4 Joys of Healing

4 Joys of Healing

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This is a guest post by Gothica, a Holy Paladin from EU’s Scarshield Legion

I’d like to introduce myself by saying from the outset that I’m a healer and I love it! Let me explain why.

Winning

Healing is all about winning. Know why people take healers to dungeons, raids and arenas? Because we make wins happen. We do this by using our heals, making judgment calls about which tool to use and who to use it on. It’s extraordinarily effective and a lot of fun.

Whacking moles

Healing is a minigame within World of Warcraft that is actually pretty fun in its own right. You’re looking at a rack of life bars. Suddenly one drops, heal it fast before it hits zero. You could actually play the healing mingame as a game in its own right which is why the playstyle is called whack-a-mole (after a popular game where you had to club moles off your lawn).

In WoW, you’re whacking moles (reacting to health deficits and healing them) in the larger context of the MMO. After you have whacked your moles, you may find your guild has killed a new raid boss or your arena team has won a match. Sometimes the minigame is so absorbing you barely notice the wider context. Sometimes it is your keen management of the wider context while staying on top of the healing that allows you to succeed where others wouldn’t.

The social side

You are who you heal.

As a healer, the quality of your game experience, your ability to get things done, and the amount of fun you have is very much determined by who you heal. This is both positive and negative.

The negative is that sometimes you will find yourself grouped with bad and rude players. But that’s outweighed by the positive.

The positive is that not only is it easy to meet nice players but that they will actively start to seek you out as you progress your character. After all, they want a competent friendly healer with good gear and will be keen to play with you as you establish yourself. Healers can become very popular, and you’ll be added to many people’s Friends Lists.

Progression

With the possible exception of leveling, healers progress fast in all aspects of the game. You will be able to jump into instances whenever you want, get raid situations that a DPSer of your gear and skill wouldn’t get into and be sought out for arena teams. Most healers can wear lesser gear without it really mattering resulting in us gearing up fast. We generally don’t have so much competition for our loot.

Conclusion

Those are some good reasons to try a healer. It can seem from the outside like a stressful and thankless task. It isn’t. It’s a fun minigame that wins you friends and admirers.

Why do you like healing?

Loot Council and You: One Player’s Take On Loot Council and Casual Raiding

Loot Council and You: One Player’s Take On Loot Council and Casual Raiding

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This is a guest post from @katagirl, Matt’s fellow guildie and a WoW Twitterati

Since this blog has its fair share of priests and druid posters – I thought it was high time for a Paladin to step up and give her two cents. There’s been a lot of discussion about the way the Loot Council structure is set up, and I wanted to share my take on it.

My story

My name is Kata, and I’ve been playing WoW for about two and a half years. I’m currently in Conquest, being known as “Queen Pally” or “hey, you’re on Rez Duty…” depending on the day.

Up until WotLK came out, I was part of a few very casual raiding guilds. It was first come, first serve to raid signups, very relaxed hours and atmospheres and don’t even get me started on Ventrilo during raids on Lurker. You’d need pain meds just to log in. I popped around a bit, even launched my own guild for a while that never got to raiding (that’s another saga completely). When Matticus started pitching Conquest, I chimed in pretty quick with ideas and feedback through Twitter and got a good dialogue going. I transferred in and the rest is history.

Anyways, back to loot distribution. I’ve raided with guilds that both use the standard /roll with a Master Looter, and with some version of DKP/ EPGP. Conquest was my first experience with a Loot Council, and to be honest I was a bit hesitant. I was spending money to transfer servers to put myself at the mercy of leadership that mostly knew each other. There was nothing keeping them from looting everything to each other based on their friendships in times previous.

I transferred and began the arduous grind to 80. The first official week’s raid schedule I sat out on, gearing up and watching all these strangers get boss loot. I’ve now been raiding with Conquest for a full month.

I really don’t write this kind of thing, so forgive me if I tend to wax narrative.

