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

So has everyone recovered from the New Year? I’m guessing you’re getting stuck into the wealth of new and changed features that Blizzard showered on us just before Christmas, then. I’ve read all kinds of reactions in the past week or so – people saying the raiding’s hard (but good!), people saying it’s hard argharghargh and folks not knowing which way is up with the new healing model. And let’s not talk about the subtle effects of Cataclysm’s new guild structure on guilds themselves.

Or maybe we will. I’ve gathered up some of the best healing, leading and guild-related posts from the blogosphere over the past week. You might remember from before Christmas that curating the blogosphere and sharing it with you is what I do, both here and over at MMO Melting Pot. Mind you, you might not remember… depends on your dark iron ale intake over the holidays I guess! Either way, let’s kick off 2011 with the first roundup from the blogosphere – which, suitably, has felt like its had a fresh injection of lifebloom…

  • Healing Tips For Magmaw – if you’re raiding Blackwing Descent and eyeing up the optional boss Magmaw, Tzufit’s got all you need to know. It’s a detailed post going through the everything from the Bad that your whole raid wants to avoid and the tricks the boss has up his sleeve. Throughout the post Tzufit includes little tips, like a chunk for healers on how to keep the tank alive while he’s being chomped, a trick for druids to help the raid move on time and along with it, a warning about what can go wrong.
  • Raiding Strategy, Redux – Analogue over at Looking for More has written up her guild’s policies and goals – primarily for her raidgroup, but she’s shared it with the rest of us too. The post covers everything from attendance and performance, raid composition, in raid behaviour and loot. All for a 10 man progression guild. Thought provoking post, and might be useful for guilds in similar positions.
  • The state Of Play; Resto Shaman 4.0.6 Preview Edition – The definitive article on how resto shamans are performing right now and how they’re likely to do in the near future. Vixsin opens up with a detailed look at resto shaman performance in all major group content – heroics, normal raids and heroic raids – and accompanies the review with some strong opinions on healing in general. She goes on to examine the incoming big changes to mana tide and what questions still remain unanswered as the patch looms.
  • Healer Evaluations – Kurn’s recently appraised her healing team and has ended up sharing the process with us. But she didn’t pick one of her healing team to be her example: she’s evaluated her own performance to give us an idea of how she handles healer performance evaluations. Her take on herself goes through various categories from attendence to being awesome and gives scores out of 5, along with brief commentary. At the end she tots the scores up and gives a summary of how she thinks things are going for the healer (e.g. herself, here) and what they should improve. Interesting reference for raid and healing leads.
  • Patch 4.0.6 PTR Resto Druid PvP Thoughts – not often we see articles on PvP healing, right? Bit of a change, then. Oom over at Oombulance has taken the patch notes and gone through them all with an eye how to how they’ll affect resto druid PvP play. He takes us through anything related, giving brief thoughts on how and why it’ll affect druid healers in PvP compared to how it is pre-patch.
  • Spirit/Intellect Relationship, evaluating gear choice – Jar’s breaking out the math and equations to work out gear/stat priorities for resto druids. If maths isn’t your thing, don’t worry – it’s still possible to get some useful information if the maths goes right over your head, as it did me. To tie it all up at the end Jar takes his findings and uses two trinkets as an example comparison to get you started.
  • And a quick shout out to Windsoar over at Jaded Alt, who’s been busy posting up great guides for some of the normal mode raid bosses this week. And she shows no sign of slowing down. Find them over on her homepage, and if what you’re looking for isn’t there yet – give a quick poke. I’m sure she’s either got it in the pipeline or can point you in the right direction.

That’s it for this week – was there something there for you, or are you looking for a topic the blogosphere didn’t cover?

Post-Cataclysm Survival Roundup For Healers, Leaders and Guilds

So, Cataclysm hit this week. We all know what that means: most of us got less sleep than we should have and consumed our body weight in caffeine. And around now you might be starting to look at the actual playstyle of the game rather than all the pretty shiny quests and graphics and going “so wait, what? How do I do…. ahhhh!”

Well, the blogosphere has some answers. The blogosphere itself has been a bit quiet this week – not a huge surprise, given that everyone’s been playing their hearts out. But over at MMO Melting Pot I’ve been doing special Cataclysm posts rounding up all the interesting post-Cataclysm articles from the blogosphere, and am rounding the week off doing just the same sort of post for you guys. Holy priests are really well spoken for this week, and the rest of us don’t have it too bad either. So, get a chunk of caek and a brandy (it’s the time of year dontchaknow) and have a gander while your WoW loads up in the background.

