Highlight Posts of 2009

Highlight Posts of 2009

2010

You didn’t think I was going to finish out the year without the traditional “Best of 2009” post, did you? Here’s the top posts of 2009 based on your views, comments, and tweets.

On healing
On gaming and society
On guild management
On recruiting
On raiding
On blogging

To other WoW bloggers, I’d love to see you compile a list of your favourite posts that you have written over the past year and don’t be afraid to post a link in the comments to it below.

Have a safe and happy new year! I would share my New Years party stories, but chances are, this Dwarf would not remember. There was that one year where I woke up half naked with a Tauren beside me and a banana…

Healing Icecrown From a Druid’s Perspective – Part 1

Healing Icecrown From a Druid’s Perspective – Part 1

 

This is a guest post by Epiphanize, a Resto Druid, and co-host of Raid Warning.

So you’ve just shaken the frost off of your branches and are staring down the entrance to Icecrown Citadel, the final raid of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion.  You and nine of your closest guildies (or 9 random pugs if your unlucky) are ready to face the challenges that await you in your quest to take down Arthas. The first of these will be the bosses of the entrance to the Citadel. Before we get into strategies, let’s discuss a few things you should think about before trotting into The Frozen Throne. There have been some major changes to how Druids approach healing that are worth taking a look at.

Most trees are in the process of making the swap from crit-laden gear to stacking haste (or at least you should be – Bad tree, bad). This, along with the introduction of Glyph of Rapid Rejuvenation, has given us some new and interesting options. The goal of this article is to help you understand the changes to Druid healing and how it affects you prepare to confront the Lich King.

In addition to these changes, 10-mans can leave a lot of uncertainty, and raid composition will often force Druids to fill rolls they may not be best suited for. Your choice of glyphs and spec will depend a lot on role, personal preference, and playstyle. However, there is some general advice you can follow when making these decisions. I’ve done my best to try to gives options for popular playstyles and specs.

I’m Still a Crit Machine

If you are still very early in the process of swapping gear from crit to haste, you are probably using either Nourish or Regrowth as your main spell. Nourish is a slightly better spell in most realistic situations where you aren’t sure you will keep Regrowth’s hot up on at all times (Thats a discussion for another article). However, at this level of raiding, either spell should serve you well regardless of role. So use whatever your little wooden heart desires, just make sure to bring the appropriate glyph.

Next, I would recommend Glyph of Swiftmend. This is especially helpful in situations where you are spot healing the raid or attempting to 2 heal. It allows you to quickly save a DPS that may be taking sudden burst damage, or catch up on a tank you may have neglected for a moment. It is also a nice way to save on some mana. Plus a global cooldown wasted refreshing a HoT can often be the difference between life and temporary, virtual death. If mana is not a concern and you are comfortable relying on some of your other emergency options, you can go with both of the choices for your third glyph.

Your third glyph is really up to personal choice and should be based on your role as well as the encounter. Glyph of Wild Growth is always a safe bet, especially if you are helping raid heal. There are lots of scenarios where the whole raid is taking damage in ICC, and that extra target is a welcome buff. Glyph of Rejuvenation is also good but slightly weaker option, as there won’t be large chunks of time where the tank is under 50%. Thought this can shine in some encounters, especially with the 4 piece tier 9 set bonus. One thing to keep in mind is that the small amount Glyph of Rejuvenation can play in helping catch up, can easily be replaced by a Swiftmend, Nature’s Swiftness/Healing Touch, or even a Regrowth.

When it comes to talent choices with a Crit build, not much has changed since 3.2. Living Seed is a must in my book if you are going to be tank healing, and is also handy when dealing with Saurfang’s Mark of the Fallen Champion. This especially holds true due to Nature’s Bounty increasing the amount of Living Seed procs.

Another option that is good for tank healers, but is especially strong for raid healing, is Revitalize. While not a complete replacement for Replenishment, it is better than the complete lack of a regeneration buff. You should end up with something similar to 11/0/60 (full build here) with either 3 points in Living Seed or Revitalize depending on what tickles your fancy.

