The Progression Click

We’ve been working on heroic Majordomo for a while. I’d say a little over 20 attempts total. I find it amusing though that the first 15 or so attempts involve the group wiping around the 4 minute mark. That would be around the 50% mark in regards to his health. Yet as we continue to gradually refine our technique and positioning, we experience a significant jump from 50% downward. Now  his average health plummets down to 14%.

Amazing.

It’s as if everything just happens to click at once for everyone. Now what needs to happen is that the team needs to just survive and really play their best to get us the rest of the way there. When we were progressing through older bosses, you could actually see progress as it was occurring. Our first attempts would take a boss down to 70%. Subsequent ones would drop it to 50%. Maybe we experience a breakthrough and drop the boss again down to 35%. Some more adjustments then see us consistently getting a boss past 15% before the kill occurs.

But a boss like this? Nope! No gradual progress here! Just a straight forward drop in health. We’ve been alternating between 5 and 6 healers. We’re not really trying anything out of the ordinary but we’ve had cases where we just haven’t had enough bodies so we’ll take the one extra healer instead.

I can almost taste it. Except we have 3 weeks left to do as much as we can (At least, if the rumors on patch 4.3 are believed).

Now I just need the final 15% of the boss to click with everyone and we’ll be good for it.

Also, I got into the Diablo 3 beta. Whoo! It’s fun! (A little laggy in some areas though).

A Matticast Update

I know it’s been a while since you’ve heard from us. Due to a variety of circumstances, we had to temporarily stop recording. But I have a Professor Putricide style good news, everyone!

We’ll be back in January! All the raiding discussion, healing discussion and … whatever cutesy related stuff that Kat randomly decides to throw in will be ready soon. Now why January you ask? Largely due to the fact that it’s the earliest we can start putting stuff together. We can’t guarantee a quality, regular production if we started now.

Will there be any chances? Nope! You’ll still experience Brian’s sharp personality, Chase’s quality jibes, Borsk’s infinite wit, Kat’s numerous mentions of cupcakes and most importantly… me!

Did Cataclysm fail?

So, you’ve probably seen a number of these posts around lately, and to be honest you shouldn’t be too terribly surprised. We’re at the end of a cycle, with the last raid tier coming out soon and people already looking forward to the next expansion and the promise of bouncing pandas. The topic lately is whether or not that Cataclysm has failed as an expansion.

I figured the time is right for me to chime in on the topic, and I promise you it will be relevant to the site.

Healing Design

At the onset of the expansion, there were some very bold statements made about healing as a whole. They basically amounted to the following;

  • Shaman are the healing model that all healers will follow
  • Triage healing is vastly more important and mana is a concern
  • healing will be a lot harder and require smart decision making

So, in this regard did Cataclysm succeed or fail? Well to me the answer here is two fold. They both succeeded and failed at the same time. At the start of the expansion healing was definitely harder, mana consumption was much more of a concern and shaman healing really was the model when it came to triage healing. Note how I said at the start of the expansion. There was a bit of a problem though, once you started getting a pretty good head of steam going and gathered your gear the “model” started to fall apart. Spirit levels and regen abilities after heroic dungeon gearing were enough that some healing classes could just completely ignore the healing model. I’m casually whistling in innocence as I look at Mana Tide Totem from a year ago, I assure you. The problem exacerbated itself when some healing classes’ masteries got tweaked, and raid gear started circulating.

At this point, triage healing isn’t really used unless you’re just starting out, and some healing classes are just blowing others out of the water causing a lot of internal debate among raiding groups as to what the best healing setup really is now. Things are shaping up to be better in tier 13, but the healing model through tier 12 I would venture to say hangs at the edge of failure. We’ve been assured that the healing model will remain in tact for the next expansion, but only time will tell if that is true especially when adding a new healing class into the mix next expansion.