  • 10 Tips For Cata Healing on a Pally – an absolutely fantastic post for holy paladins in 5 mans by Aunna over at Bandage Spec. She’s got ten top tips on how to heal as a holy paladin in Heroics – and each of them sounds like a lifesaver. Whether you’re having trouble in dungeons or not, her post might well give you an extra edge. It’s certainly prodding me towards my holy pally.
  • Getting ready for… – if you’re heading into raids this may well be useful for you whether or not you use Grid. Beruthiel’s guides on getting Grid ready for the Throne of the Four Winds, Twilight Bastion and Blackwing Descent are all detailed posts on what debuffs go around during boss fights in each raid instance. These posts may have a slight lean towards those using Grid but they’re useful for any healer preparing themselves for the raid challenges ahead! As an added bonus if you’re a resto druid you might also check out her pre-raid gear post.
  • New Tools In The Priestly Arsenal – Harpy’s taking a look at the new spells you’re likely to pick up as a healing priestie in Cataclysm. She’s looking at it mostly from a holy perspective but I’m betting disc can get some thoughts from it too. A useful post, and I was impressed with her thoughts on the usefulness of your latest DPS spell.
  • Constructive Criticism – are you in a guild getting ready for raiding? Well, it’s new content. Harder. Faster. More fun. Well, maybe – anyway, it’s common for some players to get to grips with the new stuff more slowly. So if you see that happen in your guild and figure that someone needs to help or talk to those players, have a read of Malevica’s post: it’s a great resource for knowing how best to approach someone constructively, and aim for a solution that everyone’s happy with. She also has some musings on how a guild’s leadership setup can subconsciously affect the rest of the guild for better – or worse.
  • Choices in the Holy Tree or Lack Thereof – Zelmaru’s taking a look at the holy tree and deflating a little. She says holy’s excellent to play now, but the talents are a bit lacklustre. Which ones? Well, she says what she’s not taken and what went right out the window on day one. She also has a look ahead to 85 and her possible spec then. Holy priests have it really good this week, as Zinn over at Jinxed Thoughts has also gone through the holy priest talent tree and looked at the main talents each in turn.
  • Guild Leveling – Numbers – a really useful introduction to the whole guilds-can-now-level shenanigans for anyone. If you’re not new to the concept it’s worth a read anyway, as Psynister has done the maths and worked out roughly how long it’ll take a fairly active guild to hit the maximum guild level. He also explains what activities count towards getting your guild experience.

And with that there’s not much more to be said by this owl other than “squaaaaaawk!” Which roughly translates to HAPPY HOLIDAYS! I know it’s a little early but due to complicated Christmas plans this will be my last post here at WoM until the New Year. So have a good one, folks – see you when we’ve all recovered from eating too much turkey and mince pies.

But for the meantime, the whole crew at WoM would really like to know one thing. What do you want for Yuletide? That is – what would you like to read from us during the holidays?

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

Time for a look at the week that’s passed, before Wrath passes and we’re all sat waiting for the servers to come up or freezing our branches off in queues on Monday night. Ayup, this is the last roundup I’ll be doing before Cataclysm hits and while this week’s posts are all really interesting reads and useful for the coming Cataclysm, I’ve got a twinge of sadness. Everything will be a bit different come this time next week when the long wait’s over and I’m posting a roundup of blog posts talking about a new world.

Mind you, that’s what I’ll be doing over at MMO Melting Pot from the moment Cataclysm hits and people can tear themselves away from playing long enough to write. So come next weekend I’ll be used to the new, excitable blog posts about people doing rather than planning. Y’know, actually going out there and slaying them thar fish people/dragons/unfortunate critters caught in AoE. And then I can send you on to the ones more healery, more leaderish, more guild related.

This week’s bound to be an exciting time. But before we get there, have a read of last week’s healing and guild related blog posts. And talking of healing – don’t forget: if you want to join the new World of Matticus podcast, today is the last day for applications. C’mon, join us… we don’t bite.