Crit Is So Last Month

If you are at or approaching the soft haste cap (856 without Celestial Focus, 735 with) Rejuvenation is now your baby. Blizzard has really made this our new bread and butter spell. With two strong glyphs, 4 piece tier 9, and the last two idols granting you spell power based on rejuvenation ticks, it is clear you should be using Rejuvenation liberally. This being said, Glyph of Rapid Rejuvenation is a must in my opinion. This is obviously slanted towards raid healing, though I’ve seen instances where it has come in handy as a tank healer. It also comes in useful for mechanics like Mark of the Fallen Champion where a glyphed Rejuvenation with 4 piece Tier 9 can often alone keep up the marked target with minimal management. ICC encounters seems to have been tuned to encourage the use of Glyphed Rejuvenation, as there are lots of dots and healing on the move.

If you plan on focusing more on your HoTs, the original Glyph of Rejuvenation is a good companion for the new Rapid Rejuvenation. It will take time for you to get used to how quickly you can heal up someone with this combo. Once your haste gets up there and you get down the timing, this combo is a very powerful option.

Glyph of Nourish is your other option for your second glyph. Some would even argue that Nourish is the main reason to stack haste, not Rapid Rejuvenation, as you will have a 1s cast time on Nourish. This, combined with a reduced global cooldown, should allow you to direct heal your stump off. This is also a perfectly viable options, especially at the 10-man level. I think its safe to leave this decision up to personal preference. 

Of course you could always just use the above three glyphs and have the best of both worlds, which is what I have ultimately done. But if you are indecisive, Swiftmend will save some mana when you need a big direct heal. In the same vein, Wild Growth will give some HoT power to go along with those quick Nourishes. There really is a lot of flexibility here.

There is however, not so much when it comes to spec. For most people, you will be stuck going deep enough into the Balance tree to get Celestial Focus, that you will not have much of a choice but to go 18/0/53. Now as you progress through Icecrown you will be able to move those points out of Balance and back into the more useful Resto talents. Revitalize being a priority in my book due to the amount of Rejuvenation’s you will be tossing around. Where you go from there will depend on how often you decide to use you direct heals. Your build should look more like the crit 11/0/60 build..

 Phew…Who knew when you signed up to heal as a sapling, you’d be in for so much homework? However, as long as Blizzard keeps being bipolar in regards to Druid healing mechanics, you better get used to it. Who knows, maybe if we cut back on the QQ they will give us new Tree Form models before the end of Cataclysm. Well, we can dream can’t we? In the next part of this article we will cover specific strategies for healing the first 4 bosses of Icecrown as a Tree.

[POLL] Do you Clear Out Heroic Dungeons?

Lately I’ve noticed an increasing trend when it comes to running heroic dungeons. It usually involves dungeons where bosses can be skipped and the group just collectively decides to skip over it or they decide to take it out. The tank is often the one that decides this. I’ve started asking in the beginning of runs if we can skip optional bosses (like in Halls of Stone) more as a courtesy than anything else.

The geared main

Understandably, the geared main is going to favor an express run over a complete run. When I’m on my Priest, I have no interest in gaining Emblems of Triumph. I’m only in there to to get my Emblems of Frost as fast as possible. If the group wants to take down some optional bosses, I remain indifferent and will do it anyway even though it might take a few minutes of my time.

The undergeared alt

On the other hand, the undergeared alt wants to maximize their “Emblems per hour” ratio. They’ll insist on killing every boss no matter how far out of the way it is specifically for that extra Emblem. They need the armor and the weapons (and other gear). The quickest way to do that is by spending Emblems of Triumph. Perfectly understandable.

Do you make an effort to skip bosses or do you gun for every boss in the instance? Or do you not care and decide to go with the flow of the group?

What Server Should the Guild be Started on?

