Archives for October 2011

The Mistweaver Monk: Will it Work?

Additional details about the Monk was released a few days ago on. Ghostcrawler fielded the answers to several of the questions that I’m sure were on most people’s minds. The Monk healing spec (Mistweaver, a catchy name) is designed to rely heavily on punches and kicks. You get to DPS while you heal (or… heal while you DPS). Thankfully, there is going to be some semblance of familiarity as being in Mistweaver means that we do get a mana bar.

DPSing as a healer

Every punch, every kick, somersault, roll or whatever martial arts move is supposed to elicit some sort of heal. The traditional healing class simply gets through by targeting players and casting spells. This new Monk style of healing is going to shake things up. It sounds to me that a Monk at the top of their game is going to be contributing some DPS. There’s no plans to include auto attack meaning that you have fine control over your abilities (and as  Monk, you know you’re not going to accidentally right click Ragnaros and start the fight).

We know that Monks aren’t going to attack from range. They’re a melee class and designed to tango up close. Now I’m no melee expert, but I have a Ret Paladin (not helping my cause, I know). I’ve endured and seen first hand some of the difficulties that melee players go through. There’s all sorts of cleaves, AoEs and constant movement going on. Doesn’t that seem a little excessive for a melee healer?

On top of the obstacles that a melee class needs to deal with, a Monk must also worry about the players surrounding them and ensure that their health is sustained.

Get the picture? The Mistweaver playstyle blends in two incredibly stressing roles into one. This expansion plain sucked for melee classes.

Playing an Atonement Priest is the closest feeling one can get to the idea of DPS and healing. You’re just standing there, shooting a mob and watching as your healing is applied to whichever player needs it the most.

Envisioning the Monk

When I think of the Mistweaver, I imagine a sagely-like Panda who builds up their light or dark side abilities through melee attacks. We know that Monks have another resource system in addition to the base (Chi and mana). Dropping Statue of the Jade Serpent in key locations is the first step. You get three of these. One near the melee, one near the tank and one near the rest of the ranged would be the default setup. After that, what’ll probably happen is that the Panda leaps into melee range and begins their martial arts sequence by filling their Light or Dark force and then channelling that energy among the different statues which heals nearby players as necessary.

I’m hoping we’ll see some awesome Monk mobility in action. The ability to leap, roll or somersault their way from player to player while blasting them with close range healing before re-engaging the boss would really cool! Can you imagine it? It’s a melee healer. They’re not going to be doing much spell casting from a distance. It makes total sense for Monks to heal from close quarters.

Actually, Felade had a great idea on Plus Heal in line with mobility healing.

For instance, a modified roll that healed everyone in a line between your current location and the roll target, or a kick that healed everyone in its arc.For instance, a modified roll that healed everyone in a line between your current location and the roll target, or a kick that healed everyone in its arc.

I really like that bit about being a position based healer. Another idea would be a short range kick which adds shields to the target. As much as I hate Lightwell, I wouldn’t be surprised if Monks had the ability to deploy something similar. Maybe a really large Brewmaster keg instead of a Lightwell. Instead of seeing Priests screaming click the damn Lightwell, you’ll be seeing Monks saying click the damn keg. Something tells me that getting people to click a keg would be easier than getting people to click on a Lightwell.

How about a Monk Rebirth? Dead player? No problem! Leap to their corpse, slam the palm into the player and watch as they get brought back to life! Basically just slam the death out of them.

Now here’s the million gold question. Which classes get paired up with the Monk when it comes to tier tokens?

Post BlizzCon and Thoughts on Mists

Post BlizzCon and Thoughts on Mists

To everyone that’s annoyed at me for asking a question on the live Q&A that wasn’t actually developer related, I’m really sorry Sad smile. I fired out like half a dozen different healing related questions before I gave up. I know there’s one person in particular who’s in my guild who is extremely upset that her questions didn’t get selected and mine was chosen.

So my bad!

Me: “Is @ChrisMetzen the real Chris Metzen?”
Zarhym: Yes sir!

Despite the fact that  have the worst case of con crud in years, I feel so refreshed.


Regenerated even.

No joke about the con crud. My immune system feels like it’s been completely carpet bombed. No more staying up until 4 AM after drinking copious amounts (at least, not for a while). Next year we’re definitely going to have to do this again. Las Vegas in two days and two nights just simply isn’t enough. I’ll run down the major highlights of BlizzCon and then lay out my thoughts on the expansion as a whole. I wish we could have a BlizzCon every week. Or every month. Or something.

I hope it’s not this valley fever thing I hear about.

