Priest Tier 8 Previews

Priest Tier 8 Previews

I don’t know if you’ve seen it or not, but the crew at MMO-Champion’s just released screenshots of a bunch of tier 8 gear.

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No wings this time. But we do look more Rogue like. They have Death Knight, Hunter, Mage, Rogue and Warlock Tier 8 previews.

The Hunter set looks incredibly bad ass. Some of the Ulduar weapon previews are out as well. The 1H is almost as large as the 2H. Check out the rifles at the bottom. Talk about packing serious heat. No caster weapons as of yet, however.

What do you think about the Priest Tier 8 look?

Matt’s Predictions for 2009

Matt’s Predictions for 2009

2008 was a blast. I wish I did a predictions post last year. Who knows what I might’ve gotten correct? Probably nothing. But it’s not too late to do one for 2009!

2009 Predictions: What will happen? Speaking of predictions, check out Doofy’s blog for his!

WoW Blogging growth: We’ll continue to see more and more WoW bloggers entering the blogosphere. Death Knight blogs in particular will be on the rise.

Path of a Hero flourishes: Make sure you add the  guy on Twitter (@pathofahero). Epic and Legendary Path of a Hero accounts will be launched soon. This service is just a chronicling of your character’s progression. Think of it as an automated character tracker with text inserts for your journalistic needs.

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Machanima standards rise: Craft of War: Blind sets a new standard in WoW machinima.

Warriors spotlighted: The removal of the Titan’s Grip hit penalty will see Warriors doing even higher damage. Where 2008 was the year of the Druid for arena, 2009 could very well be the year of the Warrior.

Dual specs delayed: Delays from trying to interface dual speccing with alternate bars, glyphs, and talents continue. Players continue to fork over hundreds of gold in respecs and reglyphs.

Dance studios delayed: Continuing Blizzard’s trend of releasing stuff “when it’s ready”, dance studios will reach PTR status but will still not be live just yet.

Swimming mounts implemented: On the other hand, swimming mounts will arrive in the first quarter of 2009.

Achievements become the standard of guild progression: WoW Progress and Warcrafter are sites that rank your progression on both a guild and personal level. In the past, the only way a guild’s success could be measured was via the speed at which bosses were taken down. But achievements, whether you love them or hate them, will eventually be used as another comparison tool between guild A and guild B.

Megan’s arena team vs Hafu’s arena team: They will meet in the grand finals somewhere. This will be the match of the century.

3.1.0 content beaten in 4 months: Difficulty curve of Ulduar and the other unknown instance throw a big curveball to raiding guilds. Blizzard brings back “gated” content like what was done with the last bosses of Sunwell to slow down progression.

Epic gems introduced: Even though epic gems came out in the third tier of content in BC, the difficulty level of Ulduar is ramped up where epic gems become an almost necessity.

Ghostcrawler retires: After much epic QQing and players disagreeing with his perspective and discussions on class balance, Ghostcralwer promptly calls it a career. Class discussion boards and other related forums vanish as blues begin to scale back the amount of posting and responses they do to avoid community burnout.

What are your predictions for 2009?

Discipline without Penance – Can It Work?

Discipline without Penance – Can It Work?

penance

This is a guest post from Wistoovern, a Discipline Priest who takes a closer look at Penance to see if it’s really all that

There are some instances in World of Warcraft where individuals who take a role proceed to redefine it into "non-traditional" role. For example, there is the player that decided to level without killing anything, or the hunter that decided not to level ranged weapons at all, but instead maxed out melee. These people are proof that your characters are flexible, unique, and can fill roles that others would not immediately think of.

Along these same lines are character builds that involve or ignore talents and spells that others find key. I’m speaking specifically of the new Penance spell that all of the Discipline priests that I have met so far are just ga-ga over. However, while it might be an efficient spell depending on how you use it, I beg to differ when it is said that a Discipline priest must have it in order to be a viable party/raid healer.

My initial thought to the spell was, "Why? Priest spells have a certain ‘flow’ to them; a spell like this is only going to throw everything out of whack." Well, imagine my surprise when so many Discipline priests started extolling its virtues. Personally, I am still unmoved. I do not believe that this spell is key to Disc healing – after all, we did without it for so long. But shall I go into specifics as to why it is not so as important as others might think?