My verdict: Our Loot Council works. I’m in a unique position as a plate-wearing healer to be able to pick up any gear. At the beginning, even cloth pieces were upgrades for me. I had interest on a lot of pieces. There were many times my major +healing upgrade would be passed over for a minor upgrade for a priest/lock/druid. But just as many times as I sat at the end of a boss fight without gear, I was rewarded with major improvements over the first few weeks. Other players occasionally even withdrew their interest if they saw it’d gear me up – and that is impressive.

Not once have I felt that there has been a partiality in the distribution of loots by the loot council. Sometimes it did take longer to distribute loot at the end of a boss fight, but it was almost always accompanied by an explanation of the decision.

One thing I expected with a loot council system would be the likelihood of raid members to complain or protest decisions. From time to time, there’s the occasional light-hearted bickering – but I have yet to experience someone throw a fit because they did not get a piece of gear. As I mentioned before, I’ve seen players pass on upgrades for others. That was always a rarity when I raided with a DKP model. The Loot Council approach seems to shift the focus from a “me, me!” attitude to a “we, together” attitude. And it seems to be working. At last research, warcrafter.net had Conquest listed as one of the top geared progression guilds on our server, and top 500 out of over 40,000 guilds in US/North America. (not to brag, or anything!)

How can the loot council work in your guild?

Matt’s posted some great guidelines that he’s used for setting up our loot council. From where I sit, the most important things are being approachable and working towards a team mentality. I know that any of our officers are willing to hear me out if I have an issue or complaint. My opinions are valued, which then in turn makes me respect my leaders. As I’ve seen in Conquest, when the focus is on the team first and individual second things work out smoothly.

Other curious raiding notes

  • Naxx music is creepy if you’re the first one in the instance and you have your speakers turned up.
  • Toy Trains need to be patched so that they cannot be dropped in an instance.
  • Of all the bosses in Naxx, Matt has the hardest time with the Frogger boss. Ask me how I got my position…

Just because I have this public forum, I thought I ought to thank two amazing Paladins that guided me on my experience – Alyeska and Xonelith, who both popped around various servers with me. Without them – I wouldn’t be raiding today. (again with the fiction-type writing with a dedication… but I couldn’t help myself). And to all the players I’ve had the honor to work with… except the few that drop toy trains in raids. YOU know who you are.

Circle of Heartbreak: Proposed Fixes

Circle of Heartbreak: Proposed Fixes

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This a guest post by Jason who examines other ways that Circle of Healing can be “fixed” other than using a cooldown.

Within my guild I’m referred to as the “Pre-Nerf Priest,” lovingly, I’m sure.  However, I’ve recently started getting in-game whispers asking me to heal some heroic “before the nerf hits.”  It’s one thing for gentle ribbing from your guild, those you live, die, and progress with.  It’s a different matter entirely when strangers are bringing it up in the first line of dialogue they’ve ever had with you.  It’s the latter scenario that has really opened my eyes to just how big this coming change is.  Not only are the Priests concerned, but also it appears that every class is painfully aware of what’s to come.

Of course I’m referring to the proposed Circle of Healing nerf coming in patch 3.0.8.  For the uninitiated, Circle of Healing is the spell responsible for life on this planet, grants Chuck Norris-like invincibility allowing all DPS to AoE at will with no ill consequences whatsoever, and (rumor has it) Circle of Healing has beaten WoW.

Twice.

Alright, so maybe that was a bit of an exaggeration. Circle of Healing (CoH) is actually one of four AoE healing spells available to Holy Priests, and the only one requiring a specific talent build as it’s the 41-point talent in the Holy tree. CoH heals five targets in the party or raid within 15 yards of the target. It is one of two spells that can effect targets in the entire raid, and it and Wild Growth (Druid specific ability) are the only instant-cast AoE heal in the game with no cool down timer. In that last part we find our problem.

Blizzard has expressed concern with the over-use of CoH by holy Priests. I’ve personally witnessed usage up to 50-60%. Blizz reports that there are individuals out there who are using it 70% of the time or more. Understandably, they feel that if we’re leaning on the spell this heavily, it’s overpowered.

