Want More to Read? Try Google Reader’s Bundles

Want More to Read? Try Google Reader’s Bundles

g-bundle

Google Reader comes with subscriptions for many different topics on the internet. These are called bundles. These bundles can contain a varying amount of feeds from blogs related to that topic. It’s useful if you want to find a set of blogs to help fill up your reader but you don’t happen to know which blogs are good (or blogs that even exist!). Bundles tend to provide a nice place to start.

In Google Reader, click Browse for stuff on the left pane (highlighted above). At the top you will see Recommendations and Browse. Click the Browse tab. Then click Browse all bundles. There you can subscribe to packages that happen to catch your interest!

If your curious about what bundles I subscribe to:

  • Branding
  • Copywriting
  • Blogging
  • Freelance
  • Hockey
  • Journals (Yeah, the academic kind)
  • Leadership
  • Legal
  • Marketing
  • Psychology
  • Usability
  • Web Design
  • WordPress
  • World of Warcraft
  • Writing

It didn’t actually hit home until I saw it. It turns out my blog is liked by Google enough to be included with their “bundle” for World of Warcraft.

What on earth were they thinking?

I remember Lassirra mentioning this to me last month. Or the month before that. Fascinating! Speaking of which, she’s set up a new layout. Go check her out. The Hunter’s Mark has officially gone environmentally friendly.

To all you young bloggers out there, the key ingredient to blogging is a strong work ethic! Keep writing and success follows.

Lifebloom nerf for 3.1: WTF?

Lifebloom nerf for 3.1: WTF?

dew_on_leaves_banner

I thought I was having a nice Friday afternoon, and so I said to myself, “Self, why don’t we read a little Elitist Jerks forums before we leave work?” Good idea, right? Not so much. Here’s a little jewel, quoted from the European forums of all places, for your reading pleasure:

• Lifebloom: Mana cost of all ranks doubled. When Lifebloom blooms or is dispelled, it now refunds half the base mana cost of the spell per application of Lifebloom, and the heal effect is multiplied by the number of applications.

Fortunately, my leafy friends have already been at work, and GC has made some responses. Here is the discussion–it’s actually quite instructive and I feel like I learned a little bit after reading the whole thing. The surprise, actually, is how constructive the community is being–sucking up, I guess, versus Ghostcrawler’s uncharacteristically snarky attitude. GC seems to think we have all been triumphing over an OP Lifebloom and just waiting on a nerf. In my experience, that’s just not the case.

Why Oh Why Did this Happen to Us?

The stated reason for the efficiency nerf to Lifebloom is, quite simply, to de-incentivize stacking the spell on multiple tanks. Unfortunately, the nerf targets single tank stacking as well. From the math, it becomes horribly inefficient to refresh Lifebloom after the initial triple stack. In the future–especially in a mana-scarce environment–we will need to manage both the bloom and the roll, instead of now just worrying about the roll.

Most posters believe that the bloom of Lifebloom will be mostly overheal. I concur. There are many situations where my Lifebloom blooms. Sometimes I refresh too early, but sometimes, well, I’m too late. The “too late” problem is exponentially more likely to occur in busy fights with lots of movement or sources of damage. Yes, I know, I’m a bad druid. I use Grid to display my current Hots, but I’m not running a big splashy HoT timer like I used to in BC. I can tell you that the bloom of my Lifeblooms tends to wash out at around 1% of my effective heal in any given fight.

Who’s Facerolling Lifebloom Now?

This nerf really puzzles me. Are any of you, dear readers, topping healing meters by rolling on multiple tanks? That used to be me–back in Hyjal. Most of the current fights are either one-tank only, see me raid healing, or require so much movement (Sarth 3D) that facerolling LB gets to be impossible. I used to love stacking LB on 4 tanks–it felt dynamic, and the contribution of the heals was large enough in proportion to the tanks’ health that I felt like I was doing something. Now, not so much. The proportion of the tank’s total health that a triple-stacked LB is able to heal has decreased, such that Lifebloom looks like it’s not doing anything. I’ve spent some time looking at my WWS v. my guildies, especially when another druid outperforms me on the same assignment. It looks like right now Lifebloom is doing a decent job raid healing, but it’s usually not triple-stacked or rolled. It’s doing a lot of healing on tanks, but Regrowth is doing even more.

