If You Wondered What Happened to Apathy

I was reading one of Ess’s posts wondering what happened to our Shadow Priest friend. He moved. Just thought I’d share. =)

Time Saving Tip in Black Temple

Black Temple’s a sickeningly long instance. My guild only logs about 12 hours a week raiding. I’m hoping to appeal to some raiding readers for some help. Aside from the usual time saving tips in Black Temple, can you think of other ways to shave minutes or even seconds off while clearing through?

Here’s an example:

A variety of tricks can be used in conjunction with Blessed Medallion of Karabor. This means your Guild will have to have killed Illidan. Anyways, when you kill Teron Gorefiend, equip the Medallion and use it to port to the entrance. Hop on to your mount of choice and zoom into the entrance. Talk to the Draenaneanainnie ghost (thanks Ratshag), and you’ll get ported to the other Draenaneanainnie ghost. While it may not seem like much, it has the effect of shaving five years off the run down (to me at least).

Aside from that, do you have any time saving tips? Are there any particular mobs that can be skipped? Shortcuts that no one knows about? This doesn’t have to even be limited to Black Temple. I’m thinking about compiling a future post on raiding shortcuts and I’d love to hear some more from the readers!

(On other note, approaching the 500k traffic mark. Oh boy.)

WoW Resources for the Wyn

WoW Resources for the Wyn

tools
Image courtesy of woodsy

I’m a tremendous advocate of using all the tools available to evaluate and improve your toon, your gear, and your gameplay. (It’s how I first met Matt!) Hands-down, the most valuable resources for learning to play are other players willing to share their experiences. Even with access to some great minds, though, it helps to know what questions to ask to get the most bang for your buck. Besides that, I’m an information junkie. These are, in no particular order, some of the resources that have helped me the most in my quest for Priestly perfection.

Be.Imba.hu – The first online character auditor. Takes a look at your gear, the available gems, enchants, and add-ons and gives you a solid opinion of what stats are best for you, and what level of content is appropriate. I’ve found it a little cut-and-dry, but a very useful place to start.

GankBang – The armory, comparative. Wanna know how you stack up to the other Priests on your server? Wonder no more. Great tables, which you can organize by stat, show you how you compare. Be aware that you may need to manually update or add players.

warcrafter – The ultimate armory sandbox. Load your character, change enchants, gems, or see what your stats would be if you were in full T6. (Or T3!) Now you can REALLY find out if +6 stats or +15 spirit to chest is a better idea.

Arena Points Calculator – Arena points calculator. Plug in your rating, guesstimate your points. Hooray!

WoW Reputation Calculator – Tells you how much rep you need to hit the next level with any Burning Crusade faction. And tells you how many instance runs it’d take to earn it. This gem has helped that 21000 rep look much, much more manageable, and helped me make decisions of which instance to run for max. rep reward.

Warcraft Realms – Statistic crawler for all realms. If you feel like your faction is hopelessly outnumbered… it just might be. This sucker breaks down all kinds of information – and is especially helpful if you need to know when it’s time to start recruiting from off-server.

WoW Character Watch – Allows you to stalk anyone and everyone. Really great if you want to follow up with an applicant or a former guildie.

Edit: I dunno how I forgot this one, but Mapwow is Google-based maps for WoW. It shows herbalism nodes, mining nodes, and a million other VERY handy things.

WoW Web Stats – Upload your combat log for a bird’s eye-view of what really happened. Have a few different people from the same raid do it for extra well-rounded-ness and you have a hell of a tool for improving not just your own gameplay, but the synergy of the entire raid.

Love forums? Two you should check out are the official Blizzard Priest forums (No, Really!) and Elitist Jerks. (I have another favorite that Matt launched a while ago which you are no doubt already familiar with.)

Here are my favorite threads from the first two:

Lux et Umbra  – The greatest intro-to-priesting guide I’ve ever read. I have stolen so, so, so much from her….

Elitist Jerk’s Holy Raiding Compendium – Required reading for any Priest wanting to raid.

Another great guide written by DwarfPriest – it’s a work in progress, but holy cow, what a piece of work

I left off things like the Armory, WoWhead, Bosskillers, and WoWwiki. If you’re reading World of Matticus, and you DON’T know about those sites, you should’ve spent a little more time getting to know Google.

Luv,
Wyn

P.S. I gotta stop letting Matt write my headlines!