  • Cataclysm Faction Rewards For Priests – this one kind of does what it says on the tin, but let me clarify a bit. Oestrus is guest posting at Ecclesiastical Discipline and has narrowed down the Cataclysm factions to the top three most useful to grind for your holy priesties out there. In each of her top three she goes into detail about the items you can pick up and why they’d be worth it. Great post, I wish there were more like it popping up for other classes/roles.
  • Be Prepared / Looking At Pre Raid Gear – two different posts from two excellent bloggers catering for the resto druids among us. Both Angelya and Rank4HealingTouch. The first post is Angelya’s: her guide is an extensive list of options to up for every slot including weapon slots. She’s given the items stat weightings for how useful they are and included the stat formula she’s based the list on. Looks like a great resource. Same can be said of the one from Rank4HealingTouch, though he says his post is a direct repasting of Elitist Jerks’ recommendations. This list has less options on it, which might suit indecisive folk (like me!)
  • Comparison of Healing Spells – this is a really interesting read given that we’re just going in to new content. Jasyla’s been looking in to how many spells each healing class has and has presented her findings in a combination of easily referenced tables followed by written analysis of each section. She’s gone through single target spells, AoE heals, cooldowns and extras. I’ve played all the healing classes and always wondered at the sheer amount of baggage my priest had to carry around with him in comparison to my druid, so Jasyla’s curiosity here is something I can really relate to.
  • Paladin Raid Healing – Porkchop (great name, right?) has an argument for paladins being just as capable in the raid healing department in any other class – especially come Cataclysm. He covers the holy paladin toolkit from hands to the shiny new AoE holy paladin spells and gives examples of how they can be used. Being completely honest here, holy paladin is my least played healer class so I’d be really interested to know if you agree with Porkchop or are inspired by his enthusiasm to the role. I’m not saying he’s wrong, I just don’t know as I lack the expertise for this class – what do you think?
  • The Hybrid’s Dilemma – Vidyala’s guild is preparing for Cataclysm and some of their members are changing characters for raiding. That includes Vidyala, who’s changing from a hybrid-capable druid to a single focus mage. She’s thought long and hard about it and recounts tales from her Wrath raiding experience of how being a hybrid has affected both her group and her own playing fun. She discusses with us why she’s made the choice to move away from the flexibility of being a hybrid character and is comfortable with that – great read.
  • Reunited With My Holy Half – Shintar over at Priest With A Cause disliked what happened to holy in the Big Spec Changes in patch 4.0 a few weeks ago. But since 4.0.3a hit and along with it some extra tweaks to the holy spec, she’s been looking at holy priesting again. And she’s found she quite likes how things are balanced now. She takes us through the major holy priest abilities as they are post-4.0.3a, talking about why she likes them and how they sync together. She also gives a sample spec right at the end which might be good reference for any priests out there.
  • Int regen mechanics – Velidra over at Emberstorm has been drawn towards healers recently and has some musings on how intellect will play out for healer classes. He’s mostly looking ahead at Cataclysm based on what we know already but for anyone who’s not sure on what intellect does or how mana regeneration will work, this is a great introduction to the new concepts. His look at intellect as a healer stat is particularly clear – he also lists each of the ways that healing classes will be able to regen mana and has a brief analysis of how strong each class is in this respect.

There we go. Pre-Cataclysm roundups… that’s the last one. ONWARD, to our first ever Cataclysm-live roundup – I’m expecting the blogosphere to be full of juicy posts next week, so check back. I’ll be letting you know where and what those posts are so you’ve got somethiing to do in your offline time, or even in your in-flight times. I’ll even have a new header picture by then!

Meanwhile, what do you think – what sort of posts are you hoping to see ASAP in the blogosphere? Theory on a particular class, gearing lists for a particular spec? Folks recounting their adventures of a class you’ve not yet got round to playing?

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

The last couple of weeks have seen the blogosphere gently swaying from side to side during the wait for Cataclysm, like a drunken llama on a narrow fence. A couple of weeks ago the blogosphere leaned more towards the healing type topics. Last week it loosely double-focused on healing and guild organisation. And now this week… well, this week we’re wobbling decidedly towards the guild organisation side of things and away from healing, although not entirely, because if we do that we might loose our balance.

Why, you ask?

It’s likely because as Cataclysm draws close we’re looking at restructuring our groups of seasoned (and I’m sure not inebriated) warriors so that we can meet Cataclysm’s challenges. And at the same time there’s not much new to say about healing now that the patch has been and gone, until Cataclysm itself hits and we wake up to find our healers at the top of the DPS charts.

…Oh! You meant why the llama analogy? I don’t know. Someone gave me caffeine. And it’s Saturday. But I bet you kept reading. Anyway, without further ado here’s this week’s MMO Melting Pot-sque roundup ‘specially for WoM readers of the healing, leading and guild related posts from around the blogosphere. Albeit with a distinct shimmy towards the latter.

