I’m back! (kinda)

As I mentioned here this time last week, I had a blog in the works.  Well, the WordPress template has been wrestled into submission, and it is now officially up and running.  So, after evading Matt’s prodding for a sneak peek, I’d like to welcome everyone to World of Snarkcraft

Snarkcraft is something that Seri (my class lead) and I had been poking around with the idea of starting for a few months now.  SYTYCB was what finally convinced me that I might actually be able to pull a blog off.  Seri’s still nervous and facing a big case of stage fright.

As is probably obvious from the title…  it’s not going to be World of Matticus.  We’re not about power through knowledge and reason as much as we are about equal portions education and opinion (by rant and snark).

So..  welcome.  Put your feet up, have some tea and cookies, and enjoy.

 

DISCLAIMER:  World of Snarkcraft© is not affiliated in any way with World of Matticus© (despite similar “World of” names and color scheme).  The opinions expressed are solely to be attributed to Jov© or Seri© (though rarely both at the same time) and not to Matticus©, Wynthea© or Sydera©, or any other contributor or guest contributor to World of Matticus©.  The views expressed in World of Snarkcraft© do not necessarily represent the views or policies of World of Matticus© or any of it’s contributors.  Some restrictions apply, void where prohibited by law.  Please use responsibly.

Thank You

This is going to come across a bit acceptance-speechy I fear (which is weird, since I’m not accepting an award or anything), but I just wanted to toss a post up here and say a few things off-topic before I retire to “guest contributor” status. ;)

1. It was a huge honor to participate in this. From the start, I was doing this explore my own writing and ideas, as well as my nerve to post it for Matt’s large fanbase. I’ve come to several conclusions: the best tree won, new friendships are awesome, I can actually pull this sort of thing off, and I’m definitely going to keep in touch.

2. I AM going to be starting a blog. There’s actually already one in the works, but it’s still in the “wrestle with the blog template” stage, so I’m not tossing it out just yet. However, Matt’s promised (threatened?) to alert you all and WI when it goes live. I might just flee in terror now.

3. I’m going to kinda miss the last-minute panic of trying to get a post up by the deadline. Matt can vouch for my sometimes very last minute turn-ins.  Guest-Judge pointed out that my IDS post is really only half-done, so I’m definitely going to finish that sometime in the (fairly) near future.

4.  I wanted to toss a special thank-you to everyone involved in the process.  First to Matt and Wyn, who both started WoM and held this competition.  Even when I don’t agree with y’all, I had a lot of fun.  To Sydera, you did an awesome job throughout the competition, and your posts regularly blew me away.  I look forward to seeing what you come up with in the future.  To Jen, Vedela, Crutch, Tulani, and Rusco, I didn’t have a lot of interaction with some of you (which I look at as being a bad thing) but I hope that changes in the future.  I’ll catch y’all around PlusHeal and keep poking around for your blogs.  I hope those of you who don’t have blogs already will get up and do something about that ;)  (And Crutch, good luck in the interview ;)  I’m rooting for ya.)

Death and the Priest

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This week, we were given the option of a freestyle post.  I’m sticking with that, though I am using one of the topics presented in the competition to do it.  Matt, I’m sorry but I totally disagree with you when you advocate letting your dark side out and forcing a wipe. 

So Who Calls It?

Wipes happen, every group has been there.  It may be due to a bad pull, lack of focus, or simply the process of learning a fight.  It sucks, and can feel like a waste of time.  However, it is not the job of anyone other than the raid leader to determine when it is time to throw in the towel.  The raid leader is the person you agreed to listen to in raid, they are the person you hopefully trust to tell you what to do.  I’m not advocating a blind following of everything said to where you forget your own common sense, but the authority of the raid leader is totally undermined if one of the 24 other people in the group go over his head and make these decisions without him.  If you think it’s hopeless, poke the raid leader to call it, don’t make that decision yourself.  If you are making that decision, you need to ask yourself why, if you’re not going to let him lead, is he the raid leader at all?

