So How About a Podcast?

Over the years, the idea of establishing a podcast has continued to remain in the back of my mind. There were many obstacles in the way. For one, I lacked the technical expertise. I really don’t want to half-ass stuff and that’s why I never tried to go for it. I didn’t have the time to really learn about how to produce a really awesome show. It wasn’t until recently that those factors have been resolved and I found someone who can give me a hand with that aspect so that additional focus can be placed on the cooler stuff: Content creation. Brian Hough former co-host of Raid Warning and current co-host of The Creep will be handling the producer and moderator duties.

Well, what’s it going to be about?

Think of it as a further extension to the blog. I won’t be discussing as much about news or anything. There’s enough news podcasts out there as it is. The fact is, this blog has evolved to its current point where the team writes about 3 things: Healing, raiding and leadership. The podcast I’m envisioning will contain topics related to those 3.

One of the ideas that came up is where we’d take feedback and comments from a post earlier in the week and air it on the show. We’d like to get additional interaction in that regard and give you, the readers, a “voice”.

Granted, I don’t know if it’s going to work. I don’t know if it’s going to catch on. I don’t know if it’ll be well received either. All I know is, I won’t know unless I try.

Looking for another host

The current plan is to present a more conversational style show. Brian will be directing the discussion and acting as moderator. The potential third person and myself will do the heavy lifting.

I’m looking for someone who has a focus on the three topics of the blog. Someone who is an independent thinker and can carry a conversation. Namely, someone who shares the same passion and work ethic I do about the game.

How do I apply?

Interested applicants can submit a 2-3 minute mp3 sound file. Spend the first minute introducing yourself and why you want to do this. Go ahead and come up with one topic about healing, raiding or leadership and talk about it for a few minutes. Remember, try to be conversational.

Stuck for ideas? Try one of these.

  • What do you think of guilds establishing their own PvP divisions?
  • Do you give second chances to players who leave your guild? Why or why not?
  • Do you find 10 or 25 player raiding more appealing? Give a couple of reasons why.

Email it to me

What about the Circle of Healing podcast?

Good news! It’ll be coming back out of hiatus in early December. I have no intention of leaving but I also need to see what how the workload will be like. You can expect to hear the same, cool healing stuff in the first half of the season. Pretty sure I can pull it off. Keep an eye out for it!

Edit: For a better idea, listen to the How Stuff Works Podcast: Stuff You Should Know

A Must-Read for the Cataclysm Player

Needless to say, I’ve been enjoying a nice little break from WoW before Cataclysm. Spent time with family for Turkey Day, beat Mass Effect (never played it before), and I’ve been looking forward to the new expansion for the WoW TCG–not for the loot card but to actually enjoy the game.

I came across a great post on the MMO-Champion forums which let me reminisce about my original post here when I was still a guest. I’ve tried to focus a majority of my blogging on how everyone can help each other. The name of the guild I’m in is Team Sport, and that’s what I believe this game is. Hence, when I read the forum post by Daetur, I felt like a proud father. Not because I had any direct impact on him/her but because it goes along with everything that I believe this game should and could be. Instead of making a small link to it in the midst of this text… I’m going to make sure you don’t miss this:

DAETUR’S CATACLYSM FORUM POST

Daetur discusses what each player (Tank, Healer, DPS) can do to ensure the success of any dungeon or raid. He takes the stance that many of us have gotten “complacent” in WotLK with regard to raiding and dungeons. Through my experience, I have to say I agree. We’ve come to expect AoE’ing down 3 packs of mobs, healing through debuffs, and risking death to get a few more casts in. According to Daetur, we’re in for a rude awakening. I’m excited! A few things he mentions:

  • CC is key. We are going to need to CC mobs, and avoid breaking them at all costs.
  • Defensive cooldowns are key all around. Tanks, Healers, and DPS are going to need their cooldowns to help stay alive.
  • Healers need to manage their mana, since it’s now at a premium and no longer infinite.

