants and my chest I can’t equip both of them at the same time?

Ergh, if only I had both of them to socket then I could determine it for myself! :(

Thus ends my QQ post.


Blog updates

Archives

Solved my Archives problem for the time being. Thinking ahead, I know that eventually my archives will stretch for a long time since that’s how WordPress organizes it. Instead of just showing months on a sidebar or on the bottom, I transferred it so that it now has it’s own page. It’s even got a search (as if my world needs more search boxes). I’m considering doing away with either the search on the bottom or the one on the side.

Front Page

Do you use Twitter? I’ve been using it for a while and now you can follow me on it. I added a plugin that displays recent “tweets” which includes new blog posts (for those that don’t use any kind of RSS reader) converted into a tiny URL. My original plan was to display excerpts of my latest post (up to 50 characters or something) in that same spot. But technical problems have forced my hand and Twitter is my plan B.

Categories

Have to fix these sooner or later *sigh*.

Plugins

I know there’s a lot of WordPress bloggers that read my page. I was thinking about doing a piece on the weekends compiling all the plugins that power World of Matticus. Definitely not WoW related. That’s why I was going to put it up on the weekend.

Recount

My cousin’s in town and she’s leaving tomorrow. After I get home from dinner with the family, I want to write up a piece on this amazing addon. It will either be up tonight or up tomorrow morning. If you’re a raid officer or leader or healer, then pay attention to this piece because it will definitely be of interest to you!