Maybe Ulduar is Hyjal 2.0 with four tanks in play. That’s the only setup I can imagine where this change would be absolutely necessary in order to keep resto druids from having a distinct advantage over other healers. That’s bad–a lot of guilds choose their number of tanks based on content, and right now you need a maximum of three. I wonder where everyone’s going to find their fourth?

Goodbye, Lifebloom?

The saddest thing about this change is that it adds yet another thing for druids to time perfectly. I’m in the fair category at perfect timing–I’m more into using my HoTs as a set-it-and-forget-it type heal. As such, Rejuvenation is my favorite spell, and if there’s a silver lining here, it’s that I’m about to actually be rewarded for casting it instead of kicking for using it. Right now, Rejuvenation is a poor bet–it’s going to get overhealed, and in the current environment, the numbers show a single Lifebloom to be more effective as a raid heal due to its faster tick. Presumably, the change to mana regen will be enough to tone down the endless sniping and spamming that goes on now. Right now, it’s very easy to pad the meters by ignoring your healing assignment in favor of whoever’s lowest or taking damage, but in the future I look for tighter assignments to be the norm.

However, my head already hurts contemplating what I believe will be the new use of Lifebloom: stacking on the MT to three and letting it bloom, and then immediately stacking again. It could be all-Loatheb, all the time–we’ll have to refresh our 3-stack selectively in order to time the bloom of Lifebloom to a point where the burst will be needed, or at least we’ll feel compelled to try.

Sure, the best restos will do that. Others will simply start to play sloppy. My healing, worst case scenario, could go something like this: I’ll cast whatever number of Lifeblooms from 1-3 that I feel like on the MT and then go do other stuff. Sometime later, I’ll get back to my target and say hey! Why don’t I stack on you again, using up a lot of GCDs in the process? Because I didn’t pay attention to timing, my blooms will be 100% overheal, and because the tank didn’t always have 3X Lifebloom as a buffer, he came close to dying a couple of times. And at the end of the fight, there I’ll be, hanging down at the bottom of the meters, standing alone, like the cheese in the Farmer in the Dell song. I’ll end fights wondering if I did anything worthwhile at all, besides, of course, the obligatory Wild Growth cast every time it’s up. Man, I wish I had started working on my shaman like I intended to six weeks ago!

It might be easiest just to take Lifebloom off the bar. After all, there are druids who stopped using it after the last round of nerfs. It might take down my potential effective healing, but it might be worth it just to have a little more breathing room. After all, I decided not to play my Affliction warlock at all in the expansion because her expanded DoT rotation got to be too much to handle. They’ve just made her easier to play by eliminating Siphon Life–now why would they do something to a HoT class that has an opposite effect? However, if I, as a tank healer, take Lifebloom out of my rotation, I miss out on the full bonus to glyphed Nourish, which is shaping up to be 3.1′s prize pig. What’s a poor weepy willow to do?

On Change

I usually like change, but this time it’s a little different. I had to relearn my class for Wrath, and I have to say, I preferred the TBC Lifebloom-heavy healing model. I felt important, and what I did for the tanks seemed dynamic and useful. I learned to work with the limitations on my rotation and my movement–I was good at that. Now that I can do anything, I’m less likely to know what to do! I’m overburdened by choice already. Adding one more thing to manage–and at that, a burst heal that happens 8 to 10 seconds after the original cast and requires three more GCDs to be spent after it–in an already full rotation–just seems daunting.

Get Rich or Heal Trying: How to Make Money via Dailies

Get Rich or Heal Trying: How to Make Money via Dailies

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This is a guest post by Sientina discussing earning gold in WoW as a healer.

I’m Sientina, and I heal things to death. You see that warrior over there? He’s been trying to kill me for the last 4 minutes and I’m healing away all his damage, waiting for help to arrive.  Sure, I could probably kill him… eventually, but I rolled a healing class for a reason. I don’t kill things. I don’t grind elementals for eternals. The thing is, raiding takes its toll. I have reagents to buy, armor to repair, and hair to cut when my old style isn’t working for me anymore. What’s a girl to do when she has money issues and no sugar daddy?

I could just heal the daily heroic for cash but if I don’t want to commit to a full heroic run, I can do a few dailies instead and still have the gold for the raid tonight. Besides, have you seen those dungeons? They need to fire their cleaning staff. I end up with more cobwebs in my hair then hair products, and I use a lot of hair products. For a style this good, there needs to be money rolling in. These dailies keep my hair free of cobwebs and my gear free of blood and gore.

Icecrown

Stop by your respective airships and pick these quests up.

