What Michael Jordan Can Teach Us About Winning

6 NBA championships.

14 NBA All-Star Selections.

10 NBA scoring titles.

Ranked No. 1 by ESPN’s Top 100 Athletes of the 20th century.

His all-time leading scoring title in one All-Star game history was recently broken by one Kobe Bryant.

Michael Jordan played the majority of his career for the Chicago Bulls before taking over a front office position with the Washington Wizards.

Have you heard of a TV show called Suits? It’s my favourite drama to watch from the USA network right now and they’ve just started airing new episodes a couple of weeks ago. There are some minor spoilers in today’s post from last week’s plot.

Here it goes.

One of the leading characters, Harvey, is a senior partner in the fictional law firm Pearson-Hardman. He goes up to his boss Jessica, and says to her that he wants his name on the door. She then proceeds to tell Harvey a story about Michael Jordan because she knew this day would come.

Looking up from her desk, Jessica asks,“Harvey, what was Michael Jordan’s record on the Bulls?”

“664 wins, 285 losses.” Harvey confidently responded.

“More than twice as many wins and losses. Do you know what his record was in the front office?”

“No.”

“185 wins to 291 losses. Almost twice as many losses as wins.”

The lesson Jessica was getting to is that just because someone is a star on the court doesn’t mean they can translate their skills off the court.

Next time someone asks to be an officer and you don’t think they’re quite ready for that role yet, tell them this story about Michael Jordan that Jessica relayed to Harvey. Some people are better off playing than they are managing.

Success on the meters doesn’t always translate to success in a leadership role.

Why a World Top 10 Guild Doesn’t use Loot Council

I received a lead on a potential recruit the other day as a guild member referral. The fellow had a few questions about the guild before he submitted a formal application. He’d been out of the game for a while having not played since the early tiers of Cataclysm. I set aside my in-game responsibilities so I could devote my full attention and answer whatever his concerns were.

  • What were our immediate class needs?
  • How is Mists raiding?
  • Is it okay if he applies sometime before patch 5.2?

I answered him as honestly as I could. Our immediate needs are DPS warriors, resto druids, and mistweaver/DPS monks. Ultimately it depended on what he wanted to play the most. Mists raiding is engaging and fun. Yes, he can apply specifically for 5.2.

We chatted a little more. I went over his guild history and made attempts to verify his accomplishments and affiliations as best I could. After I was satisfied, I asked him what loot system his previous guild used. Conquest has always utilized loot council from the beginning.

“We used DKP.”

My eyes widened. I was quite surprised. Normally, I expect cutting edge guilds to rely on Loot Council or some other similar system to maximize the effectiveness of loot on their players and to make sure it goes to the right people.

But DKP? I didn’t think this was the type of guild to use it. Why did they choose to use DKP?

“We originally used Loot Council for a long time. However, we eventually realized that it took an extraordinary amount of time to really add all the potential stats gained for different players. It simply took too long for the officers to make the most effective choice even though they were all quite knowledgeable of the different classes. Plus once we entered farm mode, the loot drops would eventually sort itself out since we were raking in tons of drops a week making gearing the raid up easy.”

In our raids, it can take a little longer than normal to get through select items like weapons and trinkets so I can see where the interest of time comes from. When you’re in the race for world first, you need to really be on point with time management. No one wants to lose out on world firsts because they were busy distributing loot.

I’m not planning on shifting loot systems at the moment but I found it a fascinating insight into how top tier guilds work. While each loot system has it’s distinct specialties, it’s up to you to select the right one for your guild.

Devise Your Own Strategy: Jin’Rokh

Devise Your Own Strategy: Jin’Rokh

Ever wanted to come up with your own raid strategy instead of relying on videos and write-ups from people in the community?

Here’s your chance.

One of the recent raid tests on the 5.2 PTR was for Jin’Rokh. He’s the very first boss of the instance. He serves as the DPS and mechanics check for the  Throne of Thunder. In today’s post, I am going to show you Jin’Rokhs abilities. I won’t tell you how to beat it. You’re going to put on your raid leading tactics hat.

I want you to tell me how your team is going to beat it.