  • Falling Leaves And Wings: Are 25 Mans Going To Be Worth The Effort In Cata? – Beruthiel is looking ahead to Cataclysm and wondering whether it’ll be worth running 25 mans in the new raid setup, even for a guild that specialises in 25 mans. Her worries are that raids won’t be properly balanced and 10 mans will still be easier for the same gear, added to the possibility that 25 mans won’t drop enough quantities of gear to make them progress at a relative speed to 10 mans. An interesting read for any raider, 10 or 25 man’er.
  • Organizing a 10 man team – Aunna’s got a brief if really quite detailed post on 10 mans. Not just on organizing them, though that does make up the latter chunk of her post. She’s also covering the benefits and disadvantages of raiding as a 10 man group, which is well written, refreshing to read and very grounded. Hear hear!
  • What It Takes To Be a Great Raid Leader – This is a great 5-point list for raid leaders by Saga over at Girls Don’t Play WoW. She says that it’s aimed primarily at newer raid leaders but as an experienced raid leader myself I found her post a very interesting read. Her points might seem obvious but they are all core principles of raid leading, some of which are easy to make mistakes with sometimes. Great post, and well timed for when people are organising for Cata.
  • Daily Thoughts: Raid healing – a short post by Sharden over at 15 Minutes of WoW musing on his recent forray into, yep, you got it – raid healing. He’s used to healing as a paladin and not doing the raid healing so much, so trying out the new role on his shaman sounds like it was a fresh experience. A nice read which I bet a lot of us can relate to or remember similar experiences!
  • Syl and Theanorak: Preparing For Healing Changes As DPS – This one’s not directly aimed at healers, but is from a healer trying to help their guild’s DPSers. Syl from Raging Monkeys has written a guide to her DPS guildies prepare for healing mechanic changes in Cataclysm, so they can brush up on their knowledge of what to stand in and what healing to expect. She invites you to use or adapt it for your own guildies, if you think they might benefit from it too.
  • Rules for Raiding – Analogue from Looking For More has posted her guild’s prospective raid rules and is looking for your thoughts on them. They’re covering things like attendence, strategy, tasks – and how raid members should behave in regards to these things. She’s asking us readers if we think they’re reasonable or whether we’d raid under them; an interesting question…

That’s it for this week. In a moment I’ve got to be heading off to do some organisation work for my own 10 man guild, but just before I go – what do you think, this week? Do you have a bee in your bonnet about any of these topics or are you hoping for more posts on a different subject?

Special Delivery: Roundup Of The Week’s Best WoW Leading, Healing and Guild Posts

Now that my shiny new Saturday WoM feature has been going a couple of weeks it’s not the exciting new toy it was when I first unpacked it with you guys. You know how it works. So I’m not going to spend half a day explaining how I’m going to link you to the best leading, healing or guild posts from the blogosphere, or that it’s because that’s what I do over on my own site, MMO Melting Pot. Nope, this week I’m going to jump straight into that list.

If you’re cynical and knew I was out ‘til late last night (all right, who am I kidding – early this morning) you might say that I’m not my usual rambly self because most of Saturday’s vanished after a particularly good, tipsifying and long fireworks party. So I don’t have much time spare today. That’s if you’re cynical, ‘cos it can’t be true at all. We all know what happens when boomkins get tipsy, and we can’t have hedges catching on fire from uncontrolled lazering all the time.

So, without further ado or headache induced madness, here’s the best on topics close to your heart, straight from the WoW blogosphere this week.