  • Stop Assuming you need it - Yeah, it’s a 51-point spell. But do ALL Beast Mastery Hunters use Beast Mastery? It’s not too long ago that Lightwell was at the top of the Holy Priest’s tree, but did anyone actually use it? Taking a talent without making sure that you will use it efficiently is useless.
  • Dual Tasking? – Let’s be honest – priests are not hybrid classes. We’re not meant to do both healing and damage at the same time. We really get to pick one or the other. We do a good job at either one (nice shadow priests, GOOD shadow priests…), but both at the same time is impractical or inefficient. So a spell that can either do heals or DPS depending on who is targeted? This can be a big problem.
  • I Mean Really, Dual Tasking? – There are only two other spells that we have that works like this: Holy Nova and Dispel Magic. However, the priest that considers Holy Nova a crucial part of his healing spells needs a reality check, and Dispel Magic (and Mass Dispel, fine) is not going to be an issue if it’s cast on the wrong target (unless you REALLY had to dispel a DoT or effect off of a player and you miss).
  • Did I Do That? YES! - Let us not forget Mr. Urkel and his occasional mistakes with such horrible results. Imagine that you go to heal someone in your party, without realizing that you have a mob targeted that has not yet been pulled. Oops…not only are you making new friends FAST, but your tank probably won’t have time to pull it off of you. Any other heal, and this would not be a problem – in fact, the inability to use healing spells on enemies can help you.
  • The Hell Does That Mean? - Well, here’s a trick that I used to use in Hyjal and Kara. Target a mob that you have to Shackle, and after they’re Shackled, leave them targeted. When you click your keyboard buttons for heals, the system will TRY to heal your target. Oops, you have an enemy targeted, so it will instead give you the "grayed-out finger" pointer. Then, just click on your healing target. Sounds bulky? It’s not! It’s a click tap-click to healing someone. Advantages: no need to use a focus, and you can still pick up the shack quickly if it breaks. Disadvantages: slightly slower than normal, takes a little getting used to, will not work with Dispel Magic…or Penance.
  • What He Giveth With One Hand... – When the GMs build spells, they do it with careful consideration to effect intensity, cooldown, casting time, mana cost, and reagent cost. If they did not, you’d see Instant 50,000 damage spells that cost 100 mana with a .5 second cooldown. No, every spell that they give is balanced through the various aspects. High effect? It will have a high casting time or casting cost. Instant effect? High mana cost or cooldown. Low mana cost? Reagent cost. And when it comes to pure healing spells, cooldowns can be death (literally). Waiting for a heal to be available – or, rather, a heal that so many people think is just "so awesome" is a crapshoot. If a six-second cooldown can kill Circle of Healing, how is Penance so great with a TEN-second cooldown?

I can’t deny that a lot of the numbers for Penance look really good. But assuming that this spell is going to be a Discipline priest’s best friend is like assuming that all druids have feral sets (they don’t) or that all Warriors have Titan’s Grip. I’m not saying don’t use it – just don’t be so surprised if your Discipline priest starts laying down the heals without Penance. It can be done. Really.

Five Reasons You Want To Heal My Pet

Five Reasons You Want To Heal My Pet

In this post, Amava of Amava Knows Aggro looks at the often underhealed Hunter pet and why they should be extended heals.

Hello, my name is Amava. I’m a raiding Hunter who transferred to the Ner’Zhul server to join Conquest shortly after WotLK was released. As a damage-dealing player, I’ve been a long time reader of World of Matticus because knowledge of the whole spectrum of specialties and roles helps build the foundation for a successful raid. When Matt put out his Guidelines for Guest Posters, and specifically called out a Hunter post as "lets not go there", I just had to plead my case to the healing community.

top5pet

Awareness of your fellow raiders’ strengths, weaknesses, needs, and desires helps make you a better member of your team. Over the next few minutes, I’ll hopefully convince you that any mana and GCD’s that you can spare for a Hunter’s pet directly helps the raid succeed. Let’s explore five reasons you want to keep an eye on those critters…

Say it with me: D. P. S.

If you raid, I’m willing to bet you enjoy dead bosses. There’s a million and one factors that go into killing a boss, and one that stands out very visibly is the need for enough damage per second to bring the mobs health to zero before the Enrage Timer dings. The pet of a Hunter of any spec brings a solid chunk of DPS to the raid. If the Hunter is a Beast Master, even more so. WWS reports show BM pets doing 45-50% of the Hunter’s total damage. Take for example a recent Conquest raid on Patchwerk in Heroic Naxxramas. Two BM Hunters. Two kitties. Two Thousand DPS. Each. Actually, closer to 2.2k each, but that didn’t fit nicely with my Two-Two-Two structure. Bottom line: Hunter pets bring massive DPS to your raid. Please help keep them alive.