There are four statues in the corner around the room. Jin’Rok will throw a tank against the statue (Thundering Throw). The tank takes 250k+ in damage. Nearby players within 14 yards will take 200k and become stunned temporarily. The impact of Thundering Throw creates a pool of water on the ground. All players standing in this gradually growing circular-shaped pool gains Fluidity (40% increased healing, 30% increased damage done, but 80% nature damage taken). The pool increases the damage of any nature damage dealt by the boss to anyone standing within it.

jin-1.jpg

Every so often, Jinrokh spawns an orb close to him (Focused Lightning). The orb will target a player and slowly travel toward them (Note the eyes above the player). When the orb reaches a player, it detonates and creates a mini-lightning spike (called a Lightning Fissure).

jin-eyez

If a player kites an orb into an existing Lightning Fissure, it will explode for lethal, raid-wide damage on contact. If an orb contacts a player inside the water, all players will be hit for 150k+.

After the pool expands to a quarter of the chamber, Jinrokh summons a lightning storm inflicting 70k damage per second to all players for 15 seconds. In addition, this storm electrifies the existing pools rendering players unable to use them for appropriate buffs and taking massive damage.

jin-2.jpg

The question remains.

How is your raid going to defeat Jin’rokh? Where should they stand? Where does the boss get positioned?

11 PTR Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making

11 PTR Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making

My challenge mode group scored Gold on Temple of the Jade Serpent with 8 seconds left to go on the clock. Yay! We’ll be entering Mogushan Palace next week. I can smell that delicious transmog coming soon.

The public test realms for patch 5.2 have been open for a while now. Raid testing has been sporadic but ongoing throughout the past few weeks with a few boss previews already completed. There are sessions where I end up with excellent testing groups and other days where I just want to throw my hands up in the air and go “Why bother?”. For example, I was in a group where one of the players refused to get Ventrilo because Mumble was far superior and was adamant about it. Another player left after 10 minutes because they had a live raid. Raid testing periods are usually available for a limited time only so every minute spent looking for replacements is time spent not checking out the new encounters.

I love the test realms. There are no boss videos. There’s no WoWhead comments to peruse. There’s no strategies on Icy Veins. Everyone starts on equal footing. Everyone is given a chance to “solve” the mechanics of the raid boss. You know just as much about the fights as the server first realms on your realm.

It’s just you and your wits.

That’s why I love the public test realms. I can never compete at the world stage. But being on the PTR gives me a small thrill and a glimpse of what it’s like to figure this stuff on my own without having to rely on anyone else.

That being said, there’s a few things I want to suggest to you if this is something you seriously want to do. In order to minimize downtime, reduce your own frustrations and seriously contribute to testing, follow the list:

  • Impatience: I’ve been in groups where right after the first wipe, a player leaves after callously throwing out “u guys are bad”. It’s the test realm. We’re learning this stuff now so we’ll have an easier time with it later. Be prepared to wipe.
  • Approaching with a negative mentality: Go in there with a sense of wonder. Keep an open mind. Be surprised. Feel awe at your experiences. Don’t be afraid to try new tactics and strategy if what you have isn’t working.
  • Testing when you have other things to do: Raid testing usually occurs anywhere between an hour to three hours. Make sure you allocate your time accordingly. If you’re too busy because you have errands or a live raid to do, tell your group ahead of time so they can prepare to bring a sub in for you when you leave!
  • Not bringing consumables: You don’t even have to farm on the PTR. Just make a premade character matching your main and then mail the potions and flasks from that character to the character you plan to test with. Instant food, flasks, and potions!
  • Not knowing where the testing areas are: This is the most basic of information. It’s usually posted in the blue posts. Or you can go around a little earlier prior to raid testing and explore a bit – You know, what we did in the old days! getting added to the group 5 minutes after raid testing start and then asking how to get to the island and where the instance isn’t going to look good. That raid group can find a replacement outside the instance as there’s always people waiting to sub in for random groups.
  • Logging in late: Raid testing starting at 10 AM? You better login at 930 and start hunting for a group. The earlier you go in, the better the odds you have for getting into groups that are forming.
  • Not knowing what’s going on: We have a dungeon journal now. Gone are the days of wiping multiple times in order to figure out what the exact boss abilities are. We’re much better equipped to find out what attacks and spells bosses will bring to bear against us. This then frees us up to start planning tactics to counter the abilities and how we should setup our raid positioning.
  • Having a ton of addons installed: For many of us it’s difficult to play with the default UI. I had to spend a good half an hour remapping all my keys. I spent another 5 minutes adjusting my raid frames. I felt I was severely diminished without the use of timers. Eventually, I settled on Ellipsis. That’s the only addon I have installed right now to help me track my Shadow DoTs. Using your full live UI might not be a good idea because it could break at anytime and compromise your raid testing group
  • Having one (or no) voice clients installed: You should have both Ventrilo and Mumble installed and configured. These encounters offer an added levels of complexity and voice chat is a necessity. You’ll find groups that only have Ventrilo or only use Mumble. You don’t want to be that guy that has to keep the group waiting while you download and setup the client that you don’t have installed. You might end up finding yourself dropped from the group if they find someone else that’s already prepared with the right client they use.
  • No enchants or gems: This is usually applicable to premade characters as it’s expected your main is ready to go. I had to enchant and cut my gems throughout one of my earlier testing sessions because I completely forgot about it. I was woefully unprepared. As we were wiping and getting ready for the next pulls, I would frantically throw whatever enchants on my gear until the pull. I kept doing this until I was as happy with my gear as I could be. I don’t think anyone noticed but that sure would’ve been embarrassing trying to explain it!
  • Not give the developers your feedback: Even a simple “Holy crap, this is awesome” is nice. It’s an affirmation to them that they’re doing the right thing. However, if you can afford to be more specific, you should. Comment on how your class or role feels responding to various attacks and abilities. Talk about the damage that’s coming in or going out. Does the enrage timer feel too tight? Is it too easy? Everyone’s gear is normalized up to 502 but it doesn’t mean it’s going to get reduced down to it so do keep that in mind. How do boss abilities look to you? Does the raid wipe mechanic actually look like it’s going to crush your whole raid or does it need more punch? Details will allow them to make the best possible decisions before patches go live.

Lastly, knock yourself out and try to have a good time. You’re seeing a preview of this content in it’s unfinished form. Usually maps or certain labels aren’t there (Remember the doodad door from Naxxramas?). It’s all exciting stuff and I can’t wait for this patch! So much to do and so many new bosses to crush!

If you’re interested in a preview of what to expect, you can check out my impressions on WoW Insider of both Horridon and Iron Qon.

Thunderforged: Will it Breathe Life into 25 mans?

Thunderforged: Will it Breathe Life into 25 mans?

The new Thunderforged item concept adds another two levels of items into raids. Only available to items that are non-tier. Not sure how the slight stat allocation of Thunderforged compares to the set bonuses that tier provides, but that’s not the object of discussion here.

Much of the feedback Blizzard received was around 25 man raiding and how to proportionately reward those who eagerly go through the logistical challenges of organizing them (y’know, hopeless idiots like myself). 25 mans are gradually diminishing. Top guilds Vodka and Exodus merged resulting in the loss of another prominent 25 man guild.

Coming to the PTR in the near future will be a new designation of item type in Normal and Heroic raids for non-tier pieces. Each 5.2 raid boss will have a chance of dropping this new designation of a particular item that’s 6 item levels higher than their counterparts. These higher quality versions will be called “Thunderforged”. This means that there will be five variations of some items. You’ll now see a 5.2 raid item of LFR quality at item level 502, the same item in Normal quality at item level 522, the item in Normal Thunderforged quality at item level 528, the Heroic version of the item at level 535, and the Heroic Thunderforged version of the item at level 541.