  • About Vortex: The Structure of a 10-man – an excellent post by Kae at Dreambound about how her 10 man guild is set up. She goes through everything from structure, to policies, to roster, loot systems and more, explaining the thought behind each and how they work out in practice. If you’re starting a 10 man guild or in one that needs a shake-up I couldn’t recommend Kae’s post more as the place to start getting some ideas.
  • I have three posts titled “what’s a casual raiding guild?” – After some abortive attempts Klepsacovic has posted some of his thoughts on defining casual guilds, over at Troll Racials Are Overpowered. He looks at what casual guilds need, just like any other guild, and why they can fail. The post’s short but sweet and it might give you pause for thought to consider how you view casual guilds.
  • Conducting Guild Meetings – Blacksen talks about why regular guild meetings are so very important to a raiding guild, and how to conduct them. He also lets us know what pitfalls to watch out for and how useful long term timescales are when planning in meetings, before going on to look at the same concepts for officer-specific meetings. His thoughts on “groupthink” relating to officers are particularly interesting.
  • Do You Know I Feel This Way? – Analogue over at Looking For More has let us into her deepest and darkest secrets about being a healer. She says early on that she’s going to make some sweeping generalizations in her post and she does, but look beyond those and it’s a thoughtful read for any healer out there. She’s looking at how she feels about healing in general, and her apprehensions going into Cataclysm – are you feeling the same as Analogue?
  • Beta Healing Counterpoint: Fun and Efficiency – last week I featured Vixsin of LifeinGroup5 talking about the new healing in Cataclysm being a good thing. Well, this week, she’s got a follow up, and she’s looking at just how needing to be more efficient healers will balance with our fun-factor. What is “being efficient” going to mean for us, and how does it apply to something as varied as healing? How does it play out in a team-based environment, when we’re all trying to show just how efficient we can be individually? Vixsin’s got thoughts on all of these things.
  • Dual Resto Specs? – Rank 4 Healing Touch is looking at the possibility of having to go dual specced resto to get the most flexibility out of the tree. He’s worried that some resto talents will underperform in some situations, but there seems to be so many to pick up. He seems to be looking for other opinions on how necessary two resto specs might be come Cataclysm, so drop by and let him know your thoughts – this might be quite a salient point come Cataclysm.
  • Why Every Healer Should Care About And Track Shields – this is just one in a series of brief posts Zelmaru’s done on tracking healing-related information, and how to do so using Grid. You can find the rest of the posts on Murloc Parliament in their own special ‘addons –> grid’ category – she’s covered a lot of angles from HoTs to Prayer of Mending. Might be something useful for you there.

So that’s it for this week. I hope you find something interesting there – certainly a good spread of topics to choose from this week.

What do you think – have any of these in particular caught your eye, or are you hoping to see more of a specific topic?

Special Delivery: Roundup Of The Best WoW Posts Of The Week

Special Delivery: Roundup Of The Best WoW Posts Of The Week

 

Last week I started a mostly regular Saturday feature whereby I do My Thing for you guys here at WoM. No,that’s not putting on a light display shooting lazers from my eyes. Embarrassingly I’ve generally switched raiding mains as it is and am considering switching again (shh, don’t tell Matt), so lazers are much removed at present. But what I do do is gather the best posts from around the WoW blogosphere and deliver them straight to my readers at my website, MMO Melting Pot. And that’s what I’m doing on a Saturday: rounding up the best posts I’ve read during the week, with a focus on the posts about healing, leading or raiding so that they’re just the right cup of tea for WoM readers.

Things have been a little quieter in the blogosphere this week, particularly on the healer-chatter side of things. Y’see, the end of October hails, well, November. Many bloggers are focusing on preparing themselves – or their guilds – for Cataclysm. Some are blogging less because they’re focusing on the now traditional (inter)National Month of Novel Writing (NaNoWriMo). Some, well… what can I say. It’s Halloween. We’ll just have to send search parties out if they don’t come back after midnight tomorrow.

But all of that doesn’t mean there’s nothing going on in the blogosphere at all. Tumbleweed hasn’t come to town by any means. Some people may be battening down the hatches against the coming storm but a lot of them are still writing. Heck, some of them are even creating a whole new website. What do I mean? Let’s take a look at that – and more – as it’s all fairly exciting.