  • Other (44%, 8 Votes)
  • Earthen Ring (33%, 6 Votes)
  • Nerzhul (22%, 4 Votes)
  • Feathermoon (22%, 4 Votes)
  • Zul'jin (0%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 18

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7 Important Healing Lessons I Learned from 1 Quest

Blizzard quest developers, please read this. I’m writing a request and I don’t know if it’s in your plans for Cataclysm.

I want to share with you a story when I started out as a wee, young Priest. After farming for hours on end in Darkwhisper Gorge and taking down Majordomo Executus with my guild at the time, I had finally united The Eye of Divinity and The Eye of Shadow. All that remained was to complete the Balance of Light and Shadow and I’d get my Benediction.

That quest singlehandedly taught me how to raid heal. How?

Eris Havenfire, the quest giver was not able to save the peasants that were trying to escape from Stratholme. I was asked to try to do what she could not do: Save as many peasants as possible. If 15 peasants were lost, it was game over.

I remember standing on the hill frantically Renewing everyone that was going by and Flash Healing those who were at critically low health. Even though I had already cleared Molten Core a few times, this was truly a humbling quest. Peasants would spawn at different places. They would have varying degrees of health. Some would move at different rates. Others would be pursued by skeletons. Many were afflicted with a disease.

And it took me a disappointing 14 tries before I finally managed to get through it (Oil of Immolation did the trick).

What I learned

  • Target priority – Skeleton archers were picking off peasants as they ran by and the diseases weren’t helping either. Priests had to know who was going to die first and heal accordingly. Just because some peasants were below 50% didn’t mean they were going to die. Oftentimes, it was the peasants at full health being drilled by Skeleton Warriors and suffering from diseases that were the ones in danger.
  • Spell priority – If all you have is a hammer, every problem is going to be viewed as a nail. I had to rethink which spells I wanted to use next. Not every healing problem is best solved by repeated use of Flash Heal. While yes it does bring peasants above the near death zone, it wasn’t the best answer all the time. Abolish Disease or Renew would have been the better choice.
  • Reading the health bar – With the health bar up, I could deduce how much each weapon swing was hitting the peasant for. Knowing this, I was able to figure out how much time a peasant could go without healing before they fell. It played a big part when I prioritize healing targets.
  • Value of HoTs – Renew was a spell that I often thought was fairly useless. I could wait out the whole duration for it to work its magic or I could drop a quick Flash Heal on the target and call it a day. With so many targets, I needed to use Renew. The point of Renew was never to top off the peasants. It was to keep them alive long enough for them to get to that white light. I rightly gauged that a Renew on a peasant would be enough to keep them alive from Skeleton Archers as long as they weren’t afflicted with a disease.
  • Mana management – At the time, I had to rely on downranking spells and using potions to maintain my mana supply. At level 60, I had about 1700 healing power (which translates to a little under 600 spellpower by today’s numbers). My mana regeneration was a paltry 150ish MP5. Holy Nova would clear out skeletal mobs with a few ticks but it would also trash my mana pool. I had to keep a very close eye on the mana bar and use cheap spells when I felt I could get away with it.
  • Cleansing – Another early mistake I had was not removing diseases and thinking I could simply brute force heal the damage that was done. Now that might be fine with 1 or 2 targets. But when you’re trying to save 50 peasants where most of them have been infected, getting rid of the infection might be considered a smart move.
  • Shaking out tunnel vision – Unfortunately, there are no raid frames to use. I had to rely on constant toggling of name plates (and all I had were the default ones at the time) in order to look at their health. I’d often be so glued to my raid frames in Molten Core, I’d miss the obvious player who had been targeted with Living Bomb (an ability where the player explodes and deals massive damage to anyone else around them). I was able to see which peasants were likely going to be in danger first simply by watching which ones were being chased by skeletons. Just follow the path since they run in a straight line. This bought me a few extra seconds since I could anticipate their targets easily.

I understand that there it’s against the current WoW philosophy to introduce class quests again.