[…]

We’ve also received a lot of feedback regarding 25-player raids, and have been looking for ways to address some concerns. Ever since we changed 10-player raids to drop the same item level as 25′s, we’ve seen a steady decline in 25-player raiding. This isn’t surprising. A 25-player raid takes an extra level of logistical commitment for the officers of those groups. It’s unfortunately easy for a 25-player guild to collapse down into a 10-player guild, but very unlikely for the opposite to happen. However, we like 25-player raiding and don’t want to see it go away. Like many players, we love the epic feeling that comes with banding together more massive groups to battle powerful foes, we love that there’s opportunity for those groups to try out new players or unusual comps without causing a huge burden, and we want to support the larger raiding guilds. That said, we’re also concerned that over-rewarding the 25-player guilds-if, for example, we went back to a higher item level across the board for 25′s, as was the case for Icecrown Citadel-would feel like a slap in the face to the many 10-player raiders out there, who are the majority of our Normal and Heroic raiders.

To attempt to navigate this minefield, we’re going to try having Thunderforged items drop more frequently in 25-player raids. They’ll be somewhat rare in both cases compared to the standard versions that’ll drop, but they’ll be even rarer in 10′s. Overall, a 25-player group will be more likely to end up with a slightly higher item level after several weeks of raiding.

This isn’t going to have much effect on the guilds that already run 25 man raids. Conquest has survived some of the worst ordeals in it’s history. 10 man raiding has never been a long term solution in any fashion and it never will be as long as I continue to run it. The players and the leaders have no interest in it all and that resiliency has helped us.

Have to admit, reward incentive here with the Thunderforged is cool. It’s a neat compromise to the whole suggestion of adding a completely different level of gear between 25s and 10s (the Wrath style). I’ve seen cases of 25s dropping down to 10s but I have never seen a 10 man raid step up to a 25 man raid which continues to be active. If you happen to be the architect of such a move, give me a shout!

More importantly, is this going be enough to influence players to make the switch from 10 to 25? I don’t think so. My guess is no. The interactions I’ve had with the 10 man players is that they have no interest in the logistical maintenance that’s required at the 25 level. There’s a strong preference for the closer intimacy that’s offered.

This change seems to be targeting the players that like having the best stuff available. They raid a set amount of hours a week and they want to really maximize their return on their time investment.

What about the leaders? As I said, it’s a cool reward for the few that brave the logistical nightmares. But if you’re a 10 man raid leader, is it enough to consider to make that shift? I’m not sure about that. Seems to me that the players already comfortable where they are don’t want to take that leap. I gather there’s large number of players that aren’t raiding purely for the gear level (but I acknowledge that there are some who do).

During Wrath, 25s were the dominant raiding force. The challenges there offered undoubtedly better geared compared to the 10 man counterparts. With this in place, 25 man raiders have a better chance of securing better gear compared to the 10 man raiders. The 10 man players won’t be shut out. They’ll still have a chance at it but it won’t be as strong. We’ll have to wait and see what the frequency of the Thunderforge drops are going to be.

I took a quick poll on Twitter to see what other people felt.

Here’s what you said:

Yup, I figured that was going to be the case for quite a few players. What else?

Also understandable. Doesn’t matter how good the rewards and incentives are. Sometimes there is no price that’s high enough. next?

So not exactly eager to look for a 25 but won’t resist if the current leadership decides to go that route. That’s fair. It does lower the barrier slightly. And this change does seem to go after the players that are either on the fence or virtually indifferent.

Oof, I hate hearing about situations like that. Players joining a guild expecting one kind of experience only for that to be abruptly changed soon after. It’s crappy.

That’s unexpected. So in the grand scheme of things, there is an extremely slight chance that it’s enough to split a 10  man (maybe not break it).

What are your thoughts on this addition? Is it enough to give you a reason to start looking around for 25s? Are you or your raid leaders suitably incentivized to give 25s a shot or look for a guild to merge with? Or does nothing change and the status quo is maintained?

Wind Lord down and Scholomance Gold

Wind Lord down and Scholomance Gold

This is the most mentally drained I’ve felt in such a long time. The fast resets on Wind Lord helped us pick up the fight fairly quickly. Once we got into the rhythm of the whole encounter between AoEing the ads and bursting Wind Lord, the rest of it just fell into place. I experienced an FPS lag spike just as a Wind Bomb was thrown at my feet triggering a detonation which plastered five people in the raid. But he was already at 6% left with his damage debuff still active.

It was actually really fun and not at all what I expected.

