Druids Love Conquest!

Druids Love Conquest!

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Just a quick one this lovely Friday morning. I’m showcasing a piece of commissioned art by Paint whiz Lagniappe. I requested a new Conquest logo with fuzzy kittehs and bunnehs, and boy did he deliver. I like to think the Broccoli is me, accompanied by my non-combat pet, Pookybuttons the tabby cat. I also love how the Moonkin is petting the bunny. All is peaceful in the animal kingdom–double Vanquisher must have dropped on every boss this week.

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Here’s the full masterpiece. I have my fingers crossed that Matt will pick this as our new logo…or at least print it up on a T-shirt. A broccoli stalk can dream, I suppose?

Do broccoli dream of electric ranch dressing?

Who knows? What I do know is that I have a definite love for all things silly.

Us v. Them: What can I do when guild members disagree?

Us v. Them: What can I do when guild members disagree?

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Yes, I’ll admit it. I’m writing this article as an excuse to showcase Conquest member Lagniappe’s amazing stick-figure artwork. In the midst of other business, Conquest is currently working on a new logo. In my mind, nothing is better than dead stick figures, except for maybe hungry stick figure kitties. Or stick figure vampire kitties. Anyway.

On Guild Drama

Inevitably, even very healthy guilds experience moments of dissent. An organization can easily split into factions, especially when the issue at hand takes on personal importance for the members involved. Right now we’re having some discussion and debate in Conquest over the role of achievements in raiding.

Syd’s Patented Disclaimer

Usually when my students want me to bend the rules, I blame “the department” and claim that I’m “neutral” towards their request. Sometimes it’s a way of hiding my real opinion, but usually it’s a cover for “deviating from standard procedure is a pain in the butt and I’d just rather not.” There’s a window into my personality, I think. I’m going to repeat it again. I’m very pleased not to be the final authority in my guild, because I don’t have to be the one to make this decision. However, that’s not going to stop me from writing about it!

The Achievement Drama

So what’s going on in Conquest? As we get closer to Ulduar and time runs out to complete the Glory of the Raider achievements for the Black Proto Drake reward, some disagreements have arisen among the raiders as to whether the harder achievements are worth trying for. I’ll go on the record saying that I’m “neutral”: and this time I mean that I understand both points of view. It can be very cool to get achievements, and they do require the raid to work harder. However, as implemented in the current raid content, most achievements are a little irrelevant. They don’t award better loot, and there’s no vanity reward either without going for the meta-achievement. For some players, there’s no incentive to extend the raid week for achievements’ sake.

The Allure of Achievements

The main argument for achievements is that they train the guild for harder content. Some people care about the vanity reward, but most of the overachieving guild members are just striving after perfection–there’s not a lot of obsessing about mounts or titles going on. Part of me understands this need for perfection. I think Larísa of the Pink Pigtail Inn is much more eloquent on the subject than I could be, so I’ll link you to her thoughts here.

The Downside

The question here is not “why aren’t we good enough to do achievements?” but rather “are achievements worth our time?” Conquest isn’t the most hardcore guild out there, but we’re capable of doing anything that we 1) plan for and 2) really want to do in the first place. When we fail at a certain achievement, I’m more likely to look at motivations than the skill of players as the cause. We’ve lost some players recently, and we’ve had others take a break. There’s a good reason for this–it happens any time the content goes “stale.” At the individual level, interest wanes, and the die-hards in the guild have to scramble to hold the house of cards that is any guild together until the pendulum swings in the other direction. The moment is coming when our old friends will return and good recruits will be easy to find–and it will coincide with the release of 3.1. However, it will be too late at that point to get a Black Proto Drake.

Pushing the Limits

While I’m sympathetic to the achievement-hungry players, the feats we have yet to accomplish are the very hardest: 6 minute Malygos and Immortal for everyone, and maybe a couple others. To push ourselves to do that now would be to complete those achievements while undermanned and while training new raiders. Our raid leader, who I have come to like and respect despite his caustic attitude, thought we were doing pretty well considering the team we were able to field. I concur. But I will repeat: if we can’t get 6-minute Malygos down now, it doesn’t mean we suck. It means that if we had wanted to do it, we should have started trying while we still had our best team on the field. We’ll do better at the Ulduar hard modes because there are built-in loot rewards for each of them. I know from my day job that it’s pretty much impossible to get people to do something for nothing.