But I don’t think there’s anything wrong with inserting in role related quests. I’d like to see a Shaman, Paladin, or Druid try their hand at that quest. I imagine that they would take a completely different approach. It would be difficult to balance the four healing classes around such a quest and I wouldn’t dream of suggesting where to start. But at the very least, please consider it. I wouldn’t have become the healer today had I not completed that quest.

The Rhok’delar questline taught hunters how to kite (I think). If there’s any Vanilla hunters, how difficult was that quest when you were 60? What was it like then?

This would be simple Warcraft Mechanics 101 type quests. Tutorials disguised as quests that can help new players L2P! Quests that underscore the basic mechanics of the game would do wonders for new players who don’t understand different concepts. The random dungeon tool exposed me to players who had no idea what threat meant or what CCing was.

For tanks, maybe a quest on how to generate threat. Or how to maintain threat on multiple mobs as they try to juggle them around pylons (like a driver’s test).

For DPS, a quest on the basics of crowd control (if applicable) or on how to kite (possible for some classes but not others).

For healers, maybe a recreation of a similar scenario above. Healing multiple targets as they try to run away.

How could it be worked into Cataclysm?

Perhaps the town of Healshire is about to get overrun by Deathwings minions and the job of the healer is to protect the evacuees as they make a run for a portal. I don’t know but I’m sure it’d be easy to insert that lore.

Please. Recreate that experience. A new generation of players would be all the better for it.

How is Your Guild Handling the Holidays?

2009 has almost come to an end.

I’ve observed that a number of guilds have entered a brief hibernation mode and ours is no different. We’ve had to shuffle our roster and raid days around so that they wouldn’t coincide on Christmas Eve or New Years Eve either. High attendance days are usually reserved for progression content on the 25s and farm raids have been suspended until after New Year.

In the past, the guilds I’ve been in handled their winter breaks differently:

  • Completely call off raiding for two weeks
  • Disband (due to abandonment)
  • Combine with other guilds and organize pickup raids
  • Achievement running

My guild recently picked up a hunter.

What’s so special about this hunter that deserves a minor mention?

She has more achievement points than I do.

Time to fix that.

In any case, guilds aren’t the only ones taking a break. A number of bloggers are taking a much needed break over the holidays. I’ve taken a few days rest but I still have a number of posts to complete.

What is your guild doing over the winter break?

Let’s Get Reacquainted With Healing!

Let’s Get Reacquainted With Healing!

A lot of things have changed since the introduction of Dual-specs. Players, and indeed raids as a whole have become much more versatile. A lot of times guilds are calling on Hybrid classes that have healing capabilities to heal in a pinch, my guild is no exception and all of my healing capable raiders do indeed have a healing spec ready just in case. With that in mind, it’s become a point of concern that there seems to be a lack of support for these players that are making the transition. Most healing guides deal with players who are just healing for the first time and learning the way around their toons, while a good chunk of raid leaders expect you to know your class well enough to jump in and heal an encounter. The truth is most players who are asked to heal, at one point or another tried it, so it’s safe to assume you have a basic knowledge of it. So where does a player in between novice healers and healing expert go for advice? Well Lodur is here to help you out. Here’s somethings I’ve used to help my guildies make the transition.

Getting Back Into The Swing of Things!

 

One of the hardest things to do after not healing for so long is getting back into the swing of things. You can dust off that shiny healing set, but if you don’t know all the nuances or have had time to adjust to how things might have changed since the last time you threw some healing beams of love around, you need to bone up a little bit and bring yourself up to speed. What I tell all my players making the switch is your first stop should always be the heroics. You can laugh at me all you want, but even seasoned healers have trouble with the new heroics, and it’s a good way to warm up. Especially when you consider the new LFG tool has a wait time of about 20 seconds for a healer. Heroics are always a good place to start as they give you a small environment to practice in and yield you badges which can net you some very nice rewards in trinkets, rings, or even tiered healing gear if needed. After some of the easier ones, queue yourself up for the harder ones. Get in to the new Forge of Souls, Pit of Saron and Halls of Reflection. When you can do those comfortably, it’s time to move up to raid environments. Start with things one tier below where your main guild is raiding. If your guild is raiding Ulduar, might be worth it to try and find a Naxx group. ToC, try to get into an Uld run, you get the idea. This gives you a chance to experience a raid environment again and lets you get your healing synergy back in tact. Healing solo is fine but when you have 2-5 other healers around you, working together is always key. Once you feel you’re ready, then it’s time to get in there and throw down with your guild. After a couple days your rust should be sufficiently shaken off so that you can pinch heal for your raids.