Capture More Dispatches / Keeping the Alliance Blind – shoot down 6 scouts just west of Aldur’thar.
That’s Abominable! / That’s Abominable! – Kill an abom in the broken front for his guts and use your newly made Frankenstein creation to blow the undead to pieces.
The Solution Solution / Volatility – Loot some helms, armor, and bones and blow a Frostbrood Skytalon sky-high.
If you’ve unlocked enough quests to have the tabard of the Knights of the Ebon Blade, head to the Shadow Vault for 2 more dailies.
Vile Like Fire! – Grab a proto-drake and burn 8 buildings.  You can re-burn something already on fire, so it doesn’t matter how many others are around.
Shoot ‘Em Up – There are two buildings with harpoon launchers on the balcony. Pick a weapon and kill 15 drakes.  Make sure to grab group with anyone else at a harpoon, you’ll both be done sooner.
Both Alliance and Horde have their own assault point in Ymirhiem.  Join them to help their cause in a non-killing sort of fashion.  Horde, you’ll report to the northern edge while Alliance will be on the eastern side.
Assault by Air / Assault by Air – Grab the transport and hit the spear guns with the blinding shot to stay alive til all four of your infiltrators are dropped.
King of the Mountain / King of the Mountain – Jump up the mountain and plant the flag.  You can click for your next jump before you land so you can scale vertical walls with ease.

Sholazar Basin

For those Honored with Oracles:

Appeasing the Great Rain Stone – Hop around with your little green friend and look for sparklies on the ground.  After he digs them up, loot them.
Song of Fecundity – Go west to the Maker’s shelf and blow the horn around 8 piles of dirt.
Song of Reflection – Go to the top of each Pillar and use the digeridoo at each crystal.
For those Honored with Frenzyheart…
Chicken Party! – Click on 12 chickens or net big groups of them.  You don’t have to dismount to net or gather the chickens up, so catch them rodeo style.

Storm Peaks

You will have to unlock the Sons of Hodir quests to get these. Part of them are Sons of Hodir Dailies, and will give you rep towards your shoulder enchants.  Others are from Brunnhildar. Talk to Gretta the Arbiter to start them.

Thrusting Hodir’s Spear – Only available at Honored. Find a wyrm and slay him using the special cast bar.  Once you get the hang of killing the wyrm, it’ll take you about 5 minutes tops for 16 gold and 500 rep.
Everfrost – This isn’t a daily, but when you’re out and about and you see an everfrost chip, loot it.  Its a free 13 gold and then 7 gold for repeats.  You can do this as many times as you find chips and sometimes someone in general chat will be willing to pay you for the location of one.  If not… more rep for you.
Back to the Pit – Grab a warbear and beat 6 other bear-back riders in combat.
Maintaining Discipline – Beating slaves couldn’t be easier.  If they choose to fight back, you might have to kill one or two.

Grizzly Hills

The Alliance and Horde fight over the Blue Sky Logging Grounds.  Thankfully we can assist.

Pieces Parts / Making Repairs – Loot gears and springs off the ground.  The opposite factions npc’s won’t attack you, but enemy players might.
Life or Death / Overwhelmed! – Bandage 15 of your forces.
Shredder Repair / Shred the Alliance – Shredder time! Use the speed boost and get your machine out of there.  As a note, the keys you get from the quest reward will let you use shredders down in Venture Bay.

Dragonblight

Defending Wyrmrest Temple – Fly to the shrine, disable it and kill all opposing dragonflight in your way.  Simple? Yes… but you can up the ante by trying to complete Rapid Defense as well.

With dailies to keep this girl independent and her hair the best in Dalaran, I’m as carefree as bird. If you’re needing a break from that dreary old dungeon crawl, try a different way to get the gold you need.  Unless the main tank is cute and available. That’s a different situation.

Matt’s Hodir Impressions

Matt’s Hodir Impressions

hodir

First, check out this awesome video by Siha. Some great teaser footage regarding the Hodir encounter. You can see me around the 22 second mark. I’m running away to the bottom right corner of the screen. Great choice of music, to boot!

To all the players who said Blizzard didn’t know how to create challenging content.

You guys are in for a treat.