The proposed nerf is a 6-second cool down to be applied to the spell.  To me this means the spell isn’t healing for too much, it’s an issue with the raw number of times it’s being cast in a raid/dungeon. Their developers and designers put a lot of hard work into those other spells, and dang-it, you need to use them more!

For me, CoH has always been that emergency spell I can pull out of my pocket when things are out of hand or when the boss mechanic calls for it.  Those accidental patrol pulls with vicious AoE, Loatheb’s 4-second window to heal, Malygos’s Vortex ability are all examples of situations where CoH is a godsend and can save a raid.  This is the true value of the spell: the utility of it.  Yes, the 6-second cool down would indeed lower the number of times a Priest can use CoH in an encounter, but it also removes all the previously mentioned utility and, to me, removes all purpose and uniqueness from the spell. 

Further, how creative is a 6-second cool down?  Come on Blizz, you can do better.  However, since you seem set on your solution, let me propose a few of my own.  The idea here is to create a limitation on the use of CoH by giving the players a choice with consequences, as well as retain the core purpose of the spell. 

Think of healing as a water balloon fight. Throwing a water balloon at a single target is relatively easy.  You have one balloon, one target, and two hands (in most cases).  You’re clearly well equipped for this task.  Now take 5 water balloons (6 if you have a special piece of paper stuffed into a book) and hit the 5 driest targets at the same time.  Not so easy is it?  Not only do you have to aim these 5 harbingers of the soak, but it also takes 5 times the effort to throw them.

Yes, you could alleviate the additional strain by waiting 6 seconds between tosses to make up for the additional strain.  However, the purpose of all these water balloons is to make a lot of people wet, fast, in the case of a heat wave.  What do you do?  You have two choices.  Toss progressively smaller and lighter water balloons until you are no longer able to do so, or continue to strain with the same size balloons, throwing slower and slower until your arms give out.  At that point you rest, recover your strength, and are able to resume barraging your victims… err… targets. 

So let’s apply this to CoH with some game-specific mechanics.  While there are several ways to do this, I’m going to mention the two that makes the most sense to me:

Holy Exertion
– Casting CoH causes the debuff “Holy Exertion” to appear on the caster.  The debuff lasts for 6 seconds and can stack up to X number of times, with each cast of CoH refreshing the debuff timer.  Each additional debuff lowers the effectiveness of CoH by a set amount in one of three ways (not all three, just pick one):

  • With each use of CoH within the 6 second window, one less target receives the heal until it reaches 0.
  • Each cast heals for Y% less healing until the amount healed reaches 0.  So if Y is 25%, then after four CoH casts within a 6-second window, you have 6             seconds before casting it will generate heals again.
  • Increased mana usage.  Each cast within the debuff window requires 50% more mana, for example. 

Holy Exhaustion – Similar to the above mechanic with a 6 second timer on a “Holy Exhaustion” debuff, however, there is a more severe penalty for over-using CoH.  In this case, all of your healing spells would be impacted by your decision to use, or not use CoH.  See the following two possibilities:

  • Every time you cast CoH while the debuff is active, you become exhausted.  Each cast causes some percentage decline in your haste rating.  For example, you cast CoH once, the debuff becomes active, no haste penalty.  You cast it again within that 6-second window, and you take a 5% haste penalty.  Again and it’s 10%, then 15%, and so on and so forth.  Sure, this won’t impact CoH as it’s an instant heal, but 6 seconds with a flash or greater heal that takes 50% longer to cast could be fatal to a tank or dps player.
  • The other option is that once the debuff reaches a specific number, you are exhausted and can no longer cast any spells for 6 seconds.

So why are these better solutions to the problem than just slapping on a 6-second cool down?  These allow the spell to remain true to its design and purpose while adding a degree of penalty if over-used.  Now instead of spamming CoH, or under the proposed solution, hitting it and counting to 6, we have to analyze the fight on the fly.  Is it worth taking a possible haste reduction or losing all my heals for 6 seconds to get off this one last CoH? 