One Instance to Teach It All!

 

Often times it’s asked if one zone can teach you everything, or rather one instance that can teach you everything about the healing game. When I’m asked this I have a two fold answer. Yes I feel these instances exist and there are two of them. One of course is Icecrown Citadel. Unfortunately it is very likely that this is your guilds primary content right now, and it’s not fully unlocked yet. The other instance I feel that meets this condition is Ulduar. Ulduar has many varied fights, some with tons of AE, some with huge tank spikes, and some with random aggro / damage flinging. It gives you a little of everything, and it’s a great way to limber up before the big show. A Paladin switching to Holy healing Hodir will have a vastly different experience than healing Anub in ToC. I’m sure some of you are wondering why I didn’t say ToC. Well to be honest, ToC is an instance that can be brute force healed. If you have enough Spell Power, enough MP5 or just enough replenishment, then you can pretty much spam heal through the vast majority of fight. There’s not a lot of finesse overall. Even edging into Heroic ToC, it feels to me like it’s just a matter of being able to continuously cast. I’ve done ToC and Ulduar on my Shaman, a Priest that I borrowed from a friend and a Druid and I can tell you from my first hand experience that Ulduar felt harder and made me pick smart spells more than ToC did.

Get By With a Little Help From Your Friends!

 

The process of getting reacquainted with healing on your toon isn’t a very long path to walk. I’ve heard people refer to it like riding a bicycle, you never truly forget how to do it. The learning curve can however be shortened with the help of your guildies. Your guild can contribute in many, many ways. Besides providing bodies for heroics and raids, your guild is also a wealth of information. In my guild the only thing we’re missing is a full time Holy Paladin, but there are Resto Shamans, Holy Priests, Disc Priests and Resto Druids a plenty, so there is usually someone on to help the aspiring healer get things set. . It never hurts to ask for help or tips and tricks. Experienced players when asked questions can help you learn how do eek that much more out of your healing, or different tricks of the trade for your class. Any guild who asks you to take on a potential healing role should also be willing to spend the time needed to make sure you’re up to speed. If this means a week of guildies pitching in to help you learn and gear up they should be willing to do it. I know in many cases my guild has taken the time and run old content to get them up to speed many times over. They can also supply crafted gear for you. I have an elemental off spec, I do this so that in a pinch I can pop over and give the raid Totem of Wrath. My gear for that set is largely due to guildies helping out and making me things.

So what about you? Any tips to share for people reacquainting themselves with healing? What do you think the best instance is to teach a healer everything they need to know? Is there one?

well that’s it for today, until next time, Happy Healing!

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!

happpy-holidays

From all of us here at World of Matticus, we’d like to wish you a safe and joyous holiday season!

I just popped open my gift boxes from Greatfather Winter this morning. Hello Red Rider Air Rifle! Right now I’m in the process of tagging the various Horde faction leaders. Can’t think of a better way to spend part of my Christmas morning than that!

Anyone know what a hot pot is? It’s a thing that Asian families like to do for dinner once in a while. It’s exactly what it sounds like. There’s a big pot with a gas (or electric) heater underneath. The pot’s split in two with boiling hot water on one side and boiling hot water with spices on the other. And we’ll just throw in a variety of raw stuff and wait for it to get cooked before we devour it. Lamb, beef, chicken, oysters, mussels, fish balls, mushrooms, noodles, whatever. It all goes in and mmm, its so yummy. Just make sure the stuff is kicked.