Buffs and Debuffs

One of the most important parts of raiding is having a solid Raid Composition. There is a plethora of raid buffs and boss debuffs that all work together to boost the performance of your raid of 25 unbuffed toons to the equivalent of 28-29 toons. Ghostcrawler says, "Bring the player, not the toon." Blizzard has given a variety of options for fulfilling each of the buff/debuff categories which is outstanding from the perspective of a Raid Leader trying to get a team together, and Hunter pets only serve to increase the flexibility. I’d like to modify GC’s statement, "Bring the player [and the pet], not the toon." Since patch 3.0.2, there are a number of options for a Hunter to bring if your raid is lacking a particular capability. Some examples are a boost to the Attack Power of nearby players, a reduction in the armor level of the boss, or make the boss miss its next attack (tanks and healers should love this one). Dead pets bring no buffs or debuffs, so please help keep our pets alive. Communication is the key to a successful team, so I encourage you to discuss with your Hunters to see what special abilities their pets are bringing to the raid.

Cuddly

Everybody loves animals. Even animal haters, deep down inside, love animals. The haters are probably just harboring spite from a single bad encounter, and are irrationally prejudiced against the whole Animal Kingdom. I mean, even the Grinch has a dog. But I digress. It’s something primal; something instinctual from our roots. We love animals. There’s a subtle and subconscious benefit to your raid. It boosts morale seeing those fuzzy wuzzy pets charging off to battle, or just yawning and fidgeting while they patiently wait for everybody to stop going /afk. They’re also cute as hell when they accidentally go off and aggro the next pack of mobs or two. Blame the Hunter, not the pet.

Off-Tanking

Ever since patch 3.0.2, some Hunter pets make outstanding tanks. There are a whole slew of options, but most notable ones are Gorillas, Bears, and Rhinos. Before WotLK’s release, at level 70 there were reports of pets main tanking Gruul. At level 80, I’ve used my Gorilla to solo Utgarde Keep and nearly all of The Nexus. They are quite sturdy, can be spec’ed to resist lots of magical damage, and generate a respectable level of threat. In a raid environment, if you need to occupy the attention of a mob or two, a Hunter’s tanking pet brings some fantastic flexibility to your team. Just like the official tanks, our pets are going to need some love from the Healers. Do keep in mind that a tanking pet won’t deliver as much DPS as a ferocity pet, and I’m unaware of any reasonable way to make my pet uncrittable, but they do provide more options to your Raid Leader, which can be priceless in a pinch.

Spirit Bond

Here’s one that should really hit home for a Healer who wants to boost her numbers and top the healing meters. Mid-way through the Beast Master talent tree is a talent called Spirit Bond. Putting 1/2 points in this talent boost all healing that both the Hunter and the Pet receive by 5/10%. On the surface, it does not really look like a raiding talent, because it doesn’t directly boost DPS at all. However, the BM tree is a little messed up, and Hunters often find themselves with one or two points that really have no nice home, but need to go somewhere to allow access to the sweet and juicy talents deeper in the tree. Any mana you invest into a Hunter’s Pet will boost your individual return by 10% if that Hunter goes 2/2 in Spirit Bond. Communication is the key to a successful team, so I encourage you to discuss with your Hunters to see where they put their points.

Wrap Up

This is my top five reasons you want to heal my pet. Whether its raw numbers-based action or the softer side of a cuddly belly to pet between wipes, we all win when you keep our pets alive. What other reasons are there for keeping our furry friends alive? Or are you one of the haters who’d rather sit outside the FSR for just one more cooldown than lift a finger to help a kitty out?

Image courtesy of clix

World of Matticus: 2008 Retrospective and Highlights

World of Matticus: 2008 Retrospective and Highlights

Another year has gone by! Soon we shall say goodbye to 2008 and hello to 2009!

2008 was a big year for World of Matticus. This year we saw a new and fresh look for the blog. 2 talented bloggers also joined the crew! In today’s post, we’re going to look at highlight events that have taken place on World of Matticus over the past year.