Why not call it?

There are really only two kinds of wipes out there; the wipes that happen on farm content because of fluke or lack of attention, and the wipes that happen while you’re in some stage of learning a fight.  In neither of those instances are early problems reason to give up immediately. 

Everyone has experienced the shaky pull, where you lose one healer and a dps or two fairly early on, and still manage to beat it.  We’ve had Bloodboil on farm for months, every week is a one-shot.  But last night, we were running with 7 healers (where we usually run with 8 ) and lost one early on to Fel Rage (he was picking through the healing crew) bringing us down to 6.  It was stressful and crazy.  Then one of our warlocks got double-boiled because someone else hadn’t been paying attention.  You guessed it, he was the next Fel Rage target and died.  Bloodboil turned and Acid Breathed the tanks, costing us two of them.  With our highest-aggro mages and warlocks “off-tanking,” we still brought him down from 20% to dead with only our pally tank up.  It was a slow kill, but it would have wasted more time to wipe, rez/run back, and start all over from the beginning.  Problems are not a guaranteed wipe. 

As for giving up early while learning content, well, why show up to begin with?  Most bosses are not the type which look at you and fall over, offering up their shiny loot because you scare them so much.  Learning a boss can be hard!  You can spend weeks, 5, 10, 15 wipes, just trying to get a boss down once.  My raid group is currently working on Kalecgos.  It’s going slow, it’s frustrating, and it’s mainly due to the expansionitis that most raid groups are facing.  We don’t call it when the first healer dies.  We don’t even call it when the first tank dies, when we know it’s a guaranteed wipe at that point.  We still need the practice on when to move, keeping our portal rotation, where to stand, how to manage the details of the fight.  There’s a lot of learning that can be accomplished by pushing forward, even if you know you’re not going to win.  If you give up at the first sign of trouble, you are never going to improve.

Things to remember

  1. Discreetly forcing a wipe just means you have something to hide.  If you have something to hide, why are you doing this in the first place?
  2. Playing this off as an innocent mistake means you know you’re in the wrong and are looking for plausible deniability.
  3. Communication is key, as is trust.  Forcing a wipe totally ignores both of these things.

In short, if you have a problem, or things look dire, talk to your raid leader, don’t take over his job yourself.

The Utility of Utility

IDSvCOH2

I consider myself to be an okay tank healer, but an excellent raid healer.  I love Circle of Healing, and when you catch me off-guard enough to admit it, I’ll say my favorite spells are the ones I can cast while pounding my spacebar and hopping around.  Yes, I am “that type” of raider.   I also seem to be in a rather unusual raid group where, up until recently, we had a surplus of single-target healers (paladins coming out our ears,  our only resto druid is a Dreamstate-wants-to-be-a-doomchicken Healing Touch spammer) and raid healing came from one Shaman and a few CoH.  We had no priests with Divine Spirit on our roster because we simply couldn’t afford them.

Unfortunately for me, I’m also a spirit junkie.  I would LOVE to go into every raid with an extra +50 spirit, not to mention the +10% dmg/heal the buff gives as well.  Even though my group’s makeup needs raid healing, not to slot a priest in a tank heal, IDS utility spot, I decided to turn the question around (for purely selfish purposes, of course).  Circle of Healing is an awesome spell in T6 raiding, but if IDS is considered mandatory, what exactly will it bring to the raid?