Setting Goals

I think that a raiding guild should always have a goal. Maybe the leadership of Conquest (who are all, interestingly enough, in the we-don’t-care-about-achievements camp) should have made those clearer early on. If I were steering the ship alone (thank goodness I’m not), I would have said let’s work on one achievement per week. I don’t think we need to push ourselves to raid 4 days a week and wipe over and over when we could clear the content in 2. I always believe in the Middle Way–and that might mean one day set aside to Achieve, but not two.

Abstracting from the Situation

I’ve been sidelined from raiding–or doing anything at all–for the last few days, as I injured my cornea (ouch). I had a lot of time to think, and one of the things I thought about was the achievements issue. The bottom line for me is that my guild is important to me. I’ll do things to make them happy that I wouldn’t do otherwise–that darned no-spore Loatheb kill included. I’ll go along with the achievements and I won’t gripe about it. However, I’m going to take a more active role in governing the guild at moments like this. I can’t just defer to Matticus and our raid leader every time. They’re great, and they usually know what to do–but sometimes Professor Syd could be useful. I’ve had to mediate between factions in the classroom and faculty meetings, and if I’m not participating in the decision-making process in game, I’m shirking my responsibilities. In my last guild, I took on too much–I wanted to fix every problem myself, and it backfired big-time. However, now I have to be more active, and at least get involved in the debates. “Out to Lunch” is not a leadership philosophy–so I’m putting in my two cents, both here, on Conquest forums and in-game. Both for myself as an officer and for my guildies, moderation is the key lesson gaming has to teach us. If I have to print “The Middle Way” on a T-shirt and mail one to all the raiders, I will do it. It will also, by the way, have a cute kitty on it, so they can all think of me when they use it to wash their cars.

So, dear readers, how are your guilds dealing with achievements?

Shaman Tier 8 Bonuses

Lodur here to chime in on the Tier 8 set bonuses for Restoration Shamans. Matt posted them earlier, but I‘ll paste them here again for easy reference

Shaman

  • Shaman T8 Restoration 2P Bonus — Reduces the cooldown on Riptide by 1 sec.
  • Shaman T8 Restoration 4P Bonus — Reduces the cast time of Chain Heal by 0.2 sec.

 

So, lets take a gander here. Like many of the other sets, the two piece bonus has left me feeling a bit strange. This is different then what they’ve done with our 2 pieces in the past.  Lets take a look at the Tier 7 2 piece. 

Water Shield Boost

  •  Your Water Shield is 10% stronger 

That is a very very nice 2 piece. It’s a percentage, so if the amount of mana Water Shield returns goes up, this has that much more punch. Lets take this a step further and go back to the Tier 6 2 piece. 

Chain Heal Discount

  • Your Chain Heal ability costs 10% less mana. 

Again, same deal. A percentage that scales well with the abilities on hand. I know I used this set bonus well into Naxxramas healing and I was very sad to see it go.

This new 2 piece set bonus is interesting to me because its a flat amount, it doesn’t scale since a second is a second anyway you slice it. 1 second reduction brings the ability to a 5 second cooldown, which makes it like any of the shock spells with 5/5 reverberation. Having it available 1 second sooner is nice, I know I’ve wished I had it up that one second sooner many times (Malygos Vortex comes to mind). There is something that can take this a step up from decent however. Another recent Shaman change that has to do with a particular glyph available in the patch fits this set bonus quite handily. 

Glyph of Riptide — Increases the duration of Riptide by 6 sec. (Up from 3 sec)

This, with the 2 piece bonus gives us a 20 second hot, on a 5 second cooldown. I can definitely see that being useful, and if it stays at a 6 second increase, I’ll most assuredly pick one up. 

Next on the billet is the 4 piece set bonus.