At around 3 PM Pacific, it was announced that Hodir would soon be available for testing. In fact, he would be open at 4 PM. That left me an hour to scramble the players necessary to give it a shot. I knew there was no way I’d be able to field a full 25 man raid group. Conquest managed to bring in 6 players to jump in. I posted on Twitter looking for volunteers. No avail. I checked my GMail for online contacts. Apathy was free. Quick glance on AIM? Siha was free. After 90 minutes of struggling with UIs, server crashes and the like, we were one of the first groups that were able to zone in. The entire zone is quite breath taking. Check out some of the shots I sent into WoW Insider.

WoWScrnShot_022609_171253 After my making my way through most of the instance where we pass through the exterior lightning charged towers (where the Flame Leviathan is, no doubt) we enter a door that takes us into another part of the area. It looks like we hit the inner sanctum. The main chamber branches off into a multitude of rooms which takes your party to different bosses. Naxxramas has four wings. Ulduar has many different wings. I was’t able to get a count. But I think there were at least 5 or so hallways that led out. We managed to find Hodir with little difficulty in a circular cavern.

And we were joined by Daelo! Poor guy! He’s the lead encounter designer for Blizzard. General chat exploded the moment he announced his presence. People were asking him to unstuck them from various areas inside the instance. It got to the point where he had to bring in his alter ego (Daelotwo) to help with the unsticking process.

omgdaelo

What you’ll find is a large, oversized blue Dwarf-like individual. He’s got four NPCs encased in ice in front of him. Looks like they are integral to the encounter somehow. Our Death Knight tank starts the dancing process of kiting him around. We kind of deduced there was a Keristraza like ability where players had to keep moving. Siha and I were the only healers. We danced around. She covered the main tank (our Death Knight) while I tried to handle the rest of the raid.

 

 

For the past several years, we have all been conditions to aim the camera toward the floor. Illidari Council especially taught us to get out of fires. Blizzard has thrown us a curveball. This time, the raid need only look up. If you see snow, look out below as a chunk of ice is going to fall from the sky!

We barely lasted 2 minutes. But oh my was it such a blast!

WoWScrnShot_022609_171939I have to say something on a side note. It’s an exhilarating feeling to come to a new boss for the first time with zero idea of the boss does. It’s interesting in the fact that as players one of the first things we have to do is figure out what abilities and attacks the boss uses. Once we iron that out, we isolate what we can do or what the environment around us can do to help counteract boss abilities. I’ve never really been at the forefront of progression before. Literally. Bosses in the past have been done with explanations from other players or strategy guides or videos. For the first time, everyone is more or less on an even keel because no one knows what the heck is going on. There’s a huge rush after the fact where everyone chimes in trying to deduce what just killed them. Then theres a myriad of suggestions on how to go about preventing or adjusting for it. We don’t actually know what works. I mean testing raid content is like a big giant algeba problem: It’s literally guess and check.

As far as healing goes, we didn’t last long enough to get a good handle on healing. This instance feels like Zul’Aman: Reloaded (in terms of relative difficulty from Karazhan up).

Notes and observations

4 frozen NPCs in the middle of the room. Of the 4, you can break up to 2 on Normal and all 4 on Heroic. They assist the raid and hand out buffs.

Breaking out the Moonkin offers a haste buff to the raid (Unsure if its spell haste, haste, or both types of haste). You currently have to stand on the circle of light in order to use it.

On Normal, Hodir has 10 million health. On Heroic, around 30 million.

His attacks are melee and frost based.

Frost novas are dispelable. I believe they are cleansable as well. Hooray for magic effects.

This encounter is inspired by Keristraza in the sense that players have to move around to reset the damaging frost aura. It starts off at 200 initially and then continues to double to 400, then 800, then 1600 and so forth.

After the initial 45 seconds, Hodir does an ability called Flash Freeze. It’s a 9 second cast capable of nuking everyone in the room regardless of line of sight. It is possible to fully resist it. If it connects, you get encased in a chunk of ice for 5 minutes. The only other way out is to get busted out by DPS. Don’t forget that when you’re frozen, the aura is still on you.

Frozen Blows: Physical damage reduced by 70% but attacks deal 17750 additional Frost damage.

Special thanks

I’d like to extend a hearty thanks to the brave players who were willing to wipe with me.

Eridan – WTB more soulshards *grin*
Siha – Being online at the right time. Probably would not have gone in without her healing presence.
Wukki – Helping me with the notes and boss observations (and doing some research on her own)
Apathy Inc – I forgot your blog address again
Superkathoid – For offering her services as DPS even though I was already full on DPS :(

I plan on leading another team back in there tomorrow (Friday) at around 3 PM PST. We’re setup on Broxigar. Iron Council is scheduled for 4 PM PST. If you’re interested, I’ll on the PTR around then to get my present guild organized. I’ll most likely need an extra set of hands. You’ll recognize me on my character (Matticus).