A big thank you to all the supporters, friends, readers, lurkers, Twitterati, forum goers, moderators, guild members, and so forth! This blog would not be what it is today without you! A lot of insight and inspiration is gleaned from the public.

Last week, I noted that I was selected by One Among Many to take part in her meme where she asks the following question:

Go back to your first few posts. Who was the first person to ever comment on your blog?

Among active bloggers, it would have to be Kestrel. It was a comment to the classic level 70 Priest gear post. It has the most views on this blog of all time.

OMGooses! Exactly what I’ve been looking for, all in one place.

Now all I need to do is run the instances to get some of this stuff to drop! (Have my Primal Mooncloth Belt, though!)

First ever WoW related comment would have to be from Pasco:

I do not like the fact everybody will get Fear Ward, would be nicer to remove this spell from the whole game (no I am not a warlock) for balancing issues.

Allow me to start another meme of my own and let’s see if this takes off.

To the bloggerati: I think your readers would love a look back at your favourite posts and activities of 2008. Would you not agree?

Here’s a look back at some of my favourite posts and highlight events over the past year!

And, it shall be written in the third person.

January

This was the start of a new year. Matt started an interview series on the blog interviewing other bloggers. The first blogger on the pedestal? Phaelia of Resto4Life. Not only that, but the time was right for Phae to launch Blog Azeroth and it seemed like a number of blogs sprung up overnight! The community continues to serve veteran and new bloggers alike to this day. Time constraints on his part has led to the never ending series to be placed on hiatus. But it’ll come back soon enough.

blog-azeroth

One of the most popular posts during this month involved a spotlight being shone on a guild leader’s support staff. He showcased 10+3 personalities that every guild leader needs to have around. A lot of readers got a kick out it and even suggested several that he had missed! A resolution was made where he vowed that he would never pug a 25 man again. A year later, Matt’s still pugging 25s because he would never allow himself to bring his own undergeared character to guild runs. Many readers found the post on pvp battleground preform leaders revealed to be insightful and somewhat accurate in how they view their own ideal battleground leaders.

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February

Matt reached out to as many bloggers as possible via email in the hopes of enlisting their own contribution on the first of many collaborative blog posts. The end result was 7+2 healing haikus! It’s still fun to read now as it was a pleasure then. 

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Carnage, Matt’s guild at the time, saw a few members leave. Those events nudged him to write a post on leaving the guild the right way. Another Cosmo inspired headline ended up with this tongue-in-cheek eye opener of a post that plays might not have been aware of. Healers spill: White lies we tell tanks all the time contains even more excuses from healers and non-healers alike who offered their own wild stories that they’ve heard (and used)! Of course, that community-centric post further inspires another community involving post. Raiding horror stories and the opportunity it brings helped non-raiders realize that for all of its rewards, raiding can still be a big pain in the butt!

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March

The subconcious trend towards guild topic continues as Matt highlighted 20 characteristics of a mature guild member. It even gets picked up by Massively at one point. The blogger also offered a glimpse into my blog reading habits that aren’t necessarily WoW related.

 matureguildmember

This was the month where he started his 5 part series that examined the 5 barriers of a raid healer. For those that were thinking about it, he offered 8 rules to forming your pickup raid. For another humourous story, take a look at the Matticus Hypothesis. It’s funny now just looking back on it. But man, was he pissed then.

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April

Matticus discovers that there are many tools for guild leaders but there isn’t a place that has all of them in one easy to reach place. 44 resources for the new guild leader is born! 5 Raid saving lessons from Dr House is penned after watching nothing but House reruns for a month.

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Another step toward world domination is taken when Matticus signs on with the WoW Insider team. Healing Priests everywhere are delighted that a Priest presence has returned. Your responses to Matt’s first ever Cosmo Challenge and the objective of helping bloggers have fun with their writing is complete. How to improve players without coming across as a jerk rounds out the month as Matticus looks inward to resolve his own inner demons.

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May

Positive feedback from an avid reader leads to the start of a friendly relationship. Matticus starts corresponding more which leads to Wynthea being brought on board. She makes up the 1 person department at the blog known as “Quality Assurance”. 20 things I know at level 70 that I didn’t know at level 1. 9 Traditional WoW Blog posts. Raiders become more introspective as they  compare their love of their guild versus love for themselves. Quick, critical and improv thinking on the fly is a valuable skill that merits its own post.