It doesn’t seem like a lot up front, but I like this. I really really like this. Right now through moderate gearing (and taking on more crit to reach a balance of stats) Lodur is at 438 haste before Wrath of Air totem. 438 haste equates to roughly 13% which means Chain Heal right now is 2.2 seconds to cast for me without the totem, and 2.1 seconds with. This will let me bring it down to 1.9 second cast with only self buffs. Add Heroism / Bloodlust and a Retadin or Critchicken and thats about a second and a half cast time for chain heal, with only the global cooldown to worry about. With Glyphing and a decent amount of spell power you’re going to be hitting 4 people with sizeable heals that much faster.  This set bonus pushes us a bit further up the raid healing totem pole so to speak. 

While I’m here I’d also like to mention our new relic

Shaman T8 Restoration Relic — Increases the base amount healed by your chain heal by 243

Keep that relic in mind as you’re looking at the 4 piece set bonus and it’s just one more notch in the belt for swinging Chain Heals. 

Overall I’m pretty pleased with the itemization coming in 3.1. 
What do you think?

Till next time, Happy Healing

Lodur

T8 Set Bonuses Revealed

Post updated 1:42 AM
MMO Champion’s got the goods on the next level of tier 8 bonuses. Let’s check it out and do some quick analysis shall we?

Priest

  • Priest T8 Healer 2P Bonus — Increases the critical heal chance of your Prayer of Healing by 10%.
  • Priest T8 Healer 4P Bonus — Casting Power Word: Shield also grants you 15 spell power for until cancelled. Increases spell power by 250 for 5 sec. (Source: Thottbot)

I’m not the most thrilled with the 2 piece. It’s not bad but it’s not that great, I don’t think. Although let’s not forget that Prayer of Healing is no longer restricted to the Priest’s current party. You definitely want to consider coupling this with the Prayer of Healing glyph. Having the extra crit chance means there’s a higher chance the glyph portion should tick for more.

Now the 4 piece is a real eyebrow raiser. I’m almost certain that’s a typo. More than likely, it’ll grant 150 spell power instead of 15. The second typo is towards the end. It sounds to me that either a) There’s going to be a duration on it. Probably 9 or 15 seconds. b) Until the Shield wears off of a target. This is a bonus that seems targeted towards Disc Priests. With talents like Soul Warding (Reduced cooldown of PW: Shield by 4 seconds and reduces the mana cost by 30%), I can see myself throwing shields around. It’d be mana inefficient, to be sure. But I’m chain casting it to maintain a spellpower boost. Of course, with the mana regeneration changes this might not be the most smartest idea. Anyway, I don’t think they’re quite finished with this set bonus yet guys.

Paladin

  • Paladin T8 Holy 2P Bonus — Your Holy Shock critical heals now also place a periodic healing effect on the target, healing for 15% of the Holy Shock’s heal amount over 9 sec.
  • Paladin T8 Holy 4P Bonus — Increases the damage absorbed by your Sacred Shield by 10%.

Any Paladins want to weigh in on these bonuses? How do these look to you guys?

Shaman

  • Shaman T8 Restoration 2P Bonus — Reduces the cooldown on Riptide by 1 sec.
  • Shaman T8 Restoration 4P Bonus — Reduces the cast time of Chain Heal by 0.2 sec.

That Shaman 4 piece makes me go wa wa wee wa. Assuming haste, could we possible see 2 second Chain Heals?

And for the Druids, don’t forget that Syd’s got a nice writeup for the Druid bonuses that were released earlier in the week.

A Healer’s Most Important Skill

A Healer’s Most Important Skill

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It amazes me to no end how many healers still have trouble grasping this concept.

It’s not so much about covering as many people as possible. Nor is it about conserving your mana and knowing when to regenerate. Moving around and avoiding fires is a good skill but not quite the most important skill. Situational awareness is an incredible asset to have but it doesn’t quite rank as high up there.

The art of spamming

It is the act of standing in one place and doing nothing but going through global cooldown after global cooldown and dumping massive heals on one target.

Actually, spam means unsolicited or undesired electronic messages so that might not be the right word to use.

Then again saying focused rapid-fire heals is a bit of a mouthful.

The point is that any healer regardless of their class should master the art of spam healing. I’ve partied and raided with healers who are too worried about regeneration or movement or otherwise that they’ve lost track of simply dumping heals on a player.