If you’re interested, follow me on Twitter. Or else bookmark my Posterous (or subscribe). I’ll be updating my Posterous more often with screenshots and a live braindump of everything going on.

In hindsight, I shouldn’tve formed the group the PvE server. Way too many people.

3.1 PTR and Shamans, Lodur’s Initial Thoughts.

3.1 PTR and Shamans, Lodur’s Initial Thoughts.

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So the PTR is upon us and Shamans have a few changes to contend with. For those of you who haven’t been following the changes I’ll post the notes here before I give my comments on them so far. I’ll only give a list of the ones that affect restoration shamans but the complete list can be found Here

Shaman

  • Bloodlust/Heroism: Cooldown reduced to 5 minutes, but Sated and Exhausted now last 10 minutes.
  • Poison Cleansing Totem and Disease Cleansing Totem have been merged into ” Cleansing Totem. ” Cleansing Totem pulses every 3 sec, down from 5.
  • Talents
    • Restoration
  • Ancestral Awakening: This talent now accounts for your ineffective healing, rather than effective.
  • Cleanse Spirit now has a new icon.
  • Riptide: This spell has a new icon.

Bug Fixes

  • Tremor Totem: Now correctly pulses every 3 sec, up from 1 sec.

I really like the combining of totems so far. I’ve been begging for totems to be less cumbersome for ages now, and it’s finally starting to happen! I think this is going to prove especially nice in encounters where you have poison and diseases flowing around. Just drop one totem and like our buddies at Ronco with their Showtime cooker, you can set it and forget it. Tremor totem is also being fixed. While I know some of you are going to be sad about it no longer pulsing every second on the second, let me tell you this is a good thing. First of all I don’t know if you’ve had this happen yet, but I’ve been having tremor totem completely fail me as a result of this bug. It will be down, there will be a dispellable fear, I’ll be on top of the totem and even after it “ticks” I’m still running around like a Shaman with my Totem cut off! Right now on the PTR everything is back to normal with this totem apparently.

One change I’m not looking forward to is the Change to Bloodlust / Herosim. I might be missing it but it almost doesn’t make sense to me. Personally I think how the spell works on live is preferable overall to the way it was changed for 3.1.

Ancestral Awakening change is very interesting, and a significant buff to the talent. Ineffective healing, if my understanding of it is correct, is more then just your overheal. Ineffective healing is any healing lost from the initial cast/roll of the spell. Example would be, your tank has a healing debuff that reduces the incoming heals by 50%. When you cast your spell lets say you roll a 9,000 crit heal. The debuff takes it to 4,500 healing, making 4.5k of it ineffective. This talent change would count the whole 9,000 heal if I’m understanding  this correctly. This also means that if I roll a 20,000 crit heal (to borrow from my previous post =P ) That’s going to be a 6k heal on someone else in the raid. This is going to require some testing, I’ll let you know more after I’m done running this one through the ringer.

On the purely cosmetic aspect I’m pretty excited about Cleanse Spirit and Riptide getting new icons. Lets be honest, the ones we have now are pretty lame. I’ll post screenies of them later on.

Glyphs

With new new patch we see some new glyphs pop up for the Shaman of many persuasions. Here’s what you have to look forward too.

  • Glyph of Thunderstorm *new* — Reduces the cooldown on Thunderstorm by 7 sec.
  • Glyph of Feral Spirit *new* — Your spirit wolves gain an additional 30% of your attack power.
  • Glyph of Riptide *new* — Increases the duration of Riptide by 3 sec.
  • Glyph of Earth Shield *new* — Increases the amount healed by your Earth Shield by 20%.
  • Glyph of Totem of Wrath *new* — When you cast Totem of Wrath, you gain 30% of the totem’s bonus spell power for .
  • Glyph of Hex *new* — Increases the damage your Hex target can take before the Hex effect is removed by 20%.
  • Glyph of Stoneclaw Totem *new* — Your Stoneclaw Totem also places a damage absorb shield on you, equal to 4 times the strength of the shield it places on your totems.