I can’t help but feel like the whole thing meant to make the job of the healer’s more manageable. Well, it’s true. The goal of any fight is to kill them before they kill you. We may be able to burst to high hell, but if we can’t stay alive doing it, then what’s the point? I’m already bracing myself for the backlash of the “uninformed”: “L2Heal noob.” We no longer live in a world of invincibility. Everyone is reponsible for helping everyone else stay alive and do their job easier.

Remember, I only lightly summarized the forum post by Daetur. I implore you to please read the entire post. You may not disagree, and all of it may not be pertinent to you, but you’ll know what everyone is up against in Cataclysm. Help each other out.

Rated Battleground Additions that would Never Happen

I am eager for rated battlegrounds to take off and I think it’ll add another PvP dimension to the game from a competitive stand point. Years ago, I used to be an avid Counterstrike player. I was a first string benchwarmer on a CS club in the Cyberathlete Amateur League back in the early 2000s. I think the furthest we got was CAL Main.

Would rated BGs move to become an E-Sport? Could they? I don’t know what Blizzard’s intentions are here. We can’t queue for battlegrounds anymore as a raid. I’m guessing we’ll be able to do that during Cataclysm and when rated BGs are available. I really hope that they allow “unrated” rated BGs like they do for arena (I don’t recall seeing that option available during the beta, but I most likely missed it). If they do decide to pursue it, there’s a couple of things that I wish would happen but for both technical and logistical reasons, would not.

Replays

I don’t even know if the tech for this is possible. Maybe they can work with the Warcraft 3 and Starcraft 2 folks to see if there is a possible solution. Being able to watch replays of teams going at it would be cool to have. For that to even come close though, there’d have to be some kind of client side viewer, I think. The size requirements would obviously be ridiculous too. I can see all the logistical problems already. But if there was just some way to implement it where we can watch other rated BGs going on, it would be an asset to BG teams so they can go over strategies and what worked for them and what didn’t. I used to watch CS replays to get an idea of what other teams did and how they positioned themselves. I liked the first person perspective modes just to see what they saw before those players made such clutch moves. Right now, we have to rely on VODs (or PvP videos from players).

Observer mode

Being able to float around a battleground and just watch what’s going on would be great fun too. You could “fly” from one side of the map to the other. It would allow players to actively “stream” into a match. There’d have to be some “tape delay” added to prevent ghosting (the act of telling people things they shouldn’t know, like telling players where people are when they would not be able to figure it out on their own). Doing so would also slow down or lag the match.

Practice scrimmages

Specifically queuing to play against specific teams. Would be a great way for guilds to practice rated BGs against each other. Otherwise, you don’t know who you’re getting matched up with. The team you’re facing might be weaker or stronger than you. Having intra-guild or consistent partnering teams would be a good way to just keep getting the PvP team better.

If those technologies can be implemented, I can see it elevating the PvP game upwards. I don’t know if it’d be able to become a spectator sport or anything but it would be a good first step. Alas, one can only dream. Maybe one day.

On a side note, you can count me in as one of the players that were a little sad with the removal of 25 rated BGs. I know the arguments that were made for the removal and I understand it. It’s good to take it off the regular weekly rotation. Would it be possible to bring it back just for fun though? Having 25 vs 25 epic Isle of Conquests or Alterac Valleys that are completely unrated? 25 man raiding is still going strong. I think 25 man BGs might have enough of a support base to be a niche thing to do on the side. Look at all the AV or IoC premades in the past. Just imagine the technical, chess-like nature of the match. Raiding in 25s is one thing, but doing organized PvP in massive numbers like that offers a different cohesive feeling altogether. It literally is being a general instructing different groups and players to go in select directions. The Battlefield FPS series offered epic 64 v 64 matches with one overall commander leading and good commanders are really hard to find.

Playing Holy at Level 85

It’s slightly different playing Holy at 85 compared to 80.

As a Holy Priest, do not get yourself locked into the idea of sticking to a set rotation.  For DPS players, a rotation is often necessary as it helps them maximize their DPS output (usually). Being a healer though, you need to be both proactive and reactive. You must balance healing incoming damage with your available mana. I’m going to use a new term in this post called “the hit”.