For a Priest, it’s a combination of Penance, Flash Heal, and Greater Heal depending on your spec, of course. Yeah you can sprinkle Shields and Renews here and there. But when you’re in a raid and when you feel that you cannot heal damage of that magnitude, it’s time to grind your teeth, narrow your eyes, and lean forward. Every healer has their own personal heavy artillery healing spell. Don’t be afraid to get into that zone and start mashing your heal button.

You are the last line of defense. Spam healing might go against everything you believe in. But don’t be afraid to go out with your heals blazing.

Image courtesy of klsmith77

Stocking Up for Ulduar?

Stocking Up for Ulduar?

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Do you find that you have time on your hands lately? Have you been checking on the Ulduar news every hour from work?

If you have extra time in the game, there are things you can do to prepare for the release of 3.1. Stockpiling a few little goodies can distract you from the suspense and even–potentially–improve your raid performance when 3.1 does hit. In addition, I know from experience that prices on many commodities change–in one direction or another–whenever a patch alters their relative value.

As a caveat, though, I’ll tell you that I am directing most of my efforts toward stockpiling just one thing–gold. I’m making as much as I can right now off the sales of flasks, herbs, ore, and bars. Gold is the ultimate stackable quantity, and I don’t have the bank space for some of the other goodies I’ll mention here. As an added plus, gold will let you buy what you need when you need it–quickly. However, there is a potential to make more on some of your auctions if you can wait a bit. I’m no WoW market expert, but based on the information we have about 3.1, here are some of the things whose values stand to change at the release of the patch.

The Winners

The following things, by my best guess, stand to rise in price after the patch. New recipes and profession changes along with an influx of new gear will make some things more coveted than they are now. In addition, everyone’s consumables bill will skyrocket as guilds take on new and challenging encounters.

Titansteel bars
Saronite ore and bars
Blue-quality gems
Arctic furs
Heavy Borean leather
Frostweave cloth
Flasks
Buff food
Potions (Health, Mana, Speed, Indestcructible)
Uncooked meat
Glyphs
Enchanting materials

The Losers

These things will experience some change at the patch. I would expect their price to go down, either a little, in the case of fish (as more people will be driven to fish their own with shorter cast times and the chance at a mount) or a lot, in the case of BoE epics. Many of these items, like Je’Tze’s Bell and the Greatness trinket, will go from being an enormously high-priced item (8,000-12,000g on some servers), to merely outrageously priced (5000 or less). A former best-in-slot will never be as coveted as a true best-in-slot, and I have every expectation that some Ulduar trinket will dethrone these two.

Herbs (nodes will soon yield more flowers per gather)
Raw fish
Nobles cards
Je’Tze’s Bell
BoE Naxx epics
BoE crafted epics–item level 200

So, long story short? Sell your Nobles card now, and buy your Bell later. As for me, the only thing I’m stocking is a few flasks. My guess is that the Flask of Pure Mojo will overtake the Flask of the Frost Wyrm for healers, and I have some that I made for cheap ready for the new market. A further word to those in the Inscription business: I suggest researching commonly-used glyphs now and preparing several stacks for sale at the release of 3.1. Competition will be high among scribes, so prices might not be as astronomical as you think, but the business will dry up quickly as people pick up their second spec. You’ll no longer have repeat business from frequent spec-switchers.

Did anyone see anything I’ve missed? I’d love to see your financial predictions for 3.1.

When a Bonus is More than a Bonus

When a Bonus is More than a Bonus

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Thanks to MMO Champion and it’s data-ming ways, we now have access to a preliminary version of the Tier 8 set bonuses. It’s anyone’s guess whether these bonuses will actually go live. The bonuses for Resto druid appear to be excellent, though there’s one catch: the 4-piece bonus for Tier 8 is much too good.
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Here we have a classic example of a good set bonus and a “bad” set bonus. Lest you grow angry at me for complaining about buffs as well as nerfs, I’ll explain what I mean.

What makes a set bonus good?