  • Brangwen: new site for MMO leaders – great news everyone! Brangwen of Non-Elitist Raiding Diary revealed that she and several others from all corners of the blogosphere have started up MMO Leader: a home on the internet for MMO leaders. If you’re in any kind of leadership role – officer, guild master, raid leader, class leader, you’re welcome to go on over there and join in their forums as much as you want to. They also have articles for your leadery-perusal. And yes, you can give writing your own articles for the front page a go, too. It’s fantastic that us leaders finally have a place to rally in.
  • Seeing the Forest for the Trees: Beta Healing – Vixsin at Life in Group 5 says that healing is going to change in Cataclysm: it’s not going to be anything like what we’re used to. She says we’re going to have to adapt, and gives 7 points of what’s going to change for us. That sounds like a taster, mind – from what she says, everything’s changing. But there is hope. Vix rounds off the post with an excellent call to healer-arms (granted that’s more likely to be sparkles of light) and reminds us that we can do this – it’s why we’re healers.
  • Beruthiel: How To Prepare Your Guild For Cataclysm – any expansion’s a shaky time for a guild, and Cataclysm even more so with its guild talents. So Beru’s survival guild is essential advice for any guild. Her guide is lean and gives you exactly what you need to know to get your guild rolling for Cata, from tips on what to say to members to when to do it, and how to keep morale up. If you’re a guild leader, you’ll likely get some ideas from her. if you’re a member of a sleepy guild, maybe wave it at your officers – you might inspire them to get moving!
  • A Priest’s Guide to Chakra Healing – this is for holy priests out there, fresh off the press from Derevka at Tales of a Priest. He’s going through the chakra mechanic, explaining its two different states and what you’ll be using them for. He also looks at how to change chakra states and gives helpful tips about how to track which spells you have available to you, when. A learning curve? Yes, Derevka says, but one that allows holy priesties huge flexibility.
  • Fresh Brew: Addons That Help You Inspect People, Run Guild Raffles And Set Fire To Things – our addon roundup this week might well be useful to you. There are a couple of guild related ones in it, such as one that allows guild officers to use the new in game flares more easily and another that’ll let you set up guild raffles for fun and giggles.

That be it for this week. I hope this lot keeps you entertained over your morning coffee. Or your evening meal, or brunch, wherever you happen to be. ‘Til next week – have fun, and don’t let the midnight horrors bite!

What do you think – have you got more to say about any of these articles, or even another article to contribute to the list?

Owl Returns With Special Delivery For You

Hi, I’m Mimetir, and I’m a member of the WoM crew. No really, I am. A few months ago I would rant and mutter disconsolately on a weekly basis about the importance of being a care bear or how to slay your latest internet dragon. I haven’t posted for a while. Yes, I know, bad panda, no cookie. And from what I’ve heard of boomkins’ mana at 80, we really need cookies.

But that’s not what I’m here to talk to you about today. See, I haven’t posted on WHoM for a while because I’ve been working on my own site, MMO Melting Pot. I premiered it here at WoM a few months ago and since then have been trekking through the wilderness of the WoW blogosphere to find the most interesting articles. When I find an interesting article I drag it back to my museum website and post bits of it up with a short summary, credit and a link, so you can go read it fully yourself.

Just in case that’s got you running in terror thinking I’m some kind of creepy museum curator with a speciality in dissecting innocent blog posts, let me rephrase it simply. Over on MMO Melting Pot we find the best posts and put them all in one place for you to peruse.

I miss posting on WoM. And things are getting exciting post-patch. So, I (and Matt) thought, why don’t I do a roundup of posts that’ve cropped up recently relating to healing, guild management or raiding articles, here at WoM? That’s win-win for everyone: I get to post here (read: ramble at you), you get interesting things to read and Matt gets a regular Saturday post.

Well, I say it’s win-win for everyone, but I understand holy paladins are chewing the walls in frustration. Sympathies guys. Anyway, here’s your roundup delivery with some paladin halp thrown in. Some of these are posts we’ve linked already at MMO Melting Pot, some of them are posts so far unfeatured and fresh for WoM’s roundup:

  • Guide to Dispels in 4.0.1 – Ecclesiastical Discipline guest posted for MMO Melting Pot last week with a complete list of what us healers (as well as other classes where applicable) can dispel now, as some of it changed in the patch. No more shamanistic poison removal? Noes!
  • Perhaps Healing Isn’t So Bad After All – TwilliK over at Arcane Envoy says that paladin healing’s actually not too bad. She’s recounting her recent experiences healing in Heroics and it looks like it’s felt like being thrown in at the deep-end, but also really rewarding getting it right. Makes me want to revive my own holy pally…
  • Holy Paladins in 4.0.1 – A Beginner’s Guide – are you looking at your holy paladin and cowering in fear? Aunna over at Bandage Spec has a straightforward guide to get holy paladins on their feet. There are loads of guides out there covering everything for the patch but given Holy Paladins seem to have it worst off, I figured linking this might be helpful. Her guide has information on your spells, gear, glyphs, spec, and crucially – what to expect and how to play.
  • Tell Us How Your Spec Is Doing In 4.0.1 – most weeks the editors at MMO Melting Pot throw up an editorial feature. This week, the patch has been about for a while and we want to know how you’re getting on. Healer role changed a lot and it’s great? Terrible? People are dying left right and centre? Tell us your tales!
  • Impressions On Healing So Far – Zinn over at Jinxed Thoughts has written a roundup of how he’s found healing classes work now. He starts off with a general overview of the similarities between class healing spells then goes through the healing classes with what he’s enjoyed or been disappointed by. He’s also got a separate post on quite how much he loves Chakra as a holy priest.
  • Nils and Raven say levelling needs balance, and soon – two bloggers with the same worry: that the levelling game is too easy and doesn’t teach players, including healers, the ins and outs of their class. The quality of play after waves of new characters level to 85? Don’t think about it. Both Nils and Raven say it needs fixing, and have ideas.
  • Thought of the Day – Getting Rid of the DPS role – a brief thought from Spinks over at Welcome to Spinksville. Short but sweet, this one’s interesting for everyone. How do you think getting rid of player DPSers would affect healing, if at all?