Now what is “the hit”? In general terms, “the hit” is an ability or spell by a boss which deals enough damage which might kill players if they’re not healed up in the next few seconds. For example, Dragon Breaths are “the hit”. Any really massive explosion can be considered “the hit”. Fusion Punch is an example of a tank about to be the victim of “the hit”. It must be a severe enough blow to almost cause you to crap your pants.

So treat this post as a set of guidelines that will help you with your priority: Keeping players alive.

On the tank

Your primary spells are going to be Heal, Flash Heal and Greater Heal. Heal is going to be your go-to spell in most cases. For Chakra, you’ll want to enter the Serenity state. Once you cast a Renew, continue to refresh it with Heal. Don’t dish out Power Word: Shield as often if there’s a Disc Priest in that raid group. Should your tank experience “the hit”, immediately start with a Power Word: Shield (you might be in a 5-man or something). Follow it up with a Prayer of Mending. Then a Renew. And chain cast either Flash Heal (if said tank is ridiculously low health) or Heal.

2-3 players

There are going to be situations where the tank takes a steady stream of damage followed by another player or two taking “the hit” to their health. In most cases, the 2 players hit won’t be hit again for some time. Give the tank as big a buffer as possible (Usually a Shield and a Renew). Renew will extend the life span of the tank before it falls low. Switching to the health of the non-tanks, let loose a Renew on them. If you feel uneasy, follow it up with a quick Flash Heal. My casts involve a Renew on both wounded non-tanks. Flash Heal gets them out of imminent danger. Renew keeps ticking on them (and should force their health to get there).

Warning: May not work for players who stand in melee cleave range. Stronger tactics, like shouting at them, may be necessary.

4-5 players

It’s essentially the same plan except you want to have the Serenity Chakra active (and preferably not used until the 4+ players have taken a hit). If you’re expecting “the hit”, then it doesn’t matter who you cast Prayer of Mending on as “the hit” is going to strike everyone (which means a 100% chance to shuffle to a different player). After “the hit”, place a Holy Word: Serenity on top of your (hopefully stacked) group. Personally, I prefer to follow up by dropping Circle of Healing on the group and then one or two Prayer of Healing casts should be enough to get them high enough on health.

However, if you think you have time, the alternative is to Prayer of Healing the group and then Renew them all. That takes about 5 seconds.

I know mana’s a big issue right now, but I want to stress the concept of time awareness to healers. Many player deaths I’ve seen in the past could’ve easily been prevented had healers not been stingy with mana. I include myself in that category.

5+ players

This is where true triage (which is pronounced tree-age) begins.

After “the hit”, cue up a Chakra followed by Prayer of Healing. Let’s get that Echo of Light working right away. At this point, you can either go for the AoE heal burn and continue to chain combinations of Prayer of Healing, Sanctuary and Holy Nova (thereby tanking your mana) or become an efficient and selective healing machine.

I would actually recommend option 1 if you believe the boss is going to die sometime soon (like 10% left or something, just go all in).

Option 2 is going to require additional on-the-fly thinking and prioritizing. As strange as it sounds, I don’t approach it from the standpoint of who needs healing. I take the opposite approach and think who doesn’t need healing. Just use process of elimination and heal backwards.

  • Are there Ice Blocked Mages or Bubbled Paladins? If yes, skip them.
  • Are there players who are under imminent threat like being chased by an orange goo or affected by some kind of debuff which ticks their health? If no, skip them and heal the threatened players first.
  • Are there players who are above 50% health? If yes, skip them.
  • Are ranged players at high risk of another AoE attack? If no, skip them.
  • Are melee players at high risk of another AoE attack? If no, skip them.
  • Are tanks at really low health and your assigned tank healers dad? Heal them to safe levels.

You may need to interchange the 3rd and 4th option depending on the encounter. As I’m healing, I like to remove players off the priority list based on their ability to survive (maybe I see a Pain Suppression up on them, or an incoming heal on that player). You eliminate the players who are safe in your mind and get to the players who could die soon. At that point, it’s just pick one. If you wait too long, they could all die.