Wynthea and Matticus draw the battlelines and debate whether players should care about healing meters or whether they shouldn’t care (Discipline Priests know what Matt’s preaching).

June

Matticus is invited to speak on the Twisted Nether blogcast. The world finally hears the voice behind the keyboard. Outsourcing your raid instance is a common tactic progressed guilds use to get what they need fast. Another inspiration strikes courtesy of the Monique from Girls Don’t Game which helps spark confessions of a current ‘core raider.

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13 things every WoW player should know how to do is a quick lesson primer for many beginning and intro-level gamers. The game is beaten when Matticus takes down Illidan.

July

The ambitious healing blogger continues to scheme. Matticus isn’t yet satisfied. He wanted to develop the community more and offer additional ways to make the blog useful. After much discussion and collaboration with other top bloggers in the community, the decision is made. The project is green lighted. Plusheal, the all healer and newbie friendly community is established. It continues to be a resource for all healers both veteran and junior alike. Over 1000 members share ideas and tips with each other.

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A post is written on AFKing with etiquette: 4 things to remember for those of us with seemingly oversized bladders. Wyn presents her perspective on why the attitude of it doesn’t matter as long as the boss dies is wrong and harmful to raiding guilds. Confessions of a Raid healer is shamelessly written followed by Murphy’s 13 laws of raiding. An important question is answered: What should I look for in joining a guild?

August

A blog expansion begins as Matticus decides to host a contest to search for another blogger to add to the team. Readers voiced their opinions and picked their sides when guest blogger Aylii wrote about the potential doomsday scenario that Wrath raiding brings. Were the fears justified or was it really nothing to worry about? August is also full of guest bloggers who are anxious at a shot of being the 3rd blogger.

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7 points for a stress free raid helps to calm down irritated and temper flaring raiders. Matticus gets selected to participate in the Wrath beta test and over the next few weeks provides much wanted information for readers who wanted more information. A first look at the WoW achievement system is published .

September

After several technical difficulties, the blog receives an emergency visual overhaul. Reception is positive and information becomes even more streamlined. Font sizes for blog posts increase to the delight of eyesore WoW players everywhere.

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An easy process in how to be a World of Warcraft God in 5 steps is laid out for those with deity-like aspirations. As one of the few bloggers and healers with access to a WoW beta account, Matt takes a realistic look at level 80 raid healing. The third blogger is chosen to help round out the World of Matticus editorial team. Sydera, SYTYCB winner, continues to lend her wisdom in building a guild. Saresa attempts to seduce Matticus with reasons why Warlocks make the best lovers after he aptly states Warlocks aren’t his type. He counters with 12 Reasons why priests don’t make the best lovers.

October

Syd voices her love and hate for the newly added achievement system. More guild problems happen and I have to help resolve it.

In anticipation of Naxxramas, Matticus begins blogging about healing and boss strategies. NaNoWriMo is almost here and 7 ideas to jump start your WoW related novel are born. Healing became more fun with the addition of Surge of Light and Holy Concentration proccing abilities. Matt surmises Priests may not be sure which spell to use under what situation. Result? Order of Operations for Surge of Light, Clearcasting, and Improved Holy Concentration.

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Also, this guy takes the internet and the world by storm.

November

The blogopshere took a minor hit in productivity this month due to some minor expansion being released. Matticus took a rare several days off during this period of time. Several days later, he’s back with a ding being the first in Conquest to do so. A list of tips is written for those who want to fast track themselves to 80.

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In this same month, Matticus departs for free agency and works with fellow blogger Sydera to form Conquest. Bars are set and expectations remain high. No one knows how this project will turn out. The Twitterati, ever so supportive, offer a list of advice to GM-to-be Matticus in his transition from officer to executive. The Matticus doctrine is written out which continues to be the centerpiece of the guild. A guide for fresh 80 Holy Priests is written up on pre-raid gear selections.

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December

The Wrath expansion is well under way and Matticus offers up some advice for guilds that have recently formed: 11 reasons guild masters fail and deciding between normal and heroic raids. Several bloggers and Twitterati ask the Conquest loot system prompting a blog post about loot council

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Guild and raid efficiency continues to be a main concern that’s addressed in 7 ways to cut the crap out of guild bureaucracy. A reputation guide is written for Priests who are making their way into Northrend. It’s even applicable for casters. More guest posts are added and the process is streamlined with these posting guidelines for guest submissions.