Guild advancement and recruiting

The new expansion brought with it the guild advancement system. Guilds earned experience points based on questing and the activity of the guild members involved. The guild was able to level up from level 1 to level 25 carrying various rewards such as XP boosts, mount speed increases and even alchemy patterns for flasks for the entire raid. It also came with some other perks like Heirloom gear helmet and cape slot items, mounts and pets as well as a Mass Teleport and Mass Resurrection. Honestly guild advancement was a huge success as far as adding perks to guilds that get rolling and stick to it and work together. Guild achievements also added nicely to this and added a further sense of accomplishment to a guild in certain respects.

The problem is that the success of the guild advancement system, however, in my eyes became a contributing factor in a problem that this expansion has had that I haven’t seen in either of the previous ones. Stagnant recruiting. Recruiting flat-out sucks right now to be honest. Any losses from people leaving the guild or leaving the game become increasingly difficult to replace. Let us face a simple truth, the game has been around for over 6 years at this point. People are taking a break. Maybe not out-right quitting, but they’re definitely going to start taking some vacation from Azeroth around this time. Before Cataclysm, replacing losses wasn’t nearly as difficult. I attribute this partly to the guild perk system. When a player leaves a guild, they lose all reputation they’ve gained with that guild. They then start from scratch just like with any other reputation when they join a new guild.

So the problem is that a lot of the guild perks don’t kick in unless you’re Honored with your guild. This can be a very unattractive prospect, especially when you consider there is a weekly cap to the reputation you can gain. Not only can swapping guilds be a daunting task on its own, but when you combine in extra things like rep to earn it adds to the heap. So, people are staying put in whatever guild they are in for the most part. Guild mergers seems much more frequent now, where whole groups of people make the commitment one way or another, but recruitment is certainly at an all time low.

Raid design, gear options, and accomplishing goals

This is another measuring stick by which to judge the success or failure of the current expansion. Raid design was a bit different this go around. In Wrath, all of the raid tiers were contained to one single zone. You didn’t have to go from place to place in order to see all of a raid tier.  In Cataclysm, the starting raid tier was divided between not one, not two but three different locations to contain all of the bosses and events. Honestly though, I think that served to make things a little better. Having different locations broke up the monotony of raiding in one single zone for however many hours a week. Some of the mechanics were fun, and the boss fights had the potential to give you at least some challenge. Overall I’d say it was a good tier. It reminded me of Burning Crusade where tier 4 and tier 5 were divided between different zones in different locations, breaking the long dredges through BWL that we were used to at this point.

The use of valor points to purchase tier gear, as well as off set items, was a smart move at first. It allowed a certain gear gating of the content as players had to earn their valor points to purchase the raid gear. Keeping a few pieces as raid drops only also made perfect sense. It eliminated the fighting over tokens at least a little bit, and while it could be annoying have to wait to restock your valor, it served it’s purpose well enough I think. Listening to the developers at BlizzCon it would appear that they too really liked how tier 11 worked out and will be continuing that style of breaking up the raids going into Mists.

One of the goals for Cataclysm was to reignite the fire the propelled the game to 12 million subscribers and get people excited about the game. New graphics throughout the world, Azeroth split and changed. Entire zones looking completely different and completely different starting zones and quests for the races of Azeroth. Well, this was both successful and a failure at the same time. The new starting zones did reignite the flame somewhat, but mostly in people with alt creation.  Some old players did come back to check out the new zones and explore some of the new content, but it didn’t quite have the kick that it originally intended. Subscriber rates pretty much stayed the same, and the number of active toons remained about the same as well. It just didn’t quite have the shakeup that was expected.

So what is it? Success or Failure?

Well, that’s the whole point of this post right? The big question. Is Cataclysm a success or a failure? The answer is honestly both. There are things that Cata did exceptionally well, and things that it fell behind on. To be honest a lot of the goals were pretty damn lofty from the get go. It was ambitious and new things were tried, combined with old things that we knew worked. Not everything was ever going to be achieved just based on the pure scope of the original intent. There were things it did well, and things it didn’t do quite so well. That said it was hardly the failure that some folks seem to think. The content is still there, there is still plenty of value in the game, and for a game that is going to be rapidly approaching the age  of 7 they can boast a lot of good things. The game hasn’t really lost too many subscribers and is going strong. Oh and they still get my money every month, and I signed up for my hear subscription with free Diablo 3 “phone”.