The two-piece Tier 8 bonus, which gives a 10% boost to the throughput of Swiftmend, will be nice to have. Swiftmend is a spell almost every healing druid talents for, and it can be used by both raid healers and tank healers alike. The bonus doesn’t conflict with or double the Glyph of Swiftmend, which is a different and even stronger throughput increase which allows Swiftmend to be applied without consuming one of the druid’s HoTs (either Rejuvenation or Regrowth). Moreover, if I had one piece of advice for most Resto druids, it would be to use Swiftmend more. Many forget all about it because it’s a two-step spell–HoT setup plus instant top-off. I find that I perform much better if I use it whenever it’s up. Still, this bonus will never be overpowered, even in combination with the glyph, because Swiftmend continues to be on a cooldown. Druids will get this bonus and enjoy it, perhaps giggling to themselves over their WWS reports. However, it will be a set bonus that the druid can bear to leave behind for whatever Tier 9 gear has in store.

What makes a set bonus bad?

We’ve all seen set bonuses that are lackluster or unusable. The Tier 6 4-pc Resto druid bonus to Healing Touch comes to mind as a particularly useless one. I passed on Tier 6 pants in favor of badge pants because this bonus simply wasn’t one. However, a bonus that goes in the other direction, becoming so good that it overshadows all other gear upgrades, is actually more harmful to the class and the game. Take, for example, the much-lamented 4pc Tier 5 mage bonus, which entirely changed the functioning of Arcane Blast, greatly upping its damage output at an increasing mana cost. I still /spit on this bonus. It caused the four raiding mages in my former guild to hold onto 4-pc Tier 5 until they were able to equip 4 pieces of Tier 6 at once. The consternation this caused them probably cost my guild several extra hours of loot debate. The mages also faced accusations of DKP hoarding as they waited to buy the early Tier 6 pieces. They had much more DKP than they could spend because of their need to hang onto T5. Moreover, the mages themselves didn’t always pay the increased mana cost. Instead, the druid healers Innervated them. We didn’t mind, exactly, because mana was plentiful for healers at that point, but I couldn’t Innervate all four of them, and I always felt bad when I didn’t have any juice left for a player who asked. However, the most pernicious aspect of the bonus had to do with play style. It pigeon-holed mages into an arcane spec and a set rotation, turning three trees into one for a tier and a half of content. I know one determined fire mage who switched to her warlock in Tier 5 because she didn’t like the arcane playstyle. In the end, the T5 bonus was judged to be too strong, nerfed, and finally taken away.

Ghostcrawler has actually said in the past that a tier bonus should be just that–a bonus. I wholeheartedly agree. However, the 4 pc T8 bonus isn’t going to just be a bonus–it’s going to radically change most druids’ rotations.

Rejuvenation has always been a good spell, but its limiting factor is that it doesn’t tick for 3 seconds after it is applied. In essence, that turns it into a HoT with a long cast. Rejuvenation is probably the druid’s most over-written spell. Thankfully it’s also our most efficient. With the bonus, I would get a tiny burst of healing–1997 in Syd’s current gear–when I cast the spell. That’s less than a Holy Shock, but it has a huge impact. With even a small initial heal, Rejuvenation would be “fixed.” It would go from being something that some druids don’t cast, preferring the faster-ticking Lifebloom and Wild Growth, into the raid healing spell. I think this is a very innovative and necessary addition to the spell; however, it doesn’t belong in a set bonus. This “fix” would get druids away from using Lifebloom for every situation, and that’s great. However, if this change is truly imagined as a “fix” to the spell, it needs to be made permanent through talents. Hell, I think it’s worth 5 of my talent points–or even the entire space in the tree occupied by Revitalize and Living Seed. This one little set bonus would give druids what they’ve always wanted–a tool to keep others from sniping their heals.

“Sniping,” for the uninitiated, is the practice of going outside one’s own healing assignment to heal someone else’s target, particularly a target that already has a ticking hot or a slower-casting incoming heal. Typically, players snipe with quick heals–Flash Heal, Flash of Light, Chain Heal, even Nourish or glyphed Healing Touch. As I’ve explained before, healers will never stop sniping–in any case, not until the default UI shows incoming heals and HoTs, mana is as scarce as roses in the Alaskan winter, and healing meters go extinct. Druids are incredibly vulnerable to heal-snipers as most of our healing takes a bit of setup before it starts to work. Ghostcrawler has said in the past that heal-sniping is a valid concern, but it’s not going to be fixed through nerfing mana. Other tools have to be used against it, and the new Rejuvenation is a perfect fit. Healers who play without any incoming heal data will be able to see that the target is covered and consequently will turn elsewhere, even (gasp!) back to their own assigned target.