2009: World of Matticus

The blog continues to grow and evolve in an accelerated pace. But we wouldn’t be here without you readers. We want to hear it from you: How can World of Matticus change for the upcoming year? What other topics would you like to read about? Your opinion can change the blog and make it that much more relevant to yourself, your guild, and your friends.

Feel free to leave a comment below or use the contact form.

Creativity and delivery is the heart and soul of Matticus. We want you to keep coming back. Our standards continue to go up every month. We’ll keep coming up with new blog posts and ideas to keep World of Matticus fresh for everyone.

We’ll be listening. 

Happy Holidays and Thanks

Happy Holidays and Thanks

matticus-xmas-08 Merry Christmas everybody! 

After grinding out around 50000 honour yesterday (that’s honor with a U), I snagged an epic PvP ring and an epic PvP cloak. This brings up my resilience to around 450 and bumps my health to a staggering 22000+.

I am officially a raid boss.

The rare number of you that have stuck around for over a year will remember what type of blogger I was like then.

Disjointed. Bumbling. Disorganized. Unknown. Difficult. Inaccurate.

I didn’t know what I was getting myself into when I started blogging and hitting the publish button. But I knew I loved writing. Over 600 posts published. Over 5500 comments. Almost 1500 subscribers (and I was so hoping I’d hit 1500 by New Years).

This blog allowed me to meet other WoW players and bloggers who were just as interested in the game as I am. Many of them I became friends with. It has helped support my hobby and my studies financially. I learned a lot about how to communicate my ideas with clarity. I learned how to manage a community. And I had a lot of fun doing it.

Along the way, I picked up two wonderfully talented bloggers. Their brilliance continues to astound and to amaze.

I just wanted to say thanks for sticking around and continuing to have faith in what I do. Many bloggers start out strong but burn out after a time and it’s a miracle I’m still here.

I’m happy and grateful to be surrounded by a crack team of WoW players along the likes of Lassirra, Amava, and Lakland who’ve taken the plunge to join me even though there was no guarantee of success. Kimbo, Ice, s13, Dog, your efforts are much appreciated in your roles in the guild. Thanks for helping me make this work.

Upcoming

Blog’s going to be on autopilot for the next few days. Here’s what to expect:

  • World of Matticus retrospective: A look back at 2008
  • Minimum Requirements for Naxx (Friday)
  • My first commenter (Hint: It’s a bird), a meme started by One Among Many
  • A plea from Amava for us healers to not ignore hunter pets
  • More guest posts
  • The elusive search for a Holy Paladin blogger and Resto Shaman blogger to add to the Matticus ranks

Canada

There’s about a foot and a half to 2 feet of snow in my area right now just looking out the yard. I suspect I’ll need to help dig the car out of the snow just so we can make our way down to the home of a family friend where we usually spend our Christmas dinners. There’s always an annual poker tournament. And I always lose. After a big delicious dinner of lamb, ribs, and other assorted Chinese cuisine, I’m off to hang out a friend’s place before we make our annual trip to lineup at Best Buy to pick up Boxing day swag.

Mental note: Next time I get pocket Jacks, I’m auto folding.

7 Death Knight Blogs

7 Death Knight Blogs

There’s a distinct lack of Death Knight blogs out there at the moment. But with the combination of Google, Blog Azeroth, and the Twitterati, I’ve managed to scrounge up a few. If you just started a Death Knight and you’re looking for some pointers or if want to read up on some Death Knighty adventures, try these on for size.

Stoppable Force: He doesn’t always blog about Death Knights, but there is still some stuff for aspiring Lich Kings everywhere.

stoppable-force

Death Knight Tactics

deathknight-tactics

Deekow

deekow

Kova and Mortition’s Death Knight Travels: This blog hasn’t been updated in a few weeks.

dkhavok.com

Skeleton Jack

skeleton-jack

wotdk

wotdk

deathknight.info

deathknightdotinfo

Do you have any Death Knight blogs you’d like to add?

Chain Heal Rises as Circle of Healing Falls

Chain Heal Rises as Circle of Healing Falls

This is a guest post by Lodur, a blogger from Way of the Totem. Today, he examines the nerf to Circle of Healing, the impact it will have to Resto Shamans and how they may need to compensate.

The patch notes can be found here: PTR Patch Notes!