So what do you think?

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.

Rejuvenated.

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!

Patch 4.3 eh?

Patch 4.3 eh?

I am currently blogging with this song playing in the background.

Anyway, a whole plethora of patch 4.3 stuff about to debut soon. I’m on the PTR again (Anasterian, Matticus, Alliance side) so if you’re bored or want a place to hang out, feel free to look me up.

Patch 4.3 in general

First thing I did when I logged in was look for the Transmog guy. Converted the tier 12 level stuff I was wearing into the Avatar set. The short hand term for Transmogrifying is now apparently known as ‘Mogging. You can find the Ethereals providing this service in the outer ring of the Cathedral Square. 100 gold for me to drop individual cloth items into void storage. Interesting gold sink. Remember to Mog your stuff first before dumping it into storage.

mog

Favourite character ever. Kupo!

Patch 4.3 healing

I feel for the Resto Druids but healing output was a little high. This’ll probably be the first on the list of Druid changes anyway. Didn’t see the glyph change coming though. We’ll have a few weeks to see how that plays out. Resto Shamans and Holy Paladins received a major amount of changes.

Resto Druid

    • Wild Growth healing value has been reduced by 20%.
    • Glyph of Wild Growth now also increases the cooldown on Wild Growth by 2 seconds.

I can feel every non-Druid healer just pumping their fists. Anyone else have the feeling that there might be more on the way?

Holy Paladins

    • Divine Plea now grants a charge of Holy Power.
    • Holy Radiance has been revamped – Imbues a friendly target with radiant energy, healing that target and all party or raid members within 10 yards for 50 to 61 and another 683 every 1 sec for 3 sec and grants a charge of Holy Power. 40 yd range, 40% of base mana, 3 sec cast
    • Seal of Insight no longer restores the paladin’s mana.
    • Clarity of Purpose now also affects Holy Radiance.
    • Infusion of Light now also affects Holy Radiance.
    • Judgements of the Pure now also increases your mana regeneration from Spirit while in combat by 10/20/30%.
    • Light of Dawn now heals up to 6 targets, up from 5.
    • Paragon of Virtue now reduces the cooldown of Divine Protection by 15/30 sec, up from 10/20 sec.
    • Speed of Light no longer reduces the cooldown of Holy Radiance.
    • Tower of Radiance got an extra effect – In addition, casting Holy Radiance will always generate one charge of Holy Power.
    • Glyph of Light of Dawn now lowers the number of targets to 4, instead of increasing targets to 6, but increases healing by 25%.

Holy Priests

    • Divine Hymn now heals up to 5 targets, up from 3. Maximum of 20 heals, up from 12.
    • Atonement will now account for the target enemy’s combat reach when calculating proper range, enabling it to be used on large creatures such as Ragnaros and Ala’kir.
    • State of Mind has been replaced with Heavenly Voice Increases the healing done by your Divine Hymn spell by 50/100%, and reduces the cooldown by 2.5/5 minutes.
    • Glyph of Circle of Healing now also increases the mana cost of Circle of Healing by 20%.

While I was hoping for another cooldown, I’m cool with a really buffed Divine Hymn. FIVE TARGETS!? Yeesh! Liking the new Heavenly Voice talent. Had to figure out how to retalent a little. I came up with something like this:

43-spec

But I suppose I should find room for Lightwell with that tier 13 set bonus. Perhaps I’ll axe a point from Surge of Light. I wonder if I need to rethink the Circle of Healing glyph.