Nice additions, but the restoration ones are only ok. The Riptide one is pretty meh, 3 extra seconds on it are not as good as some of the other things we can glyph for (LHW, Watershield etc). The Earth shield one is really good. Too good to be true. I foresee that 20% dwindling to a much smaller number, especially considering how our talents currently affect the spell. Glyph of Hex is interesting. The spell is good for what it is, I use it quite a bit in 5 man heroic groups and I’ve found myself using it in 25 man raiding as well (Kel mind control targets make great frogs). Having my target take a bit extra damage before breaking could be quite handy.  I don’t know how I feel about Stoneclaw totem. Right now at max level it has 1620 health, it’s effect protects your totems by absorbing any damage done to them back to the Stoneclaw. By all appearances it would seem that the Glyph includes you in that bubble, and if it is 4 times the current amount, that’s 6480. That’s not a whole heck of a lot, and it seems that if someone was enterprising enough they would just attack your totems instead of you. This Glyph will probably not be used if it stays as is.

Minus the Heroism / Bloodlust nerf (and yes it is a mighty nerf) the rest seems pretty good. The streamlining of totems is pretty awesome, the Earth Shield glyph is fantastic for as long as it lasts and the Ancestral Awakening change makes me downright giddy. I’ll have more detailed information after this weekend. Lodur is copied over and ready to roll, time to see what we can do with our new cookies. =D

Please feel free to share your input or any thoughts you have on these changes

Until next time, Happy Healing.

Thoughts on Rapture and Mana Regen

Thoughts on Rapture and Mana Regen

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I wanted to put some thoughts together on the post 3.1 Rapture ability and our overall mana regen. A lot of players have contacted me and wondered why I thought it was a buff and asked what it meant for their mana regeneration. Why am I so optimistic about something that’s going to tank our regeneration?

Two key concepts

Mana regen is but one important piece to the whole puzzle. But here are two important concepts:

  • Regen: Your ability to grain the resources you need to perform your skills.
  • Obstacles: This is stuff that makes you use your skills and drains your resources.

We have access to half the puzzle right now. We sort of know what our mana regeneration mechanics are going to be like (in theory).

But we presently don’t know is under what conditions they’ll be stressed. We don’t know what our opposition is like yet. We don’t know how combat’s going to be in Ulduar. We don’t know the fights, we don’t know bosses, we really don’t know anything.

Calm down.

This is the public test realm. Players on there are supposed to provide honest feedback about what they feel works and what doesn’t. I’m not complaining about any of the changes yet because I haven’t been able to test them in combat. I don’t have any healing dummies, unfortunately.

Here’s the new Rapture:

Rapture ( Tier 8 ) revamped. Now a 3 point talent. When your Power Word: Shield is completely absorbed or dispelled you are instantly energized with 1.5% of your total mana, and you have a 33% chance to energize your shielded target with 2% total mana, 8 rage, 16 energy or 32 runic power. This effect cannot occur once every 12 seconds.

Fully talented, the 1.5% of total mana becomes 2.5% of total mana and the 33% chance becomes a 100% chance to energize. I’m not sure if the second effect applies to Priests who cast it on themselves. I think the 12 second limitation effect is for the latter component not the Priest’s mana energized component. So if you’re shielding 3 tanks and they wear off one after the other, that would be 3 separate activations of the mana return. Only one of your tanks would get the benefit from the 8 rage.

I just can’t test that theory out right now.

Anyway, it’s a buff in the sense that the players we Shield will gain a return of some sort to their power. Warriors will no longer have a reason to cry and request zero shields on themselves. You are getting bubbled whether you like it or not.

With extra gravy.

We are now glorified battery chargers.

On the other hand, you could always click it off.

I’m okay with nerfs

They can nerf our regen if it’s proven that we (as Priests) don’t need it. Decently geared players don’t have to watch their mana as much. I’m not potting, I’m not hitting my Hymn of Hope, I’m not asking for Innervates and I’m not breaking out the Shadowfiend because they aren’t necessary right now.

When does it become a problem?

If our nerfs our active and we’re hitting all of our consumables and mana regen abilities and we’re still running out of gas? That’s when it becomes a problem.

Holy changes

Serendipity has lost its mana gaining flare. This is supposed to be counteracted by the revised Holy Concentration.

Holy Concentration (Tier 7) changed to: Your mana regeneration is increased by 16/32/50% for 8 sec after you critically heal with Flash Heal, Greater Heal, Binding Heal or Renew. (Previously had a chance to grant clearcasting effect)

Beneficence started a thread on Plusheal regarding the new 3.1 mana regen mechanics. Be wary as it is numbers heavy. The bottom line from Bene:

The HC change itself strikes me as about even with it’s current iteration, by itself. Once you factor in the oo5sr changes that can result from that, it looks like a light nerf. The loss of serendipity’s mana restoring mechanic though, can be a pretty noticeable loss, even if you are relatively efficient.