This is going to be important to us in several ways, not least of which is the change to some of the other classes. I’d like to offer my opinion on it. Let’s take a look at priests.

Holy: Circle of Healing now has a 6 second cooldown.

This is going to be extremely important to us. The fact that Circle of Healing is getting a 6 second cooldown is huge. My current experience with CoH raiding priests is they blow group healing out of the water. One of our Shadow priests rolled over to Holy to fill a gap for raiding in 25 man Naxx. With no gear change, he was able to blow past me in healing output while maintaining mana. Now I’m not suggesting that we need to be the kings of the roost, nor am I doubting the abilities of this priest, but it was a difference of almost half a million pure healing output over the next closest.

In a normal raid you would find a few percentage difference between the top 4 or 5. maybe 1-2% difference. Between healer in first and second was a whopping 6%. As someone who has poured over stats and combat logs after raids trying to figure out how to keep the tanks up while maintaining the raid’s health, let me tell you, that’s a lot. The higher the discrepancy between places, the more over-healing there is, the more mana issues during the actual encounter is, and so on.

This "nerf" to CoH to me, is an attempt to try to bring the spell back into line and make healing more consistent. I can’t say I didn’t see it coming, I do however think 6 seconds is going to be a bit much of a cooldownn, but only time will tell as the PTR is being run. I’ve been pestering my priests about it, so we’ll see what they say. In the meantime it means we should be preparing for another reliable group heal not being as powerful or present as it was before, we should be ready to pick up the slack so to speak.

I’ve gone on and on about the joys of haste, you can see it here For those that don’t remember there is a formula we follow to figure out the cast time of your spells and how it’s affected by haste. And look, here it is!

newcasttime

Importance of Haste Rating

If you want to spam your chain heals and heal a raid it’s time to start looking at your haste gear and to start looking at your glyphs.

First of all you should be shooting for somewhere near 350-400 haste. 340 haste with a Wrath of Air totem will net you a 2.2 second Chain Heal cast time.

Your goal should be around a 2.0s cast time on your chain heal.

This will allow for your Global Cool Down to be up but also allow you to keep a constant stream of CH casting. By using the formula above we see that 2.0 seconds = 820 haste rating, however one must take into account the haste around you in a raid. The trend of almost every raiding guild I’ve seen has been to include at least one Retribution Paladin, and lets face it, Balance Druids have come a long way since vanilla and have found their way into raids quite frequently.

I’m going to make the assumption that you’ll have at least a Ret Paladin. So we can assume you’ll have 350ish haste, Wrath of Air totem down and a Ret paladin, your chain heal will be 2.2 seconds. Not bad. If you snag yourself the all holy Egg (which currently does not have a cooldown on the proc) the proc will put you at a 1.9 second cast time. This is good as this thing procs off just about everything. You can see more about the egg proccing in my post here. Now the reason you want to shoot for a 2.0 second cast time is other haste effects. Heroism / Bloodlust give you 30% increase in your casting speed. If you push too much haste, when you use it you will push yourself past your global cooldown timer, causing you to trip over your heals and keeps you from being able to heal effectively.

Glyphs

To go with your haste gear you should also be looking at glyphs. If you are going to be raid healing I have three major suggestions.

  • Glyph of Water Mastery: Will help keep your mana supply coming in good order (30% counts for a lot more then you would normally assume),
  • Glyph of Chain Heal: Necessary. The extra target just makes the spell even more effective. This again allows it to claim the title as most mana efficient heal around.
  • Glyph of Earthliving Weapon This one is a must for a few reasons. First, the Earthliving Weapon ability can proc of any heal, and each target of Chain Heal counts towards it proccing. Second, is the fact that the egg procs off HoT ticks. So, with chain heal delivering Earth Living to everyone and ensuring you have 4 targets and more then likely a HoT up at all times, your egg should be giving you an almost constant 505 haste. Pushing you right at 1.9 – 1.8s chain heals constantly allowing you to keep that raid nice and topped off.

Mana Regen

Now I’m sure many of you are asking "but what about mana regen?"

MP5, the magic shaman stat, is still present. If you are collecting gear based on haste, much of it also comes with a healthy dose of MP5. With that said, it is well within reason to have around 350 haste while still being able to pull off close to 550 mp5 while in combat. Once you reach your haste number, start getting a few pieces with MP5 in spades and everything will be fine.