Spellpower

One of the largest arguments against IDS is the fact that it’s only a significant buff to holy priests and tree druids.  None of the other healers or DPS have a spirit focus, so the damage or healing they gain is minimal.  I decided to check and see how minimal the gain actually is.  I used my guild as an example, and spent some time with the Armory and a calculator.  Unsurprisingly, our Holy Priests had the highest spirit out there.  We ranged from ~550-650 unbuffed spirit, and the gain from IDS gave each holy priest somewhere between 60 and 70 +heal.  What did surprise me was the fact our mages tied our DS druid for second place in the spirit race.  They ran from 250-350 unbuffed, which left them getting 30-40 more damage or healing.  This is roughly equivalent to nearly two Teardrop Crimson Spinels for the druid, and three Runed Crimson Spinels for the mages.  Paladins, Warlocks, and Shaman tied for third, each in the 100-200 spirit range, got 15-25 damage or healing.  If your raid group is heavy on priests, druids, and mages, IDS’s utility increases.

Talents

If the results of IDS on mages is so surprising because they are not a class that gains much from spirit, what about the classes which have a spirit focus, or talents specifically relating to spirit?  That’s right, I’m talking priests and Trees. 

For priests, those talents are Spiritual Guidance and Spirit of Redemption.  Spiritual Guidance increases dmg/heal based on 5%/10%/15%/20%/25% of the priest’s total spirit.  Spirit of Redemption, in addition to that whole “heal while dead” thing, gives a flat 5% increase to total Spirit.  Those two spells work beautifully together, and are a must for every healy-priest regardless of spec.  Both of these talents are also multiplicative, meaning the more spirit you have, the more you’ll get as a result.  We get the 60-70 +heal IDS grants at base, plus another 13 (25% of the 50 spirit of the buff for Spiritual Guidance) and 3 (5% of the 50 spirit of the buff for Spirit of Redemption) added on. In T6 gear, the average increase in +heal a priest gains from having IDS is 75-85. The healing Priests get from IDS is equivalent to the +heal to weapon enchant.

For tree druids, there are also two talents which deal directly with spirit: Tree of Life and Living Spirit.  Much like with priests, these talents were designed to go together.  Tree of Life also increases healing based on 25% of the Tree’s spirit, but instead of the healing done by the tree, it’s healing done to anyone in the tree’s group.  Living Spirit increases spirit by 5%/10%/15%.  As we don’t have any trees in our guild, I can’t use guildie figures for this, but poking around other guilds at our level of progression, their trees seem to have spirit numbers on par with our holy priests.  That gives the same 60-70 +heal from IDS at base, in addition to another 7 (15% of the 50 spirit boost) to everyone in the tree’s party.  In T6 gear, the average +heal gained by the tree’s party is increased by 65-80.  Tanks in a tree group healed by holy priests with IDS using max-coefficient spells will see an increase in healing received by 140-165 per hit.

Regen

In addition to the healing gained based on spirit for both holy priests and tree druids, regen must be taken into account as well.  Both have equivalent spells.  Meditation for priests and Intensity for druids each give 10%/20%/30% regen while casting.  The formula for determining regen is the same regardless of class as well:  Mana Regen = 5 * sqrt(Int) * Spirit * Base_Regen

regen

All names slightly tweaked as I didn’t speak to them before posting.  Jadey is a tree, whereas the bottom four are myself and 3 other priests in my guild.  Both Int and Spirit numbers are unbuffed and pulled directly from armory.  OOC and IC refer to out of combat and in combat regen numbers.  OOC IDS and IC IDS show how the numbers change if we’ve got IDS up, and the final columns show the differences between buffed and unbuffed stats.

Buffs

Moving back to the general raid utility, because the gain in spellpower due to IDS is based on a percentage, the amount can also be increased by use of buff food and elixirs.  Blackened Basilisk, that favorite of DPS casters everywhere, gives 23 damage and 20 Spirit.  With IDS, suddenly it’s giving 25 damage.  If you use Bloodberry Elixir in Sunwell, in addition to buffing your stats, you’re picking up 6 extra spell damage.  Priests that use Draenic Wisdom will see an increase of 11 healing (versus the 7 they get from it without).  The buffs you give yourself anyway become more powerful with the addition of IDS.