Last but not in any way least, some sad news:

  • Lights Out – Lara of Root and Branch has shut up shop. Root and Branch has been a core part of the resto druid blog community for so long that the lights dimming on it is going to leave a big hole in the resto druid community. She’ll be missed, if her commenters are anything to go by – but we all wish her the best, safe travels and epic (real life) loot. /tree cheer

That’s it for this week. I’m planning to do this weekly for WoM, as often as possible.

What do you guys think? That’s the sort of thing we do daily over at MMO Melting Pot, though it’s not always roundup posts. Did you get an interesting read out of it, or has it inspired you to throw your thoughts into someone’s comments arena?

What Did You Want? Future of Healing Assignments – Part 1

What Did You Want? Future of Healing Assignments – Part 1

A couple of weeks ago I gave you all a quest – what did you want me to write about. A fair number of you responded to the quest and Jooles completed it by way of winning my RNG ingame /roll. So now here I am, a giant oversized owl ready to hand over the quest reward with a yellow question mark ruffling my ear feathers. Which, let me tell you, does nothing to help the usually-aggrieved furrow of a boomkin’s brow.

Joole’s question was this:

The future of healing assignments. Have they gone the way of crowd control due to smart heals and class pigeon-holing? Is it Paladins heal tanks, Shammy’s heal melee, Priests + Druids heal raid forever or is this going to change in Cataclysm? Which way are Disc priests going to go?

With four healing classes to look at and changes happening all the time in beta it’s taken a brief spell to get going on this. This ‘ere is the first of a two-post answer. I’m not stumping up precisely calculated answers; with things not nailed down in beta I’d have to be a physic owl to do so. Which I’m really not, given I can’t remember what I had for dinner tonight and I’m not playing in the beta.

I am looking at the beta information for healing classes and talking about the picture it gives me of their healing style. I’ll look at two classes a week and include a summary of my predictions for healing assignments at the end of the second post.

So without further ado, let’s have a look at Cataclysmic druids and paladins.

Druids:

Anyone got an axe? Tree druids are going to be split into two camps. Blizzard have said they want the difference between a druid’s direct healing spells and their HoTs to be more noticeable, and boy, are we going to notice it.

Tree druids are losing the permanence of tree form but gaining the ability to tank-heal more seriously. At least that’s what Blizzard want: according to blue posts they want trees to be capable tank healers who can spot heal when the going gets tough. But I foresee it not quite playing out like that in healing assignments.

Sure, druids are going to be able to keep tanks up.

But they’re also going to be your “oh nitwibble” guy when things go wrong. Given that we know there’s going to be more damage flying around affecting everyone in the group and that druids’ tree form is going to be the “it’s all gone wrong and I need to pump out extra healing for a bit” cooldown, you’re going to need someone who waits for those “oh nitwibble we’re all dying” times and reacts the second it hits.

Your tree druid is the guy breaking out the roots for the extra healing when everyone’s taking more damage. He’ll stand there (with the current speed penalty to tree form he’s not going anywhere if things are that bad) madly spamming HoTs, the effectiveness of which now scales the more injured the target is, on the group when things go wrong. Not to mention the new talent “efflorescence” which spawns a patch of healing flowers underneath the recipient of a critical-hit Regrowth. So while your druid’s standing there setting his limbs on fire spamming HoTs, the rest of the group could be running madly to stand in the good stuff on the floor. I can hear it now – raid leaders yelling “things are going to piffle! Go stand in the healing fauna!”

Which is a little worrying to my mind. I have a feeling trees won’t be able to be both your tank healer and your “oh nitwibble guy” given healers are going to have less mana. You’re going to have to choose between the tree who heals your tank and the tree who stems the mass-damage spike. Given that Blizzard are trying to homogenize the healers so we can all handle 10 and 25 man content, I’m a little worried that tree druids are going to be irreplaceable.