Resto Shaman

    • Ancestral Healing got an extra effect – heals you cast increase allies’ maximum health by 10% of the amount healed, up to a maximum of 10% of their health.
    • Cleansing Waters – The heal effect can only occur once every 6 seconds.
    • Riptide healing effect has been increased by 50%, from 3725 to 5585.
    • Wind Shear now has a 25 sec cooldown, up from 6 sec.

Won’t be able to count on Resto Shaman interrupts on demand anymore. This looks like it will cripple PvP shamans (and they mentioned it in their explanations post). But a numbers buff to Riptide and the extra effect to Ancestral Healing looks real cool.  Have a feeling that this is a better change for 10 man raiding shamans.

Tier 13

Love it! I may not Mog this at all! Helm itself looks pretty stellar. I believe the female Priests have only half of the mask covering their face.

End Time instance

I really hope they’re not done here yet. It seems a little undertuned. We killed one of the bosses in there and Jaina’s Staff dropped. Looks like this place will be dropping 378 items. Nice way to reset the gear floor and get players caught up. I’m going to do a little more runs in there but it just didn’t do anything for me. The instance is still incomplete but so I’m looking for more stuff.

So, how’re you feeling on the changes, the tier, and the new instances?

Firelands Nerf, a day later: Lodur’s thoughts

When we first received news of the incoming nerf, I was already on edge. I hate nerfs. I made it a point to help push my raid teams through boss fights before nerfs. Kael’thas died the night before he was nerfed into the ground. Sadly though, I didn’t get to accomplish this goal with firelands. This isn’t for lack of trying mind you. For the last several weeks I’ve been working with the guild trying to sure up lines and push through the content. I’ve been a busy shaman, to say the least.

So, the day of the great nerf has come and gone, and in the aftermath we’re left looking at what was done. Conquest mounted up and dove into firelands yesterday, and toppled every single boss, save Raggy, in just about an hour and a half. Seriously. Raid started at 9pm est, by 10:30pm we were already looking at Rag. This includes a few breaks to make roster adjustments to get in some new recruits. That’s just insane. We had the numbers, but you have to actually do the content to appreciate exactly how much the nerf bat hit firelands. I’ll be honest at the end of the night, I was quite a bit saddened by it.

Nothing is quite as demoralizing as walking into a raid and just breathing on bosses and having them fall over. While this seems like a bit of an exaggeration, I assure you that’s how it felt. Sure you can still die to mechanics if you don’t know what you’re doing, but it just felt weak compared to a day before. I sat at my computer afterwards and I was just kindda looking at the computer screen and my character. Things have changed, certainly in Cataclysm, but sometimes you just have to sit back and look at it. I mean really look at it.

In ICC, when things were getting “nerfed” we had the option of actually turning the buff off and going about the content as originally intended. It was something that I know my group utilized. We allowed the buff for farm content but turned it off if we had a progression boss or a new recruit we were trying to break in. The point is that we had the option to utilize it or not. I thought it was a fantastic way to go about it. Giving your players the choice as to whether or not they want to get a sweeping buff that helped topple content. After all, as a player I value nothing higher than choice. Choice of what bosses to do, in what order, choice of spec and gear, and honestly choice on whether or not to deal with buffed / nerfed content.

So after the raid and again this morning I’m sitting here wondering why Firelands didn’t get a similar style of handling the nerf. The flat reduction in boss health, boss damage and add health was fairly substantial. Substantial enough that each boss kill felt a bit hollow to me. I would have loved to have had the option to turn the nerf on or off, but as it stood looking at the last boss at an hour and a half into the raid was just a bit much. Mana was not an issue, not even close, I don’t think I used my Mana Tide Totem more than twice the entire night. Healing was such a non issue that for a good chunk of the night we were running 5 healers on a 25 man raid, and even then I spent more time throwing lightning bolts than having to heal. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to stop raiding or anything like that. I’m eagerly waiting for patch 4.3 and the next raid tier. I just felt very contemplative over this nerf.

So a day later what do you think about it?  How did it affect your raid?