WoW Insider: What the New Age Raiding Priest Will Look Like

Just a quick note here that I always forget to do every week. I did a write up for WoW Insider yesterday about the next evolution in Holy Priests working in tandem with other classes. Feel free to give it a read!

AFKing with Etiquette: 4 Things to Remember

AFKing with Etiquette: 4 Things to Remember

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Image courtesy of nintaro

It’s inevitable. Everyone needs a break at some point. It’s difficult for a vast majority of people to sit still for hours on end without having to get up at some point while raiding. There’s a certain set of hidden rules when you decide to disappear for some time. Following them ensures that you won’t be viewed as an ass and that you’ll be on top of the raid invite list.

1: Announce it publicly – Let the raid know you need to disappear for a while. No one appreciates it when a player stops all activity without warning. If you were in charge of something important like healing the tank, then announcing that you’re sitting out is crucial so that another player can temporarily fill the role that you had.

2: Provide an ETA – ETA stands for “estimated time of arrival”. In other words, how long is it going to take before you’re back in front of the screen and mashing buttons? In some cases, it can be difficult to gauge how long you’ll be gone. It’s still courteous to provide a quick estimate.

3: Give a reason (within reason) - Although it’s not necessary, it’s been an observation of mine that players want to know the reason behind actions and AFKing is no exception. Whether it’s to grab a drink or saving a cat from a tree, it’s reassuring to the other 24 players to know what’s going on.

4: Offer to bench yourself – If you’re going to be gone for a prolonged amount of time (over 20 minutes), offer to hearth out. This provides the raid with an option of bringing someone else in. If you’re in the instance AFK, you can’t exactly be kicked and auto-hearth’d out (if you’re saved to it). Don’t worry about getting back in since a recent patch allowed Warlocks to summon players individually into instances.

Even though WoW is a game, never forget the fact that there are real people behind the virtual characters. Show them respect for their time and I guarantee that it will be appreciated.

Live in Vancouver, it’s Saturday Night!

There’s a special broadcast of the Twisted Nether blogcast being done live tonight. Yours truly will be staying up past his bed time to have an awesome time in a round table discussion with other names like Kestrel from Kestrel Aeire’s, Phae from Resto4Life, Auzara from Chick GM and Anna from Too Many Annas.

It wouldn’t be much of a party either without our terrific hosts Bre and Fim!

How do you get in on this action? Here’s a brief excerpt from the post with the details:

The show is scheduled for Saturday, July 19, 2008  at 12:30 am EST (yes I know that technically makes its Sunday, July 20, just go with me on this)

To participate on the live show, you will need to go to the TNB Ustream show and use the password tnb73 (the password is caps sensitive. Only use lowercase)

This will be loads of fun and the blooper reel will be huge, I guarantee!

Gearing Up, For The Wyn

Gearing Up, For The Wyn

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Image courtesy of Chancaca

Wyn’s gearing philosophy

It seems like whenever I start talking healing with a new priest-acquaintance or guild-app, the first (often only) metric they give me to describe their gear level is their +healing. Not that +healing isn’t important at all, but there are more important stats. More than that, how you balance your stats is infinitely more important than each individual stat’s level. Think about it: You can hit 2k +healing in full greens. You can definitely go way, way over 2k healing in PvP gear. Either way, it’s not a set up I’d take into a raid situation, and as a single-stat +healing tells me next-to-nothing about a given players ability to heal well and KEEP healing well through a whole fight. So in the absence of my spreadsheets, lootrank, and what-not, here’s how I think about it.

  • Step 1. Stack +heal until you hit about 1950 unbuffed. Then stop worrying about it.
  • Step 2. Get your while-casting mana regen to around 200 raid-buffed.
  • Step 3. Make sure you can get to 10k stamina with full raid buffs.
  • Step 4. Get your mana pool up to 10k
  • Step 5. Stack spirit ’til doomsday.

Why?

1. Because around 2k +heal is more than enough to handle any T4 or T5 content. Once you’re in T4 and T5 content, any gear you get to improve your mana-regen stats will ALSO increase your +healing, without you worrying about it. There may be occasional pieces where you’ll lose 10 healing for 20 spirit or something, but it’s always worth it. I promise.