Paladins:

I can see the paladin running around. Groans from paladins, eh? Hear me out.

First of all, holy paladins are going to need to accrue globules of this new ‘Holy Power’ combo-point like thing. Holy paladins can do this three ways; their primary is by healing (duh). Specifically, by using Holy Shock or healing their Beacon of Light target if they’re talented into Tower of Radience.

Sure they can stand anywhere to use this, but Holy Shock has a 6 second cooldown and healing their beacon target might not always be the smartest move. Maybe the beacon target doesn’t need healing, or maybe it’s more mana efficient to get Holy Power another way rather than casting a heal right this second. So a a secondary Holy Power gatherer they can also stick Crusader Strike up on something, which requires Mr. Holy to be doing the hokee-kokee into melee range.

Now, Blizzard have said flat out they’re trying to remove the “tank healer” label from paladins, though it’s stuck so well they’ve had to scrape it off with new tools in the holy toolbox. So how to make the paladins less like a tank healer?

They’ve given them AoE capability. What with the new “Healing Hands” and talent-based “Light of Dawn” AoE cone/wave heal, paladins could find themselves on their toes. Popping Healing Hands will allow paladins to act like a sparkly version of Healing Spring totem, giving out a short range aura-like AoE heal and “Light of Dawn” could be useful for both clusters of melee and slightly more spread out ranged, depending on your positioning relative to them.

So holy paladins might be donning the headless chicken suit to run around and AoE/aura heal. They’ll need to be spacially aware at all times of who’s standing where so that if they want to use “Light of Dawn” on a few ranged they have to stand a distance away to catch everyone in the cone. Want to use “Healing hands”? Go near the people who need it. Need more Holy Power but can’t heal to get it? Run into melee and stick up Crusader Strike.

 

To my mind druids and paladins are going to be shaken up. Possibly even mixed up, as if we put on the over-generalization goggles for a moment it looks like they’re swapping some of their current iconic roles of trees running around, paladins being the big healers.

Having recently started playing a paladin I’m somewhere between excitement and terror that they’re getting yet more bells and whistles. Druids might not getting that much, but it looks like they don’t need new spells for their role to be flexible. That’s either quite admirable or a tad worrying.

What do you think? Do you see druids and paladins completely differently, or has this opened up new ideas for what Cataclysm will look like?

This is an article by Mimetir, an owl (and resto shaman) of a raid leader on The Venture Co. (EU) You can find my website MMO Melting Pot here and my twitter feed here.

Article image courtesy of Chris Campbell @ flickr

Introducing A New Site For Your Reading Pleasure…

Introducing A New Site For Your Reading Pleasure…

Melting Pot

I mentioned yesterday that I’d be posting some happy MMO news. I said it’s all hush hush – you know – toodle pip wot-wot, under your hat old chap. …Yep,I know you’re all looking at me a bit oddly now. Anyway, the news has been a tightly kept secret all right – until now.

A few months ago I put out a call asking you folks to lend me your brains. Thanks to everyone who responded! Since then I’ve been beavering away on designing a website. Originally it was going to be a purely WoW based blog doin’ things my way; then the idea grew. It grew to include a wide range of MMOs, and have a community side too.

A couple of weeks ago it split into two projects and the primary site morphed into something different again. Doh. Flexibility for the win.

The Melting Pot is a manual aggregation site for MMO blogs. We actively look for interesting, witty or intelligent opinion-based articles from around the blogosphere – currently from mostly WoW blogs. We then link what we find to let you guys know they’re there. We also give some thoughts of our own to get the discussion started, ‘cos hey – we’re bloggers too, and find these discussions genuinely interesting.

Now, it’s still a lil’ site and adapting daily but it’s ready for general perusal. So without further ado as its Editor in Chief I’d like to invite you to have a gander at MMO Melting Pot.

Feel free to add its feeds to your RSS filters – we’ll be posting daily, from a ever wider selection of sites and games. Prod the shiny comments system with your own opinions – it won’t eat your children. Tip us off about interesting articles you’ve stumbled upon – we’re open to suggestions. And, when you least expect it, community bits n’ bobs might shuffle onto the menu bar too.

So. Drop in, say hi, grab a cup of coffee from the Pot – you might not know what’s in it, but it’s good stuff, mon.