Participating in 10-man raids is a great eye opener for everyone. I had to readjust and refine my priorities slightly.

Actually, use a Divine Hymn first. That should solve the first salvo. Then you’ll need to think on your feet for the next set.

I’m going to tack this post on the side and periodically update it with other common healing situations as they arise. Remember, treat it as a set of guidelines. Stay flexible in your choice and don’t overthink your healing. Just heal already.

Of All the Things to Complain About, Portals?

Mages are making a killing right now selling portals. Some are doing it for free or for tips thus keeping the cost of transportation low on my Ner’zhul. Usually about 5 – 10g will get you anywhere.

What’s really annoying me right now is the player base that’s complaining about the lack of portals in the sanctuary cities. Some have publically threatened to quit the game and cancel their subscriptions over it. Makes me wonder if that’s the same population base that feels entitled to get gear and achievements without actually doing anything.

Hands up

Remember when mounts were expensive, not the training?
Remember when the first mount wasn’t obtainable until level 40?
Remember when using taxis were considerably longer?
Remember when you had to manually select each destination whenever you got to the next flight point? (Yes, they were unconnected back then)

My point is, traveling is really easy now compared to where it’s been over the past six years (holy crap, six years?). In less then 2 weeks, we gain the ability to fly ANYWHERE we want in the game (exception, Vash’jir, where we can swim on a sea pony).

I believe class trainers and auction house capabilities have been added to help facilitate the levelling process in those expansion zones. But I don’t know, the old world just became the new world and if a player really wants to quit the game over lack of portals, who am I to stop them? Less competition for mobs and drops anyway.

TANGENT: Six years?!

Goodbye Old World

It’s time you evolved. It’s going to cause a bit of pain from the slight scarring, but it will be for the better. One of my fondest memories of going through the old world is the constant world PvP action between Southshore and Tarren Mill. It finally appears that battle has been decided. The Horde have emerged victorious. Of course, not to be out done, Alliance forces pressed into southern Barrens and laid siege to Camp Taurajo. Blackrock Mountain will soon erupt with a flurry of activity from both sides. I remember on one of the previous servers, there was a guild called the <Blackrock Mountain Police>. As you can guess, all they did was clear out the place of any Horde players.

I ran Zul’Gurub one last time and I got shut out. Raptor gave me nothing and I couldn’t take down the Tiger boss.

Memories

  • I remember waiting what felt like five years for that stupid Defias Messenger.
  • I remember AFK running looking for Mankirk’s wife during my (brief) time as a Horde player.
  • I remember that insane run from Auberdine all the way down to Ashenvale and then on to the Zoram Strand for Blackfathom Deeps.
  • I remember how desolate Desloace truly was.
  • I remember all those chicken robot escort quests found in Feralas, Tanaris and the Hinterlands.
  • I remember grinding off buzzards, scorpions and basilisks out in Blasted Lands during that dreaded lower 50s bracket.
  • I remember a zone called Alterac Mountains.
  • I remember doing that Legend of Stalvan quest and wondering who the heck was this guy and would he one day end up being a raid boss (nope).
  • I remember doing the long Onyxia attunement quest chain (Respect to the Horde players who did theirs).
  • Yeah, it won’t be the same.

What’s the one favourite memory you have of the old world?

Leetsauced

Another podcast appearance by me. This time, it wasn’t Matt the blogger or Matt the healer. It was produced from the standpoint of Matt the GM. I spoke about how Conquest came to fruition, some of the tough decisions that had to be made and the rewards of being a GM. I also offered a bit of advice to players who do not feel content in their guilds and believe they can do a better job by striking out on their own. This is a good a time as any.

And finally, you get the full story of how Matt’s raiding iron man streak got ruined by his Wii (actually, I probably lost the Iron Man streak a long time ago).

Just a heads up that the content on the podcast is considered NSFW (some explicit language).

Can’t wait for it? Here’s a brief teaser.

Full episode will be released tomorrow evening (November 23).

New class combinations?

Anyone plan on rolling any new alts? I think I’ll probably set up a Night Elf Mage. And I know some of you are curious, but this priest will remain a dwarf not a gnome.