Right after the raid, the challenge mode team set their sights back on Scholomance. We came really close before but this time we put it away for good despite an early death on my part by standing in a ring of frost from that first boss.

Two sloppy mistakes. I can feel the pressure slowly getting to me and affecting my game. I don’t normally make errors like that. Maybe I need another week off in Vegas to recuperate.

Temple of the Jade Serpent is next on the challenge mode list while the raid team heads back into Mogushan for the first time in a week. Many Sha Touched weapons were picked up tonight so the need to farm for those won’t be as high.

The 300 Stat Food Question

The 300 Stat Food Question

The Heroic version of Blade Lord fell to us on Thursday. The last few wipes were edge-of-your-seat attempts largely because we kept wiping with less than 5%. Players had a hard time making the run from one side to the other. We had some deaths early on and I ran out of battle res’s for them. Tornadoes were snatching up people out of the air. We hit the enrage timer multiple times. Eventually, we scored the kill with around 11 seconds left before the berserk.

After one of our close attempts, one of our officers made the comment that players should be busting out their own 300 stat food instead of the usual 275 stats.

Kudos for making a fair point.

We were a couple of million health short of finishing off the Blade Lord at the time and there are no arguments from me saying that if the players alive had those extra stats, it would have easily translated into a kill. The combined 600+ stats would’ve turned those low percentage wipes into a kill.

As the GM, I could “demand” the players make the necessary changes and effort. But deep down I know that’s no small feat. How am I supposed to enforce a directive like that? This is one of those things where I have to appeal to them. Your GM needs to make the case to you that this stuff is important and the time and energy to get this steroid food created is worth it.

Now if I go down this route, I’d have to ask players to valor cap as well.

I know for a fact that not everyone valor caps. People are sick of doing their dailies and their faction grinds. I get that and I had to bite my tongue for the longest time. Even though I personally just suck it up and do them to get my coin rolls and stuff, I find ways to deal with it. I’ll watch something on Netflix while mindlessly knocking them out. Not everyone has time to grind these out either because people have to work or they have family obligations or other things and don’t have the capability to commit that time to them.

Raise that bar too high and you run the risk of alienating (or worse, running out of) the players that you raid with. It’s a fine line to walk.

I’ll be completely frank.

As GM, I’d love it if every player did the following:

  • Valor capped on a weekly basis
  • Provided their own potions and flasks
  • Pushed their dailies enough to hit exalted with all the factions
  • Continue pushing dailies to sustain bonus rolls on a weekly basis
  • Did their own cooking with their personal supply of 275 and 300 stat food

But this is not a realistic expectation for a guild of this calibre as much as it pains me to admit it. We’re not the kind of organization with those level of demands. Based on that list, the average player does maybe 3 or 4 of those tops.

Hitting exalted with the Pandaria factions has a high value early in the expansion but it greatly diminishes as you gain gear from raiding. It’s just not as important in the late stage.

Further analysis of our raids and our logs showed that we can improve our performance in other areas with greater effect without exerting that much time and work. Using Phoenix Style, I discovered that while a large majority of our players were already pre-potting, there were still a small number that were not. That’s unfortunate because if they had been, it would’ve easily been enough to secure the kills earlier!

This is partially my fault to blame. Our raiding roster often has a turnover and sometimes you expect players to do already do things like pre-pot, but some people don’t because they don’t have access to the herbs or don’t know an alchemist who can make this stuff for them. Personally, I think potions and flasks are much more accessible nowadays than they were in the past. I don’t think there’s any reason or excuse at all to come to a raid without a supply of your own. I did not make that expectation that players are to utilize pre-pots but I set the record straight on that one shortly before Blade Lord dropped.

Where does this leave us with the steroid food?

My thought was that if we were consistently pushing bosses into the enrage timer with all players alive and executing near-flawless, that’s when the super food should be used. If we’re just learning a new boss or if players continue to die to simple things, then we shouldn’t use them just yet because we’re getting outskilled and need to tighten up our play.

Going back to that Blade Lord example, we were consistently getting better at not dying in the first 80%. But had we perfected our survivability on Blade Lord, then this discussion would not have come up.