Why so optimistic?

In my line of work, I kind of have to be. I have a fun job where I get to write about a game and a class I truly enjoy playing. Every buff, every nerf, every change I view as fascinating! It’s just another step in the evolution of the Priest. If all I did was zero in on nothing but nerfs, I’d end up being just a shell. I’m being optimistic because my sanity depends on it.

Ever watch or read the news lately?

There’s always a shooting. There’s always a homicide. Someone gets robbed. Someone gets sexually assaulted. Even in newspapers, you read about corruption and what’s wrong with our society today. Good news is lucky if it even makes it on to the side bars.

It’s depressing.

Now imagine what kind of blogger I would be if I approached every change negatively. If I said our class was getting wrecked left and right. If I told you to all reroll Paladin (heaven forbid). If I told you I was quitting the game. I’m sorry, but that’s not who I am. My glass is not half empty. It’s going to be completely full.

In the sense of the Priest, some parts of us are getting hit with nerfs. Other parts are getting buffs. We’re getting non stop changes.

A majority of us have yet to try out the changes in the situations where it matters: On the field.

And once I do, you’ll get an honest, zero BS assessment. I won’t bore you with numbers. It will be a straight up yes-or-no answer to the important question we’re all dying to know: Are we running out of mana in combat?

Besides, we’re apparently missing a few talents in the Disc tree.

For another point of view about Rapture, try this:

Priest Changes – Build 9626

Pulled from the fine folks at MMO Champion.

Discipline

  • Grace doesn’t reduce damage dealt to the target anymore but now increases the healing received from the Priest by 3% (Up from 2%)
  • Renewed Hope now also give you a 100% chance to reduce all damage taken by 3% for 20 sec to all friendly party and raid targets when you Power Word: Shield a friendly target.

I remember that Grace conflicted with a Paladin ability before (Improved Devotion Aura). Perhaps now this won’t be a problem. Don’t forget that Grace can only affect one target now.

Renewed Hope just got buffed in a big way. With Soul Warding (Reduced cost and cooldown of Power Word: Shield), Shields just improved even more. A damage reduction on a target? Even when the Shield is removed or falls off? Good stuff! My gut reaction is that we’ll be casting Shields a lot more often on more players.

Thoughts and initial impressions?

Lodur’s Response to the Screen Shot Challenge

Syd posted a challenge from Here at voodoo ventrues  in which our friends asked us to pick our 6th screen shot and blog about it. Well unlike Syd I don’t delete them very often, or rather ever. As you can imagine I have ones dating way back. This one was the only one listed as number 6 in my folder though.

Here it is in it’s full glory:

This goes back to the days of Black Wing Lair being fresh and new. I was playing my hunter (Abigail) back then and raiding as much as I could. Work back then kept me from being full time raider, but when I could I shot things. This was our second night of attempts against Nefarian and we made it into phase 3. I forget exactly how we exploded, but hunters found a corner and FD’d (thanks for the safe spot Zabos)  and watched as the rest of the raid exploded. One of our old mages Gno happened to die in such a way that it looked like his head had been bashed with debris. I remember thinking it was the greatest thing ever and laughing hysterically. I mean really, what’s funnier then a dead Gnome?

Doing this made me look through a bunch of my old screenshots. I have lots of fond memories from the game and about 3 years worth of accumulated screenies. It’s good to take a trip down memory lane every now and then.

So now for you guys, Who else will accept the challenge?!

3.1 PTR Notes: New Druid Glyphs

3.1 PTR Notes: New Druid Glyphs

broccoli-banner

I haven’t found time quite yet to log onto the PTR, but I have been anxiously following all the updates and changes on MMOchampion.com. If you’ve had your head in the sand somehow, go check out the new stuff here.

This morning’s post will be a short one, but I wanted to bring to all of your attention the awesomeness of the new Druid glyphs, particularly for resto.