Healing Through the Burst Damage

Some people call it spike damage.

Others call it burst damage.

Whatever you want to call it, this attack does a ridiculous amount of damage within a short time frame and coordinated healing is going to be required to counter it. It’s one of the basic attacks any boss will throw against your party and yet when I join pickup raids, these attacks are enough to drop most tanks. Either they forget to use their survival cooldowns or their healers forget to burst heal them.

Why don’t we look at some burst damage examples just so you get an idea?

Instant, high damage attacks

Flame Breath – Halion
Shadow Breath – Sartharion
Fusion Punch – Iron Council

What these types of attacks have in common is that they have the capability to 1-shot your tank if their health is too low. They’re fairly quick and you might not have enough time to prepare for it. In the case of the dragons, you need to rely on a visual cue with regards to the way they tilt their head up.

How to counter it: Your tank healers should always keep a HoT up on them at all times. Don’t even worry about over healing at 85. There is always going to be incoming damage and their health isn’t likely to stay at 100% for most of the fight anyway. Expect your tank to hover around the 70-90% range. Use whatever visual cues you have to your advantage. Expect to work with the tanks on this one if you’ve been wiping to it for most of the night. Have a survival cooldown ready for each application. Each healer or tank or DPS with a cooldown needs to know where they are in the list. It helps to have a leader bark out which player’s cooldown is next.

Individually, you’ll want to try to time your 2.5 second long big heal to coincide when the attack lands. It takes a bit of practice, but it’s doable. Eventually, after multiple tries and attempts on a boss, you’ll get a handle for the rhythm.

Channeled, high damage over a period of time

Plasma Blast – Mimiron
Frost Blast – Kel’Thuzad
Harvest Soul – Lich King

These types of attacks last over a period of a few seconds. The Frost Blast ability does 104% of a player’s health in seconds. Sometimes, there is no warning on these either. The initial tick or two will usually go off and your healers have 1 second to find out who the affected player is, 1 second to target and start the cast, and another second for the heal to land. By the 4th second, that player is usually dead.

How to counter it: First thing you want to do is make sure that the boss ability shows up as a high priority debuff on your raid frames. This way, you can use your peripheral vision and quickly determine which player is afflicted. This is where HPS actually matters. That boss is going to do an X amount of damage to your tank in a span of a few seconds. If you can hold off and mitigate or heal through the damage, you are golden. The trick with these? Sometimes it isn’t possible for 1 healer to do it on their own. The incoming damage is either too much or the healer’s spellpower and other stats aren’t high enough to counteract it. This is when your healing team needs to plan this out ahead of time and have 2-3 healers automatically focus the tank when that boss ability is used.

In one of the future encounters, the Omnichron Defense System has an boss where they will spend about 3 seconds targeting a player with a laser. After the 3 seconds are up, it shoots a huge jet of sustained fire at that player. I had a tough time tackling it on 10 man and it put a huge dent in my mana reserves.

Being able to counter these various forms of burst damage is going to be a key skill for your team of healers. It doesn’t hurt to practice or at least visualize how you intend to go about it.

Now the question is, how does your class deal with spike damage? Remember it doesn’t necessarily apply to just raids. There are going to be 5 man encounters where the only healer you have to rely on is yourself to keep that tank alive. You don’t need to keep players topped off. You just need their health bars to be somewhat filled. Topping off can always be done after the fact.

Bored? Try Lore!

We’ve still got a pain-stakingly long two weeks (roughly) until Cataclysm drops. 4.0.3a will bring a wealth of opportunities to see the new zones and play with the race/combo changes, but how else is your time being spent?  Here’s what I’ve seen a lot of in Trade Chat:

Player1: What’s going on in SW?

Player2: Pre-Cata Event

Player1: What do you do for it?

Player3: It’s 5 quests and that’s it.

Player1: What do you get for it?

Player4: Nothing.

Player1: Lame.

Now that the new Elemental Invasion is underway, I saw a lot of this:

Player1: What’s going on in IF?