Meeting the guild (again)

Although some of the players have moved on, it was nice regrouping with some of the older crew and meeting the fresh, new faces. Putting the actual faces behind the players is always a big thrill and it’s why I’ll continue to head out to BlizzCon every year. It wasn’t all drinking all the time (even though it was a majority of the focus). We had some serious discussion about the future direction of the organization as a whole. It’s always a nice experience to hear from players in person instead of seeing their thoughts on a forum post or via Mumble or something.

Which by the way, we are looking for tanks and DPS for 4.3 and beyond.

Meeting the community

Thanks to all of you that showed up and said hello! The kinds words and encouragement help validate the things that Lodur, myself and other bloggers out there do. We love what we do (otherwise we would’ve thrown in the towel). It was great running into Oestrus, Ophelie, EmberDione, Fimlys and… ugh, too many names to remember and count! Ran into my former podcasting partner, Kinasthesia of Vodka. Had a great time talking a bit of shop and some of his thoughts on the live raid. Disappointed that they lost (they were looking so good up until the end, too). I’ll have a full blog post on the actual live raid concept later on.

There was one night where I was leaving the Hilton and heading back to my hotel. There were these five loud guys who just randomly came up to me and high fived/hugged me. I was a little worried for a sec (switched to defensive stance) but they were just another bunch of drunk, happy geeks.

To those of you that I didn’t get a chance to meet, I am so sorry Sad smile. We’ll have to try again next year.

Learning Craps

  • Must be on right side of table (since we’re right handed)
  • Must fist bump after every good roll
  • Must be in possession of drinks

That appears to be the secret to the success when my guildie and I were playing.

WoW Insider Party

Meeting up with the colleagues, meeting up with the readers is always a huge thrill. I think we hit over 3500 guests who came by. Apparently I was caught on Gamebreaker texting a guildie for a brief few seconds and made her night. Whoops! Made quite the dent in my bar tab too (About $500).

Mists of Pandaria Thoughts

Overall, it seems to be a lighter expansion feel compared to the previous ones where the world was about to explode or some villain was going to try to whoop our collective butts. I know a number of people in the community are pissed off and disappointed with it but I’m actually looking forward to it. Pandas as a new race is one that I felt is long overdue. They were supposed to make an impact on the game during Burning Crusade in fact as one of the Alliance races but it was not to be. So now we’ve got a sort of oriental themed expansion and from what I’ve seen, it looks really good. No matter how funky the idea of pandas may seem as the new race, I’m extremely curious as to how their story is going to be presented. Not quite sure how I feel about the overall talent system revamp. I feel that Priests and Shamans probably got the best out of all the classes. Not sure where the healing was on the Resto Druid side of things. But this stuff is mostly concept and in really early stages of development. We’re no where near anything playable yet so we’ll know more as get further along. This is going to be the chill out and cowabunga expansion pack.

Ever watch Finding Nemo? There’s that one scene where Nemo wakes up with those really big turtles. I envision Pandas sounding something like that. They’re a laidback race without a care in the world and they just love to eat, drink and party. I wish I could be more like that.

I’m probably going to be one of the few people that’s not going to give a crap about the pet battle system. It’s just not my thing at all. I have a sneaking suspicious it might lure in it’s own subset of players though and give them something else to do.

And yes, I am definitely going to set myself up with a monk. I got a chance to play it a little but the healing side of things wasn’t available yet. As we get closer, we’ll have a better idea of what their healing class philosophies are.

Challenge modes appear like they’re going to be a great distraction. I believe it was mentioned that there are no plans to include any max-level non-heroic dungeons (which means all of the MoP dungeons will range from 80-84). You’ll probably need to finish out chain quests and get started with crafting just to get even start heroics again (normal dungeons may not be an option).

Anyway, I’ll have specific posts about my thoughts regarding the Monk and the talent system coming up soon.

MoP Shakes up healing, Lodur’s thoughts

Well folks, it’s been a while, since I posted. Life has been quite busy for this little shaman. Things are calming down so you’ll see me posting more often (hopefully!). The past week was BlizzCon 2011, a fine time for everyone who got to go. For those of your readers I got to meet, it was an absolute pleasure! Shaking hands with readers is always fun, and sharing a drink with them is even better. Possibly one of the most exciting bits of news was the announcement of the new Mists of Pandaria! Not only will we finally get to play as our kung-fu pandas that we’ve been waiting for since the days of WC3, but it will bring with it a new class, the Monk.

The Monk class is an important addition to the World of Warcraft game for many reasons. Chief among them it is a hybrid class capable of filling all roles in the holy trinity of MMORPG; Tanking, DPS and Healing. This marks the third class capable of all three roles, with the other two being Druids (OP!) and Paladins.  The monk class promotes active playing. It’s a twitch class, and will be in all of it’s roles. While in DPS there is no auto attack, so you will constantly be hitting buttons. In tanking that will still be the same, and in healing well that’s where things get interesting.