The change to Rejuvenation needs to be either a talent or a glyph–and I would prefer talent, because then it would correspond to priests’ new talented Renew, which just got a similar front-ended burst. Renew has never been as good as Rejuvenation in the past, but with a small initial burst, it might just be better than Rejuv post-3.1.

In any case, if this tier bonus remains unaltered, druids will wear their Tier 8 until they have 4 pc of Tier 9–and maybe even beyond. This set bonus is more powerful than any one gear upgrade–and I would say, probably more powerful than four. It steps beyond what a bonus is supposed to do. At maximum, I’d say the set bonus for a previous tier should maybe give a player pause about equipping just two pieces of the new tier or item level, as it may be. Not all the best pieces are part of a set. However, when it gets to three upgrades over the stats on the old tier, players should be happy about making a change.

I’m concerned, Blizzard–very concerned. Thinking as both a raiding druids and a guild officer, I’d rather not wrestle with this particular angel, as good as that set bonus may seem when we’re sitting at the beginning, not the end, of Tier 8.

Theme Songs of Conquest

Theme Songs of Conquest

Daniel Whitcomb wrote a breakfast topic this morning about theme songs. The minions in Conquest are extremely aware of my diverse taste in music. Sometimes I’ll play various fast upbeat songs to help pump myself up. Other times I’ll play slower pieces to help calm myself down.

What are the theme songs of Conquest?

Joe Esposito – You’re the Best Around

This is actually Stop’s theme song. But that doesn’t mean it can’t have multiple uses! One of the epic scenes in Karate Kid is when Daniel LaRusso works his way up the tournament bracket into the finals and Joe Esposito is blaring in the background,

Just remember that when it seems like the deck is stacked against you, you’re the best… arooooound!

Power Rangers Theme Song

Power Rangers was the Grand Theft Auto of violence blame back in the day. I remember rushing home from school when I was really young just so I could watch the show on TV. How many violent incidents did Power Rangers spark across schools in North America? I have no idea. There was so much controversy about TV violence and it’s influence. I looked it up on Wikipedia. 17 seasons, 15 series, and two theatrical films. Wow, really?

Chariots of Fire

One of the most cliche’d songs in existence. Whenever victory comes down to one person, I cue this song right up and starting playing it over vent. For example, several weeks ago when we were testing Ulduar, I had a guy constantly disconnecting. The rest of us were already inside the zone. But he was caught in Storm Peaks trying to work his way to the instance portal. Another example is Warsong Gulch. As our group was carrying the flag across the zone, we were slowly getting picked apart one by one. Conquest sharpshooter Amava had the flag. One of our mages dropped. The Ret Paladin gave Amava freedom before dying. I lit up Pain Suppression and a Psychic scream before my last breath. And it was all that Amava needed (and Vangelis) to make it to the finish line.

Rocky Theme – Gonna Fly Now

Oh my god it’s Rocky! And he’s being chased by the masses! Go, go, go! The clip shows Rocky literally running through the entire series. As he runs and trains he is cheered on by literally the entire city! This movie must be way older than I am. But the song is no less inspiring. The guy jumps over park benches and sprints across everything. Damn.

Journey – Don’t Stop Believing

I confess. I’ve never heard of this song until I saw it on that episode on Family Guy. Since then, it has been converted into a ringtone for my phone. I challenge someone to come up with a Warcraft rendition.

What surprised me most is the hair. Man, did people really have hairstyles like that back then?

Europe – The Final Countdown

Did you just kill the third Drake of Obsidian Sanctum? Enter Phase 3 of Malygos? Does Kel’Thuzad have less than 15% health left? Congratulations. It’s the final countdown. You’re on to the final stretch and moments away from victory!