Eventually, a compromise was reached. It just so happens a small group of players are chefs and just love cooking, farming, and fishing. They generously volunteered their time to stockpile the bank with a large supply under the conditions that these items should only be used in the event of an imminent kill. Of course, the raiders were asked to provide the necessary items like the Black Pepper and Rice Flour items which are only purchasable with Iron Paw tokens.

Our next step is Wind Lord. This guy seems easy — In theory.

By the way, thanks for the Blade Lord pointers, LedonLite! They helped!

What Keeps a Guild Together?

This is my weekend question to you.

Doesn’t matter what the size or purpose of the guild is. But what factors do you think contributes to the longevity of an organization? I wish I had a sample size of GMs or Officers I could talk to. I’ve always wanted to know what that one key ingredient was.

Is it progression related? Or is it based on the people within? Does it have to do with the standards or policies set out by the leaders?

While it’s foolish to expect guilds to last forever, that doesn’t mean that you can’t at least study and find out how to weather your guild through tough ordeals. 

What do you think keeps a guild together?

New absorb UI!

New absorb UI!

patch52-absorb

The default UI’s been updated in the latest patch 5.2 PTR build. We’ve clamored for the ability to view absorb information. That stuff was added into the combat log sometime ago. Now we can actually see how much our shields will absorb for in the various frames.

patch52-monkaoe

Monks get a new Level-60 talent called  Ring of Peace:

Ring of Peace forms a 8 yard sanctuary around the target for 8 seconds, causing all enemies in the area of effect to be silenced and disarmed.

What you don’t see in the above picture is that the ring gradually diminishes and grows smaller in size. You bet it’s a PvP talent! It’s great for any defensive or offensive work that needs to be done. If I manage to root a bunch of players, I hope a Monk drops this right on top.

patch52-insanity

Finally, here we see the reworked Shadow Word: Insanity.

For Shadow, this ability causes Mind Flay to gain the Insanity effect when it’s cast on a target with 3 Shadow damage-over-time spells on them. Insanity causes Mind Flay to deal double damage for the duration.

In essence, when your target has 3 DoTs active, Mind Flay does double damage. Now my question for the theorycrafters is this:

Since Mind Flay will always do double damage with 3 DoTs up, does this mean we should activate Devouring Plague with only 1 Shadow orb or continue to save and use Devouring Plague at 3? The only way to negate this question is if the Insanity effect were to somehow scale based upon the potency of Devouring Plague.

5.2: Returning to Wrath level Shield spam?

5.2: Returning to Wrath level Shield spam?

Okay, that’s not actually going to happen. As much as I miss the days of 1 button Circle of Healing during Burning Crusade and non-stop shielding in Wrath, it was largely so I could keep watching my NHL games without having to compromise my performance too much.

In a recent thread about PTR class and set bonus issues, Ghostcrawler mentioned the following:

We are going to nerf Divine Aegis for Prayer of Healing, but also lower the cost of Power Word: Shield (for Disc only) and increase the healing and damage of Penance. In 25 raids, Disc is using Prayer of Healing almost exclusively and we don’t think the Spirit Shell change will be sufficient to change that. We actually want Disc to get back to using PW:Shield a little more, along with Penance. Disc’s throughput is overall too strong in PvE, not even counting the fact that absorbs are often more beneficial than heals.

The Divine Aegis aspect on Prayer of Healing gets tuned down but we get cheaper Power Word: Shields instead.

I don’t know what it’s like at the 10 man level, but at the 25 man level, Disc Priests are predominantly using Prayer of Healing. It’s just that effective! More tactical usage of Penance and PW: Shield needs to be done clearly. Right now, we have the ability to run two Priests in our composition. You’d think that 2 Disc priests would limit the amount of shields being thrown up because of the whole Weakened Soul debuff and the fact that shields cause a dent in mana.

But realistically at the 25 man level, two Disc priests sharing the burden isn’t going to shoot the raid in the foot. There’s lots of targets to go around. There’s damage coming from all over the place (in most cases). Those shields provide an extra buffer and can buy players an extra second or two. Bonus points for cheaper shields.

Remember when Discipline sucked back in the day?