Healing for a monk is not just about playing green bar whack-a-mole. The healing monk will be an incredibly active monk. Weaving into close combat to keep their orbs charged and then running around the raid/group to place healing statues or cast effects. It makes use of the monks base abilities of tumbling  and generally being a high mobility class while making you do things like deal damage or do other non-specific healing things to generate healing power. Well, that sounds pretty familiar to me, I mean this is exactly the type of healing I was talking about in March of 2010 here on the site!

It will not be your grandfather’s healing, or at least that’s the idea behind it. Since we’re still in an alpha phase, things will likely change. I personally hope they won’t. I revel in the idea of an active healer. I love the idea of being a hybrid and having to do different things in my role as a healer. I really think that it’s about time that something like this was brought into the world of warcraft as well, if for no other reason than the fact that other games are doing this as well.

T.E.R.A Online will promote active healing. Healing classes there will not just have to do multiple things besides healing in combat, they will actually have to actively target their spells for them to heal. No more just clicking an interface and a key, you will have to duck dive dip and dodge while healing, and target the right person too!  Healers in SWTOR will be healers with teeth, capable of not only healing those around them but fulfilling other roles as well. The Smuggler combat medic smacks of a billy bad-ass that runs around with wookies and will make sure you don’t die… for a price.

The point is, that the future of healing classes in games is moving away from the tried and true method of select unit frame, select spell, and to see the adoption of this in WoW in the next expansion speaks volumes to me of the IP’s survive-ability. The willingness to adapt to the market is important, and to me is exciting.

I play a healer in every game I play that allow it. I love healing, it is my passion in gaming outside of story. I’ve been healing a long time though, so anything that mixes up the normal click and click method of healing to me is exciting. Making me throw punches to charge up my healing? I’m OK with that. Making me have to run around and place my healing wards to actually heal things? I’m OK with that too. Don’t get me wrong, I love healing on my shaman, it’s always a lot of fun for me, but something like this has me seriously considering the possibility of switching to a monk to heal. It depends greatly on execution and how it feels being a healer in the expansion with the class, but I can honestly say I haven’t been this excited in a long time. I can certainly tell you that the vast majority of my play time when I get my beta access to MoP will be playing with the monk healing style to see how I like it.

So, what do you think? Does the idea of monk healing excite you? Do you think it’s silly and hate it? Do you bring PANDAMONIUM!?

Good News Healers: No Change to Healing Model Going into Mists

I couldn’t remember if this was addressed at all during the Q&A’s. During the Hilton after party, I managed to track down GC for a few photo op’s with my guild and I just had to ask him to make sure:

Me: Is there going to be any change in the healing models going from Cataclysm into Mists of Pandaria?

GC: Nope! No major changes!

Sweet! No new real learning curve. This should make life easy for all of us during the expansion transition. The big significance is that we’ll be starting off with the ol’ small heal, medium heal, and big heal model again. Like Firelands, as we progress through harder content and as our gear and stats continue to improve, we’ll eventually end up with a slightly smaller tool kit at our disposal.

Vegas Highlights and Pre-BlizzCon

Good news! I survived Sin City! It was my first time (ever) to Vegas. I learned how to play Craps. It ended up only being a 20 dollar lesson (I was up to 90 and I shoulda cashed out, whoops). Had a really awesome time though. There were all these people on the streets handing me these trading cards. I think its some kinda new game of sorts. I really wanted to watch some shows but I didn’t have time for that. Ended up walking the length of the strip and checking out the different outdoorsy things (Bellagio fountain show and the pirate show in front of Mirage). I may also have been prepositioned by a young lady as I was heading back to my room. Alas, I turned her down.

I’ll have some pictures up later.

We arrived in Anaheim a day early. After settling in, we hustled over to the Hilton. And who’d I run into? The VP and marketing guys for Bungie (Yeah, Halo)! We started talking (and the guy bought me a drink, real nice of him, thanks Jack Black)! Looks like they’ll have a booth in the area. Will need to check that out.

BlizzCon starts tomorrow Friday. The big WoW Insider party’s tonight and I’ll be there mingling. If you plan to buy me a drink, better make sure I can handle it. My tolerance isn’t quite there sadly :(.

My panels of interest:

– Class Talent system
– Dungeons and raids
– 4.3 raid and Deathwing
– Warcraft Future Features

Which panels are you anticipating the most?

If you’re in the area and you want to say hi, just go ahead and add me to Twitter @Matticus and shoot me a message. Enjoy the con!