Any Final Fantasy – Victory Theme

Yay! Boss down! Loot and you’re all set!

Isaac Hayes – Theme from Shaft

If I had my own entrance theme song, I believe the theme from Shaft would be it.

Can you dig it? You damn right.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

More Shaman 3.1 Changes (With Edit!!!)

More Shaman 3.1 Changes (With Edit!!!)

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Lodur back again with more Shaman changes on the PTR. There was a recent patch and it looks like this is what we got changed

Restoration

  • Healing Stream Totem range increased from 20 to 30 yards.
  • Mana Spring Totem now restores 91 mana every 5 seconds at max rank. (Old – 34 mana every 2 seconds)
  • Nature’s Swiftness changed to – When activated, your next Nature spell with a base casting time less than 10 sec. becomes an instant cast spell. Nature’s Swiftness shares a cooldown with Elemental Mastery.
  • Restorative Totems now Increases the effect of your Mana Spring and Healing Stream Totems by 4/8/12/16/20%. (Down from 5/10/15/20/25%)
  • Healing Grace has been moved from Tier 3 to Tier 2.
  • Ancestral Healing has been moved from Tier 2 to Tier 3.

Totems

Nature Resistance Totem, Stoneskin Totem, Fire Resistance Totem, Frost Resistance Totem, Strength of Earth Totem, Flametongue Totem, Wrath of Air Totem, Windfury Totem descriptions have been changed to reflect the latest changes, they now affects all raid members. ( But will not Stack with some class buffs)

Healing Stream and Mana Spring totems will not be combined at this time.

So, what do we think about all this?

The Healing Stream Totem range increase is nice, I’ll give them that. Not going to really elaborate on that one.

Mana Spring Totem change brings it to 109 MP5 with talents, making it the exact same mana regeneration as Blessing of Wisdom. To be honest, we knew this was coming since BoW and MS no longer stack. This goes hand in hand with the Restorative Totems Talent

The Natures Swiftness change is more PvP centric. It seems to take down the Hybrid spec people were running around with letting them get Elemental Mastery and Natures Swiftness and then have an “I kill you now!” button.

Healing grace and Ancestral Healing Swapping places does not really affect us, that’s more just housekeeping. You still spend the same amount of points in the tree to get what you want without having to take anything you really don’t.

Totems tooltips were updated, that’s about it for the top part there. The big news here is the decision to not combine Mana Spring and Healing Stream totems. With them tweaking MS, I’m not surprised. As much as I would love to see that combination, I personally think it wont happen, at least not till they figure out how to handle mana regeneration for everyone.

Playing around on the PTR (when the world server is active) Nothing really feels different in the play style. I’m hoping to get into an ulduar group (hopefully the raid invite goes through this time =P ) so I can test it out on some heavier content.

What do you guys think ?

*EDIT*

Restoration

  • Mana Tide Totem: This spell no longer costs mana.
  • Restorative Totems: Reduced to 3 points, down from 5. Increases the effect of your Mana Spring Totem by 7/12/20%, and increases the amount healed by your Healing Stream Totem by 15/30/45%.

There it is. Was waiting for the shift in restorative totems. Could be quite nice.

Image from wikimedia

Hymns Updated to 2.0

Looks like updated Hymns were snuck in with the recent PTR build. The big news? Hymn of Hope is back and flashier than ever!

Divine Hymn redesigned: You recite a Holy hymn, summoning the power of the Divine to assist you in your time of need. Heals 3 nearby lowest-health friendly party or raid targets for 4960-5208 every 2 seconds for 8 seconds, and increases healing done to them by 15% for 8 seconds. Maximum of 12 heals. The Priest must channel to maintain the spell. Cooldown increased to 6 minutes, up from 5.

Hymn of Hope redesigned: You recite a Holy hymn, restoring hope to those in despair. Restores 3% mana to 3 nearby low mana friendly party or raid targets every 2 seconds for 8 seconds, and temporarily increases their total maximum mana by 20% for 8 seconds. After the effect expires, the mana is lost. Maximum of 12 mana restorations. The Priest must channel to maintain the spell. Cooldown increased to 6 minutes, up from 5.

Well? What do you think?