Swag

I love my friends. They have a knack of knowing me. Here’s what I picked up this year:

  • George Foreman Grill (Steak and eggs anyone?)
  • Wanted on DvD
  • The Laws of Simplicity
  • 25$ gift card to Chapters (Some people don’t like gift cards. I’m not one of them. I like being able to choose what I want)
Winter Veil Poetry!

Winter Veil Poetry!

Here’s some inspired Poetry for your Winter Veil holiday!

Stormwind’s Bells

Adapted from Christmas Bells by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

I heard the bells on Winter Veil Day

Their old, familiar carols play,

And wild and sweet

The words repeat

Of peace on Azeroth, good-will to all!

 

And thought how, as the day had come,

The belfries of all Light’s Chapels

Had rolled along

The unbroken song

Of peace on Azeroth, good-will to all!

 

Till, ringing, singing on its way

The world revolved from night to day,

A voice, a chime,

A chant sublime

Of peace on Azeroth, good-will to all!

 

Then from each black, accursed mouth

The cannon thundered in the North,

And with the sound

The Carols drowned

Of peace on Azeroth, good-will to all!

 

And in despair I bowed my head;

‘There is no peace on Azeroth,’ I said;

‘For hate is strong,

And mocks the song

Of peace on Azeroth, good-will to all!’

 

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:

‘The Light is not dead; nor doth it sleep!

The Wrong shall fail,

The Right prevail,

With peace on Azeroth, good-will to all!’

Let us not forget or Horde brothers and sisters

It Came From Within Orgrimmar Clear

Adapted from It Came Upon a Midnight Clear by Edmund Sears

 

It Came from within Orgrimmar  clear,

That glorious song of old,

From ancestors bending near the earth,

To touch their helms of gold:

“Peace on the azeroth, goodwill to all,

From the Warchiefs past.”

The world in solemn stillness lay,

To hear the ancestor’s sing.

 

Still through the cloven skies they come,

With peaceful wings unfurled,

And still their peaceful music floats

O’er all the weary world;

Above Mulgore and it’s plains,

They bend on hovering wing,

And ever o’er its Thunderbluff sounds,

The glorious ancestors sing.

 

Yet with the woes of sin and strife

The world has suffered long;

Beneath the ancestor-strain have rolled

Too many years of wrong;

And Orc, at war with man, hears not

The love-song which they bring;

O hush the noise, ye men of strife,

And hear the ancestors sing.

 

And ye, beneath life’s crushing load,

Whose forms are bending low,

Who toil along the climbing way

With painful steps and slow,

Look now! for glad and golden hours

come swiftly on the wing.

O rest beside the weary road,

And hear the ancestors sing!

 

For lo!, the days are hastening on,

By all the Shamans foretold,

When with the ever-circling years

Comes round the age of gold

When peace shall over all of Azeroth

Its ancient splendors fling,

And the whole world give back the song

Which now the ancestors sing.

 

Happy holidays to all of Azeroth from your friendly neighborhood Shaman!

Your Wish List vs. The Need Before Greed System

Your Wish List vs. The Need Before Greed System

LEWT2

The other week, as a gift to you from us, we each offered to write and discuss a topic of your choice. Here’s what we came up with!

What do you want for Winter Veil? You want to wrap your boomkin snugly in an Ancient Polar Bear Hide or keep your holydin’s toes toasty in a pair of Mudslide Boots? Well you can’t have it.

Bah, humbug.

Patch 3.3 has hit just in time for the winter holidays – a time when a lot of us players manage to squeeze in extra time being a hero and getting shiny treasures. 3.3 brought a sled-load of new toys to play with in game, including the new dungeon finder system and its potential for random group member loot drama. As a result while using the dungeon finder we are all limited to needing only on items of our class’ armour type. You’re a paladin? You roll on plate. Plate, y’hear, no cloth for your healing set. Certainly no leather for you DPS warrior types! It’s not exactly ideal for anyone gearing up.