Is IDS awesome enough to be considered “mandatory” in today’s raid environment?  It’s really going to depend a lot on the group composition you have available.  If you have more healing priests and druids than you have paladins and shaman, or more mages than warlocks, you need IDS in your raid.  Find the raid healers, put a priest on tank healing so they can have the buff.  But… not me.  I’m going to be over here, hopping around and spamming my CoH button.

10 Reasons Horde is Better

10 Reasons Horde is Better

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This is Joveta’s Week 2 Submission

I’m sorry (no, not really), but it’s true.  Alliance, you’ve got a lot of nifty things, but when it comes down to it, Horde has you beat hands-down.

 

 

 

Ogre Loin Cloths

loin-anaughtybear You just wish you had a quest that let you dig up a Ripped Ogre Loincloth.  Alliance, you may have a cutesy pet in Feralas, but Horde gets fashion.  Alternate recommendation for those in the audience saying to themselves, “But Jove…  Why would I want a gray item?”  Simple!  Slap an armor kit on one of these babies and give ‘em to your tanks to combat healer boredom during trash pulls.  Fashionable and useful!

 

Zeppelin

zeppelin-arthouseparty(net) I don’t know about you, but I like a little variety in my transportation.  Alliance,  you’ve got gryphons and boats.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with utility, but in addition to wyverns and boats, Horde gets Zeppelins.  It’s an attractive way to cross the ocean without that pesky seasickness, plus it’s character-building to participate in anything created by goblins and engineers;  you never know when it might blow up in your face.

 

Thrall

Thrall-orcyish He is the Warchief.  Not only is he a kick-butt shammy who can chain lightning your face into the dirt, in the past, he’s been spotted riding a pally horse and getting his mack on with two cute blonde humans at the same time.  Who does Alliance have who can compete?  Definitely not…

 

Fandral Staghelm

Staghelm-zenvirus Related to the above, we hordies can actually kill that @$%%!# Staghelm up in his tree in Darnassus.  Alliance just gets to fantasize about it.  Isn’t that just like an “I win” button right there?

 

 

The Men

Sorry, Alliance.  Your options are “short and creepy” or “gorilla.”  Horde men have  actual variety in shape and appearance, and as such present something for everyone.  Like green and well-muscled?  We have orcs.  Tall and blue?  Trolls win, and have an awesome dance to boot.  Fur?  Taurens, if that’s your thing.  Like something you can go shopping with?  Blood elves are beautiful and can also give you hair-care advice.  Prefer your men deep and gothy?  Undead.  (Also, why is the Alliance trapped in a VH1 “I love the…” special when it comes to dances?  Horde men at least are in the correct century.)

 smooch

Silvermoon City

Oh Silvermoon City, how do I love thee?  Let me count the ways… 

Face it, Silvermoon is what every city wishes it could be.  It’s awesome enough, it deserves it’s own list.

If one is good, two is twice as good

Twice the banks and auction houses, twice as good, right?  That’s right, folks.  Silvermoon is the only city with dual banks and auction houses.  I’m sorry, Alliance, you’re stuck with just the one per town.

Mailboxes to infinity

mailbox Have you counted the mailboxes in Silvermoon?  There are  approximately 15-billion.  Unlike all those other towns where you literally need to “run to the mailbox” (of which you can choose between 2 or 3) in Silvermoon, one is never more than 25-feet away.  Goblins totally deliver faster there, too.

It’s clean and pretty

Not only was it planned by an architect with an eye for appearances, magic keeps the streets clean 24/7.  Enough said.

L70ETC

None of your cities has a rock band in residence.  Silvermoon does. 

Quality cyborz

Because it must be mentioned…  When it comes time to settle down and engage in some romantic interlude with your sweetie, which do you prefer?  A quiet inn off the beaten track, sumptuously decorated and lovely?  Or Goldshire, a ratty, falling-down, decrepit and noisy place with dingy sheets and bedbugs?

Got any additions to the awesome?  Any alliance want to come take me down a peg and try to prove me wrong?