2. You need to have a good working base of casting-regen while you continute to find heavy-spirit pieces. A lot of this Mp5 can come from spirit-stat stuff (thanks to Meditation talents), just make sure you pick up enough raw Mp5 as you go so that you don’t have a gap here while you continue to improve your gear. (Remember that fully raid-buffed means food, elixirs, all buffs, and mana oils. Don’t have a “buff?” use a scroll.)

3. Some fights call for stamina. You’re allowed to swap no more than 2 pieces of gear from your normal healing set, and swapping them can’t drop your Mp5 or +heal below the prescribed levels. If you need to toss on 1 or 2 PvP pieces to do this, it’s okay as a beginning crutch, but this is your biggest reason to ditch crafted healing gear as quickly as possible. It’s just not viable past entry-level T5, and with all the options available to replace it, there’s really no excuse for gimping your essential stats with PvP gear. Don’t forget about consumables, either, and keep yourself shielded through the high-damage times of these fights.

4. You need a good pool of mana to work with, so that you can play with your regen in terms of trinkets, fiend, and freebie casts. Having a decent pool just gives you more flexibility and less stress. Besides, the Int you need to create this pool helps you get the most out of your spirit.

5. Spirit increases your 3 main stats: Non-casting regen, +healing, and regen-while-casting, provided you’ve taken the right talents. You just can’t have too much of it.

But what about Spell haste? Spell haste is a beautiful thing, IF AND ONLY IF you are not sacrificing other stats to get it. It doesn’t matter if your heals are faster if you yourself die or (most commonly) you spam yourself oom because your regen can’t keep up. Most of the gear currently available with Spell Haste comes at the expense of mana-regen. (The notable exception being the much-cited Eagle-boss neck from ZA, which is currently best-in-slot for Holy Priests) The vast, vast, vast majority of Priests that are gearing up simply need to focus on improving their other stats to the point that they are viable to raid in full-blown T6 content before worrying about Spell Haste.

Luv,
Wyn

Running a Sunwell Trash Farm Group

Running a Sunwell Trash Farm Group

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Sometimes you just need to unplug for a while. Right now, I’m sitting outside Starbucks having one of their new Vivanno drinks (opt for the banana chocolate if you can). That will explain the lateness of this post. I know most of my other blogging colleagues don’t do this, but there’s a certain pleasure one takes from just writing on a pad with a pen. There’s no emails to answer, no forums to supervise, or items to enchant. It’s a relaxing environment without a care in the world.

Sunwell trash is the latest trend among many 70’s and is labelled as the thing to do in the summer holidays. School is out for most people or they’re on summer vacation. Guilds are getting bored of the same rut that is Black Temple, Hyjal, Serpentshrine, and Tempest Keep’s Eye.

Why do it?

The potential for epic drops doing Sunwell Trash is enormous. There is a lot of money to be had. I’ve heard of instances where individuals can make over  900 gold from 2 hours of trash work. More on this later.

A items of note in terms of epic trash loot that Priests might be interested in:

  • Ring of Harmonic Beauty
  • Wand of Cleansing Light
  • Pattern: Robe of Eternal Light
  • Pattern: Hands of Eternal Light

Sunmotes will also sell for a nice sum as they’re the new Heart of Darkness.

Setting the Guild Rules

As with any kind of 25 man pickup raid, loot rules must be established first. I participated in a Sunwell trash group yesterday and here’s an example of how loot was handled.

BoP items could be rolled upon by anyone
BoEs are generally auctioned off

  • Crimson Spinel x 3 (100 // 10)
  • Sunmote x 1 (500 // 10)
  • Schematic: Powerheal 9000 Lens (2500 // 250)

I’ve noticed selling gems in stacks tend to go slightly higher then they would individually. Try selling them in packs of 3 or so if you get a sizeable quantity of one type.

How it works

There is no hard instance resetting of any kind. It does involve plenty of running in and out, however. The first robot patroller gets demolished followed by the two set of Blood Elves guarding the gates. There is a Dragonhawk that must stay alive. It needs to be repeatedly chain sheeped. A Druid is typically tasked with sheeping sleeping the Dragonhawk for the duration of the entire pull. The Elves get taken down, then the party makes a run for the door with the Dragonhawk CC’d as long as possible. Seconds later, the Dragonhawk wakes up and will respawn a set of Blood Elves.

Rinse and repeat.

I cannot stress the value of CCing enough times. I’ve died around 9 times in an hour because Mages and Druids failed at controlling their mobs. If you are a Mage or a Druid, you don’t have to DPS. All you need to do is stand there and spam your CC button.