I just hope it doesn’t go too far in the other direction and we find out massive quantities of shield spam are back in season. I don’t think it is because we learned how that was in Wrath and while it was strong, it wasn’t fun.

What other clarifications?

The Golden Apparition from the Healing 4pc heals the lowest % health friendly target within 40yd. Note that it has no visual yet, but will not work like Shadowy Apparitions. It is a simple missile, not a summoned unit.

Good to hear. I’m getting annoyed at my Shadow Apparitions sometime just sitting there. Glad to know my healing priests won’t have to suffer from that. Cant’ wait to see this bonus in action though. I hope the missile isn’t as slow as the Shadow Apparition. Wouldn’t it be embarrassing if, you know, by the time your holy guardian activated and healed your ally they were already at full health because your healers were already doing their job?

Angelic Bulwark and Spirit Shell can no longer be dispelled.

On the one hand, this sucks because I can’t offensively get rid of these buffs on people in PvP. On the other hand, this is awesome because now I won’t lose them during PvP.

We are going to redesign Shadow Word: Insanity.

Can’t wait to see this. There’s something about this ability that strikes me as off whenever I try using it. I’ve mainly stuck with From Darkness, Comes Light. Honestly, 4 seconds isn’t that small of a window to get Insanity off on a boss.

So then why do I feel so awkward using it?

Our current though on Solace is that it will provide damage and healing for both Disc and Holy. So Holy could use it for some Atonement-like healing, as could Disc, but Disc won’t double dip and shouldn’t feel like it’s mandatory. That could change (all of this could change) as we try it out and iterate more.

Took a look at this on the PTR. Holy Fire gets changed to Power Word: Solace so it’s one less button that takes up your spell book.

Neat! I think we’re approaching that point where we’re starting to have too much crap in our spellbook so I do like the fact that we’re condensing something. Unlike Holy Fire, Solace is instant, offers you 1% mana back, but has a 10 second cooldown.

The current version of Solace is a 1.5 second cast time which restores 0.7% maximum mana but has no cooldown.

Doesn’t the new version of Solace seem a little too low in the mana return area?

Khendra, we have no objection to using Prayer of Healing when you need to heal a bunch of people. That’s what it’s for. But when you’re using Prayer of Healing in preparation for future damage because DA and SS make your AE heal better at shielding than actual Power Word: Shield, then that even further reduces your options. (In 10s, Disc tends to use Atonement more, so they’re doing something more than just PoH spam. In 25s, we see some Atonement use, but it’s fit in when possible and healers in 25s are just always going to be able to specialize more.)

We might in the future add another AE heal for Disc (I think you can make a compelling argument that in this day and age, healers need a variety of interesting AE heals and maybe only a couple of ST heals, while healer design for years went in the opposite direction) but that’s not the sort of thing we want to drop on you in the middle of an expansion. In the meantime, if Disc uses Penance and PW:Shield some more (and Flash Heal in PvP) and doesn’t trounce all the other healers, we will be satisfied and hopefully so will priests.

Won’t be seeing that until 6.0 is my guess. We’ve got a ton of single target healing. Having Divine Star, Cascade, and Halo access were all great because we could customize our AoE healing based on the task at hand.

Another baseline AoE would be interesting though. You’d be hard pressed to find a method for AoE absorbs that isn’t already covered by what Spirit Shell can do.

Okay, I’m guessing it’s an AoE absorb. They think it’s a little excessive to chain cast Prayer of Healing in advance of a Bonestorm even though that’s the best method in countering incoming damage (even if every player’s at full health).

Can’t wait to see what they’re thinking about doing though though!

As for me, I’m still rolling around in Shadow. We’ll be challenging Blade Lord tonight. We’re getting picked apart by Wind Step and Unseen Strike combinations. Not quite sure how to counter that. It’s not like we’re losing half the raid. But each time an Unseen Strike hits, we always lose a player. I’m sure we can battle through it and add another heroic notch to our belt but if anyone has any pointers or suggestions, I’d be grateful.

Are these changes going to cause you Disc Priests to consider reverting back to Holy? Or no change at all? What do you think about the proposed Solace change?