It’s the Winter Veil equivalent of a pair of socks: practical, but not exactly what you wanted.

What, I hear you cry? The 3.3 patch notes describe it best;

“Need Before Greed will now recognize gear appropriate for a class in three ways: the class must be able to equip the item, pure melee will be unable to roll on spell power items, and classes are limited to their dominant armor type (ex. paladins for plate). All items will still be available via Greed rolls as well as the new Disenchant option should no member be able to use the item.”

I can see the practical sense in this. It removes some arguments about loot before they’ve even begun. The rogue won’t get miffed at the shaman needing on and winning leather melee gear because the shaman just can’t. Likewise, the death knight who is prone to shiny object moments and rolls on spell power items accidentally – just can’t, and won’t have to explain himself to pitchfork wielding casters. Reducing the potential for arguments is a sensible, if slightly cynical, move in a system which promotes meeting random strangers who have no reason to relate to or sympathise with you.

Yet what does that do to your characters? It might be taboo but we all know that paladins do incorporate all types of armour into a healing set, have done since the beginning of the World … of Warcraft. A paladin friend of mine has recently started gearing up for his holy off spec. He would prefer plate items of course, but any type of item with spell power on it is better than healing with defence rating gear. We had the Azure Cloth Bindings drop for us just earlier today – and he couldn’t roll on them. Sure, he’d only have used them as a stop gap until something better and more, well, platey came along. But until then they would have seriously boosted his off spec prospects and none of the actual clothies in the group showed the slightest interest in wanting them anyway.

The only option for my friend, or anyone looking to boost their off spec with drops forbidden by the loot system, is to greed the item and hope that RNG is kind to them and doesn’t shard it for someone else. Or of course to keep running Heroics, waving sadly at these drops, and waiting until they’ve enough badges to get the badge equivalents.

Take another situation. You’re a tree who is so bored you’ve taken root in the middle of Dalaran and didn’t bat a branch when children – sorry, gnomes – covered you in tinsel and shiny lights two weeks ago. You want to do something different. Something fun. You’ve had the cookie-cutter spec for a while, got the gear, done everything you want to do. So you start playing around building your own spec – something hybrid that allows you to heal and CC or DPS without changing spec. Yes, healing and DPS – you know it happens, especially when people are bored. And Heroics aren’t exhilarating, let’s face it.

Say you want your druid to be able to do all that in one spec – well then, you’ll need to play around a bit with your stat distribution and probably get some new armour. Would you like some hit with that? How about a new party hat – the cloth Sightless Crown of Ulmaas would do the job. Oh wait – you’re a druid – you can’t roll on cloth, even if the rest of the party consists of three death knights and a warrior.

There are still a couple of loopholes, too. To my knowledge death knights and druids are able to roll on loot with block rating on it. A pointless stat to them, but perhaps your death knight tank decides that he is so desperate for something to upgrade from his blue helm that when Second Helm of the Executioner drops it is a must have even though the itemization is aimed more at the group’s paladin who is only tank as off spec.

Well, gratz to the death knight for the upgrade – but it’s only a minor victory for him, and leaves both him and the paladin a bit cold. Should Blizzard further tinker with the need before greed system? Perhaps add class specific tooltips – “classes: paladin, warrior” – to the aforementioned Executioner’s helm. Similarly for every item, and a filter that only allows the specified classes to roll on items with stats meant for them.

If this came into play then it would likely automatically further restrict itemization choices for players. Every rogue of the same playing level would look the same. Every healing priest would be in the same dress, every restoration shaman would have identical mail shoulders for restoration shamans. That Winter Veil tree druid in Dalaran would have even less freedom to play around with his spec and try new things. But at the same time – everyone would get loot cookie cuttered to cater the ‘correct’ stats to their spec.