Player2: Elemental Invasion for Pre-Cata

Player1: Grr… I can’t do anything here right now.

Player3: You have to kill the elementals and rescue civilians.

Player1: What do I get for it?

Player4: ilevel 251 epics from some dungeons.

Player1: Awesome!

I gotta say, this makes me sad. I’m well aware of the addictive nature of seeing a shiny new purple epic show up in your inventory, but the complete shunning of anything potentially entertaining in the game baffles me. Of course, not everyone is going to like every little nuance in the game. Blizzard has tried to do a thorough job of making the game diverse enough for everyone. In the 4 years I’ve been playing WoW, I think they’ve done a bang-up job, too.

Give your eyes some exercise!

I’ll be the first to admit that throughout most of my WoW career I read only the objectives, then looked to QuestHelper (or the new WoW version) to guide me on my way. I paid no attention to the text or lore of the quests.

Wrath of the Lich King changed that for me. In Burning Crusade, I didn’t have any passion to see Illidan dead. Yeah, I knew he was the last boss, but I didn’t harbour a pure hatred for him. Arthas was a different story. The way we saw Arthas throughout this latest expansion instilled a desire to annihilate him when Icecrown Citadel was opened. We got to play as him, we were taunted by him, and we were at times aligned with him. In short, we became invested in the story and its outcome.

When Cataclysm was announced, I immediately started to thirst for knowledge. Who was Deathwing? How did he get to be so horrible? Why is he so mad? What other forces might we fight against? My first homework was to check out WoWpedia for an overview. It gave me a decent amount, but not enough. I then decided to go to the books. Christie Golden’s The Shattering is a quick and easy read. I tore through it in a day. There are other books that give you more history on Deathwing and the Dragon/Demon Soul, and it’s on my nightstand as I write this.

Also, I took the time to read the quests in the pre-Cataclysm event. Following the Doomsayers, visiting the Twilight Hammer’s camp, seeing the image of Cho’gall, all driving me further towards my passion of seeing Deathwing dead. Not for “epic lewtz”, but just to see the antagonist dead.

What can I do to get involved?

  • Take time to read the quests. They’re 2 paragraphs at most, and take no more than 30 seconds to read.
  • Check out WoWpedia. Search for Deathwing and get “click-happy”. I found myself on so many different wikis learning about the characters we’re spending the next ~2 years with. (The combination of Thrall and Magni Bronzebeard made me decide to race change my Shaman to Dwarf)
  • Read some of the novels! Across the board, people have recommended Lord of the Clans as a great place to start. From there, if you’re gearing up for Cataclysm, read The Shattering right after. Both are quick reads and really enjoyable (though I have issues with some of Golden’s writing choices).

Think of it this way: Why do people get so involved in movies and TV shows? It’s because we get invested in them. We learn to love the protagonists and hate that antagonists. Maybe it’s the other way around! Either way, you become attached to the characters in the story. The same exists with video games. Some of the best video games out there have compelling storylines with deep characters. WoW, in my opinion, is no different. I look at my playtime as “living through a story.”

I know that in Cataclysm, I’ll be trying to get my main up as fast as possible, while using an alt to actually read the quests along the way. I want Deathwing’s head on a platter, including his metal chinny-CHIN-CHIN!!

Special Delivery: Roundup Of This Week’s Best WoW Posts

The Shattering! This Tuesday?! Is it happening? Isn’t it happening? Is the World As We Know It Going To Go Kaboom? Maybe.  One thing’s for sure: Azeroth’s not going to be the ideal holiday spot with balmy breezes and clear sea views for much longer. Unless you count the whoosh of dragon wings above you and the view of a tidal wave coming right for you as you lounge on the beach polishing your tier kit. Not that you would be, of course, because you like everyone in the blogosphere are getting ready for the Big Changes whenever they happen. Right? Right.

After its lolloping back and forth between various topics over the past few weeks the blogosphere seems to have settled firmly on looking at healing. Well, I say firmly, but there’s the odd look at guilds in Cataclysm, too. Generally things are hotting up in the blogosphere as we get ready for lava to ruin our holiday locations. So as an aside from my normal task of finding the best blog posts and delivering them over at MMO Melting Pot, I’ve gone and dredged the blogosphere for the week’s bset on healing, leading and guilds for you here at WoM. And this week there really should be something for everyone. Except possibly trees.. wait, resto druids, no permanent tree forms, what do we call you guys now?