On the topic of MP5 we do have a change on the horizon that will help with this.

On the PTR currently we see these:

Healing Way: Now only one application is required to reach full benefit. No longer stacks.

Improved Water Shield: Lesser Healing Wave now has a reduced chance to trigger this talent WOOOOOO.

First, of all lets talk improved Water shield. On a crit of Lesser Healing Wave or Riptide It will consume a charge of water shield, giving you the mana return as if you were hit. This is fine and dandy but in the heat of a battle, there are times you won’t be able to give up the Global Cool Down to put it back up instead of healing. A reduction in the proc rate down from 100% is very very good as it allows the orbs to stay up giving use more passive mana regeneration, which will come out to more overall MP5 in the long run.

Second, the change to Healing Way means we only have to plop down one Healing Wave instead of the 3 we normally would have, which means we can conserve that mana and still get the full effect.

Front loading the effect was an amazing move on the part of Blizzard.

That’s it for my thoughts on this patch at this time. I’m currently waiting on a response from my priests as far as their input goes on the talent change, but in the meantime, be prepared to step up and fill the gap.

Happy healing!

Systemic Looting of Your 25 Naxx Pug

Pickup raids. We can’t live with ‘em and we can’t live without ‘em. For the players that don’t have the scheduling ability to raid with a guild, they have no choice but to raid with 24 other players ranging from the chivalrous to the downright nasty.

Last week, I had the opportunity to participate in a Naxx 25 pug on my alt Shaman which went somewhat smoothly for the most part. Patchwerk and Four Horsemen absolutely stoned the raid and we had to call it later.

Loot System

Here’s how loot was handled and I’d like to hear your thoughts on this.

1 Tier roll for entire night
1 Need/1 Greed for Spider and Plague Wing combined
1 Need/1 Greed for Military and Abomination Wing combined

I felt that it was simple and that it worked. With the amount of loot that drops in Naxx, this was simple, fast, and effective. Players were limited to only one tier piece, period. But having four other roles helped prevent sharding of gear and helped spread the loot around more than if it was just 1 need, 1 greed.

My Elemental Shaman clocked in at ~1900 DPS on Patchwerk. I got some more work to do, it seems.

Handling loot in pugs is a lot more different then handling loot in guilds.

Have you participated in any Heroic raids lately? How has loot been handled?

10 Tips for the New Discipline Priest

Last week, I surveyed the Plus Heal forums (Priest regiment) for any quick advice they’d like to offer for any Priests that had just turned Discipline (like me). This is what they came up with:

The Tips

Remember the four Ps, and use them! Penance, Power Word: Shield, Pain Suppression, and Power Infusion.

- Joveta

It’s not your job to top the healing charts; you’re there to prevent crisis moments.

- Wistoovern

Play to your strengths; don’t be afraid to chain cast. If it’s truly warranted, you are at your strongest. Penance does not consume Borrowed Time yet still benefits from it

- Arcady

Your job is about damage mitigation, and speed healing.

- Melchizedeck

Power Word: Shield does so many things for you. If you’re not keeping that up consistently on your tank, you might be missing out on some emergency opportunities!

- Kitts

During fights that you know involve AoE damage, I’ve found it very helpful to use my spare time to toss PW:S on the DPS. They end up being protected if they get hit by something, and you really get to abuse Borrowed Time.

- Juzaba

As far as the AoE damage is concerned, I’ve found that PW:S on myself plus a Holy Nova followed immediately by a nice Prayer of Healing really did wonders for everyone’s health box.

- Seriah

You benefit more from MP5 than spirit. It goes against everything you have learned as a holy priest, but because you chain cast there is no chance to cheat the five second rule with Clearcasting (you don’t even get this) and Inner Focus.

- Takka

With the threat generation being made easier for tanks, any tank crying about the bubble should scare you and make you think twice about healing them in a group or raid.

- Beanne

You can also use Renew & PoM without consuming Borrowed Time, if you still want to save it for a Flash or Greater Heal.

- dunia

I turned Discipline for the weekend and had a lot of fun with it PvPing. It took me a while to get used to it at first, but I really freakin’ enjoyed it! I hope these tips from the more experienced Discipline Priests will benefit you as it did for me. I’ll definitely be tapping their minds in the future for more advice.

Don’t forget to read more about Discipline healing from guest writer Seriah that went up earlier!