Here’s what we’ve got:

Druid (Skills List / Talent + Glyph Calc.)
Glyph of Rebirth — Players resurrected by Rebirth are returned to life with 100% health. (Old: Increases the amount of health on a character brought back to life via Rebirth by 100%.)
Glyph of Starfall — Reduces the cooldown of Starfall by 90 sec. (Old: Increases the duration of Starfall by 2 sec.)
Glyph of Berserk *new* — Increases the duration of Berserk by 5 sec.
Glyph of Wild Growth *new* — Wild Growth now affects up to 6 targets.
Glyph of Nourish *new* — Your Nourish heals an additional 6% for each of your heal over time effects present on the target.
Glyph of Savage Roar *new* — Your Savage Roar ability grants an additional 6% bonus damage done.
Glyph of Typhoon *new* — Reduces the cooldown of your Typhoon spell by 3 sec.
Glyph of Barkskin *new* — Reduces the chance you’ll be critically hit by melee attacks by 1 to 0% while Barkskin is active.

Too Many Choices?

Up until now, there have been accepted “right” and “wrong” ways to glyph the restoration druid. With the current glyphs, most top-of-the-line restos use one of two combinations.

1. Swiftmend, Regrowth, Lifebloom
2. Swiftmend, Regrowth, Innervate

I am personally using Combo #2, though I would have replaced it by now if I hadn’t wanted to keep Innervate at least until my character copied to the PTR. Hopefully once there I can exploit the dual spec system with two Resto specs and test many of the Resto glyphs in raid situations.

However, based purely on guesswork, I give you the hot combos of the future:

1. Swiftmend, Wild Growth, Innervate.
This one says “raid healer” to me. However, people’s individual use of Swiftmend varies. It’s a combo type spell and it gets used directly in proportion, I’d think, to people’s ability to identify their own Rejuvenations on their UI. I am a very heavy user now, mostly because of the glyph.

2. Swiftmend, Regrowth, Lifebloom.
This combo is for the classic tank healer, usually assigned to Main Tanks.

3. Swiftmend, Regrowth, Innervate.
For the tank healer who sometimes runs short on mana.

4. Swiftmend, Nourish, Lifebloom.
Also for the tank healer, but for those who like either combos or shorter heals. This lets the druid use all her spells and depending on spec, could be a fairly mana-efficient combo.

5. Swiftmend, Nourish, Innervate.
For the efficiency expert. This druid will have mana left when everyone else is doing the twist and wishing they had their old OOFSR mana return values.

6. Swiftmend, Wild Growth, Lifebloom.
This combo is for the generalist who never knows what she’ll be doing in a given fight. However, she’s mana-confident.

7. Wild Growth, Lifebloom, Regrowth.
The WWS-obsessed. This druid has looked at what spells get used the most and has glyphed entirely based on the percentages. Substitute Nourish for Regrowth based on personal preference.

8. Wild Growth, Lifebloom, Innervate.
This combination is for the raid-healing druid who doesn’t use Swiftmend. She gets a scolding from me, but well, she’s probably in the majority. Swiftmend is currently our hardest-to-use spell, though its one of our most rewarding.

9. Regrowth, Lifebloom, Innervate
For the tank healer who does not use Swiftmend. Regrowth could substitute for Nourish based on preference. However, I can’t imagine this druid. Swiftmend is easiest to use on tanks and is our best save. Nature’s Swiftness + Healing Touch is nice, but it’s infrequent.

For me personally, #6 looks likely. As much as I love tank healing, the balance of healers in the guild has shifted and I’m usually needed on the raid. I am also going to try #5 and #1 if mana starts running low. I may also try out #7, but boy, would I miss Swiftmend.

Wow, we have a lot of choices. The only thing you won’t be doing is glyphing for both Regrowth and Nourish–the conditions of the glyphs contradict each other. The Nourish glyph wants you to use all your hots, including Regrowth, and finish with Nourish, while the Regrowth one encourages you to rely heavily on…guess what…Regrowth.

What are the rest of you going to glyph for in 3.1?

Hymn of Hope is Removed and New Power Infusion Graphic

Hymn of Hope is Removed and New Power Infusion Graphic

I checked.

I checked all possible trees (including Shadow but I didn’t screenshot that). Hymn of Hope is gone.

Yes, I know there was a new glyph added:

Glyph of Hymn of Hope *new*  — Your Hymn of hope provides 3 times the normal amount of mana per time, but its duration is 50% shorter.

But Hymn of Hope isn’t there and I have nothing new to learn from the trainer.

disc-tree holy-tree  base-line-tree

Below is the new Power Infusion graphic on my Shaman. It sort of looks like the Shaman’s Elemental Mastery but with a bit more flare to it.

pi-1

I’d say it blends with the Shaman set quite well!