 

  • T-Minus-3 Weeks: The State Of The Resto Shaman: Vixsin over at Life In Group 5 has a timely preview of what raiding resto shaman can expect to get out of their healing toolkit come the time to raid. She=’s looking at all of our healing spells, old new and tweaked, and how effective they’re looking after the latest beta changes. She’s also looking at how they interact with our stats and has some in-depth but digestible explanations on how much Mastery affects various spells. Very well written, and also an encouraging post for resto-shaman kind. Almost makes me wish I was staying a resto shaman for raiding!
  • Five Tips For Holy Paladin Healing In 4.0.1: Kurn’s got some practical tips for any holy paladins still getting on with the business of healing here and now, Cataclysm malarky aside. The tips are well written and look to be good advice – she’s got thoughts on how and whom to beacon, whether Flash of Light is any good, and the importance of Divine Pea. Sorry, Plea. She’s also got a tip and video clip specifically aimed at dealing with Infest if you’re still visiting Arthas regularly. She does have the caveat that these tips might not be as useful in 4.0.3, but they are probably worth a read as somewhere between food for thought and a discussion point for you Holy pallies.
  • Cataclysm Enchants For Holy Priests: Oestrus has a two part guide that does just what it says on the tin. You can find part 1 here and part 2 in the link at the start. It’s a no brass-buttons guide which gives you just what you need; she goes through all of the equipment slots and gives you the run down on which enchants she thinks will suit a priest best to go do their holy thing. Of course, nothing’s set in stone yet and things may change come the time we all get to 85 but Oestrus’ guide looks well researched and thought out, and should let you know what to be aiming for. Some of the new enchants are really creatively named, too.
  • The healing model in Cataclysm: pwnwear has highlighted a post on their forums by Adrift, one of their readers. It’s a very cogent piece on the interaction between HPS, burst healing and desireable tank survivability with an undertone of awareness that mana will be at a premium. Adrift looks at the ways a tank might be geared – avoidance vs. stamina – and talks about how this might impact his healing, and then the same again for theoretical raid damage. He also takes a look at what stats healers are likely to prioritize both earlier and later in Cataclysm raiding content. I found this an absorbing read both from a healer and a tank’s perspective – would recommend reading it yourself then sharing it with your guild’s meatshields.
  • Tips for applying to a guild as we move towards Cataclysm: Moving guild, getting a fresh start. The thought might’ve crossed your mind. Rank4HealingTouch is one step ahead and has an excellent post guiding you through the major sections of a standard guild applications. The guide’s split up by sections and covers everything from the basics of spelling and checking to answering questions on your computer specs, your class, your role, and yourself. In each case as he goes through, he talks about how to answer the questions – and how not to. He also gives some examples for certain topics to get you thinking. Think of this guide as a kind of cheat sheet, if you will – I’d not recommend cheating and it doesn’t give you all the answers, but it is incredibly well written and good advice.

That’s it for this week. Have a happy Shattering! Oh, I might not be able to do one of these next weekend, so apologies if so – but I’ll quite possibly be gooey eyed at the local Christmas market full of pretty lights and sweet things. But should resume the following week, if so.

Til then, then! Oh, and by the way, what are you hoping to read more or less of, from around the blogosphere? And just what do we call trees now?

Question: Do You Give Second Chances?

If a player leaves your guild, would you give them a second chance? Now clearly this one of those case by case type questions. I know for me personally, I’ll tell them they can always try again with us later if things in their future guild doesn’t work out. Yet deep down inside, I think to myself, “Probably not going to happen. You left us, buddy.” Of course, if the reason is something like a raid times issue, it is completely understandable. I can’t expect someone with a desire to raid to be in a guild when they can’t commit to those times.

Anyway, under what circumstances would you give players that left a second chance at life with your guild?