Say that our off spec tank paladin from earlier wants the correct stats – for his protection off spec – and rolls need on the Executioner’s helm against the death knight tank. Whatever his reason, I’d bet the death knight isn’t impressed with him rolling for his off spec. Would you be, if someone else rolled against your main spec items? We’ve all seen it. Perhaps the need before greed system should take specs into account. A priest is healing in a random dungeon? Right, says the loot system. He can’t roll on items with hit on them like Bracer of Worn Molars, under any circumstances. On the up side he won’t be able to ninja, on the down side he won’t be able to prove he’s trustworthy or improve his shadow kit if everyone else passes on the toothy armguards there.

These are ridiculous ideas, I hear you cry. They’ll never happen! Maybe you’re right, or maybe they’ll happen at some point. I’m just saying that the need before greed system is already restrictive – unnecessarily so, perhaps. I for one am perfectly happy with a holydin rolling on cloth items so long as no clothies need the item, and so preventing holydins from doing it seems a potential waste of an item. It may be a slippery slope we find ourselves on in the name of wrapping classes up in their own specialised cotton wool.

What do you think? Is the need before greed system protecting us just the right amount in random dungeons at the moment – should it be more or less protective? Are you getting infuriated trying to gear up your new fury warrior? Is all this an argument to make a premade group so there aren’t limitations on loot?

I Will Not Carry You

I Will Not Carry You

My good buddy Matt just wrote an article likening himself to “Samwise the Brave”.  The noble friend, no matter the circumstances, who is willing to swallow his pride to bring up the team.  It’s admirable.  It’s considerate.  It’s exactly what I would do…

…for certain people.

A friend, alt or no alt, who needs some help getting geared.  Maybe it’s his/her first 80.  It’s all good, because I know this person.  I understand that he/she is not trying to take advantage of the time and effort that I’ve put into the game for selfish benefit.  I’m more than willing to lend my knowledge to help make them a better player.  Because let’s be honest, you’re training a new class of raider/gamer when you do this.  I, myself, have 2 friends that I’m leveling alts with.  I teach them about kill orders, focus-firing, and CCing.  My hope is to get them ready for hitting 80 so they can come into raids with us.

Likewise, a new 80 who lays it all out up front.  Totally honest about their gear or their skill, and isn’t a jackass about it.  Someone who is looking to the veterans for guidance.  An under-cap tank that wants me to heal them through the early heroics to get some basic gear.  A dps or two that may need the fight to go on longer than usual because they can’t quite pull their weight yet.  I have no problem taking longer on a fight because they’re working on their rotation and getting numbers up (though that’s also what Target Dummies are for).

However, I can’t heal stupidity. 

I’m serious.  I may try to throw heals, but my finger goes numb and can’t press the hotkey.  I could try to shield, but the mouse button turns to stone.  It’s immovable.  I won’t hear that “click”.

Flash Heal won’t work on a tank that tells me he’s Defense-capped, but admits later that he’s only at 510 Defense while trying to tank the upper-level heroics.  “I needed a healer to carry me through so I can get PhAT lEwtZ”, they may say.

Prayer of Mending just refuses to bounce to that one DPS player that ignores the “Targeting You!” over the mob’s head, or dismisses Omen because it’s too distracting.  With all of the “aggro drop” skills that are available, utilizing them might break the healing immunity that seems to have plagued my heal targets.  Assisting the tank takes 1.5 seconds.

My new battle is trying to Shield the player that constantly hollers out “GO” while the tank is marking targets, or while the healer is drinking, or the other DPS are figuring out any CC that may be needed.  It’s especially difficult when that player has the “Patient” title next to their name.  Apprently that’s just a front, like a pub is a front for the Dwarven Mafia.  My PW:Shield is simply answered with “Invalid Target”.

I always try to be a great player to run with.  I’m always willing to help, if needed.  If you need a fight explained, sure.  If you need some advice on a talent or gear choice, no problem.  However, if you find yourself a version of any of the latter three examples, then I have to apologize for the ineffectiveness of my heals.  I can’t control them!  =D

Cheers,