Potential Risks

The nature of a pickup raid runs the risk that you can potentially get screwed. Another Sunwell Trash run I participated in the other night ended disappointingly when the raid leader and loot master disappeared offline after the 2 hours were up. You can’t exactly file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. There’s always going to be a chance that you will get screwed over (A shame too, because the Pattern: Robe of Eternal Light dropped).

There are ways to minimize the risk.

Ask around in the raid. See if anyone has run with the raid leader before. Establish how the individual’s reputation is. While you can’t always be sure about the legitimacy and honor of other players, information goes a long way. The more you know the better informed a decision you can make. With any luck, you won’t experience the same ordeal that I went through.

The Golden Rule of Invading Capital Cities

The Golden Rule of Invading Capital Cities

The various factions in the World of Warcraft have their own respective Capital cities. Some of them are easier to breach than others. On some PvP servers, raids are organized almost weekly to storm into an opposing city and take out their leader.

Why would you do that?

Bolvar doesn’t drop any loot, gold or massive honor points. Killing Thrall doesn’t offer you a quest reward or access to Stormwind’s coffers.

So why do these raids happen? Because they just want to have some fun! Sometimes its nice to simply let yourself go and team up with other players to level towns and kill NPCs.

So what’s the golden rule?

When invading a capital city, don’t just bring a raid group. Bring a damn army. See below:

WoWScrnShot_070608_194910 WoWScrnShot_070608_194942
WoWScrnShot_070608_194928 WoWScrnShot_070608_194958
WoWScrnShot_070608_194948 WoWScrnShot_070608_195025
WoWScrnShot_070608_195003 WoWScrnShot_070608_195049
WoWScrnShot_070608_195032 WoWScrnShot_070608_195059
WoWScrnShot_070608_195124 WoWScrnShot_070608_195129

Horde forces struck early in the evening. We had no warning at all. We returned to Stormwind after a successful win in Alterac Valley when the alarm sounded. The portals were activated and an advance group of Rogues and Druids went ahead to scout what we were up against.

We didn’t hear anything from them since because they lagged out. One by one, I watched their raid frames wink “offline”. An organized and well equipped AV premade should’ve been enough to rout these challengers since we had home field advantage.

Assuming it was only 1 Horde raid.

But there were 3.

When I emerged out from the Mystic Ward, it seemed we were too late. Skeletons littered the bank and the auction house. It seems an advance group came in and caught the city with their pants down and knocked out the 3 auctioneers without hesitation.

Figured that Horde forces would try to pick apart our economy first.

As our counter offensive streamed out of Ironforge, we looked down the road.

For the first time, I was shocked and awed.

Never had so many come to destroy so few.

I tried to throw what Lightning Bolts I could. But 7 second cast times made it impossible for me to do anything. Playing with that many characters around you in an open area was like trying to swim with your hands and feet bound. We could do nothing but watch as they strolled in and headed for the King’s Throne.

With that, the retreat was sounded and those of us with hearthstones available withdrew back to Darnassus. It didn’t take a Gnomish Rocket Scientist to figure out that once they were done with Ironforge, Stormwind would fall next. To even try and raise an army that could come close to challenging a unit of that size would have been inconceivable.

AddOn: Dispel Announcer for Raiding and PvP

AddOn: Dispel Announcer for Raiding and PvP

dispel-4

I finally found me a mod that I think will benefit all Priests regardless of their purpose or style of healing. Actually, it doesn’t have anything to do with healing at all. What it does is it announces Dispels in a chat channel of your preference. It’s fairly flexible in the the settings (see below screenshots). I do believe it works with Mass Dispel as it announced me taking off a Paladin’s bubble and it works on offensive and defensive dispels. The Ace 2 framework is required for you to modify any settings.

More importantly,This addon has been fully tested on a Hunter dispelling enemy buffs with Arcane Shot and with a Druid dispelling poisons but it should also work perfectly when dispelling with any other skill.

Get Dispel Announcer from Curse.

It also announces when debuffs on yourself fall off such as Shouts and such.

Works in:

  • Say chat
  • Party chat
  • Raid warning
  • UI error frame
  • Default frame

Locations:

  • Outside
  • 5-man
  • Raid
  • Battleground
  • Arena

Anyway,  have a gander at the shots below and you’ll get a rough idea.

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