Blizzard has said they want to make healing “more fun” and move away from the whack-a-mole model we currently have.  I think they have a great opportunity to start moving in that direction with the CoH change.  Let the players know the risks and weigh the consequences.  Give us something with substance to it, not just another bland spell we’ll tap every 6 seconds.

Image courtesy of woodsy

Discipline without Penance – Can It Work?

Discipline without Penance – Can It Work?

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This is a guest post from Wistoovern, a Discipline Priest who takes a closer look at Penance to see if it’s really all that

There are some instances in World of Warcraft where individuals who take a role proceed to redefine it into "non-traditional" role. For example, there is the player that decided to level without killing anything, or the hunter that decided not to level ranged weapons at all, but instead maxed out melee. These people are proof that your characters are flexible, unique, and can fill roles that others would not immediately think of.

Along these same lines are character builds that involve or ignore talents and spells that others find key. I’m speaking specifically of the new Penance spell that all of the Discipline priests that I have met so far are just ga-ga over. However, while it might be an efficient spell depending on how you use it, I beg to differ when it is said that a Discipline priest must have it in order to be a viable party/raid healer.

My initial thought to the spell was, "Why? Priest spells have a certain ‘flow’ to them; a spell like this is only going to throw everything out of whack." Well, imagine my surprise when so many Discipline priests started extolling its virtues. Personally, I am still unmoved. I do not believe that this spell is key to Disc healing – after all, we did without it for so long. But shall I go into specifics as to why it is not so as important as others might think?

  • Stop Assuming you need it - Yeah, it’s a 51-point spell. But do ALL Beast Mastery Hunters use Beast Mastery? It’s not too long ago that Lightwell was at the top of the Holy Priest’s tree, but did anyone actually use it? Taking a talent without making sure that you will use it efficiently is useless.
  • Dual Tasking? – Let’s be honest – priests are not hybrid classes. We’re not meant to do both healing and damage at the same time. We really get to pick one or the other. We do a good job at either one (nice shadow priests, GOOD shadow priests…), but both at the same time is impractical or inefficient. So a spell that can either do heals or DPS depending on who is targeted? This can be a big problem.
  • I Mean Really, Dual Tasking? – There are only two other spells that we have that works like this: Holy Nova and Dispel Magic. However, the priest that considers Holy Nova a crucial part of his healing spells needs a reality check, and Dispel Magic (and Mass Dispel, fine) is not going to be an issue if it’s cast on the wrong target (unless you REALLY had to dispel a DoT or effect off of a player and you miss).
  • Did I Do That? YES! - Let us not forget Mr. Urkel and his occasional mistakes with such horrible results. Imagine that you go to heal someone in your party, without realizing that you have a mob targeted that has not yet been pulled. Oops…not only are you making new friends FAST, but your tank probably won’t have time to pull it off of you. Any other heal, and this would not be a problem – in fact, the inability to use healing spells on enemies can help you.
  • The Hell Does That Mean? - Well, here’s a trick that I used to use in Hyjal and Kara. Target a mob that you have to Shackle, and after they’re Shackled, leave them targeted. When you click your keyboard buttons for heals, the system will TRY to heal your target. Oops, you have an enemy targeted, so it will instead give you the "grayed-out finger" pointer. Then, just click on your healing target. Sounds bulky? It’s not! It’s a click tap-click to healing someone. Advantages: no need to use a focus, and you can still pick up the shack quickly if it breaks. Disadvantages: slightly slower than normal, takes a little getting used to, will not work with Dispel Magic…or Penance.
  • What He Giveth With One Hand... – When the GMs build spells, they do it with careful consideration to effect intensity, cooldown, casting time, mana cost, and reagent cost. If they did not, you’d see Instant 50,000 damage spells that cost 100 mana with a .5 second cooldown. No, every spell that they give is balanced through the various aspects. High effect? It will have a high casting time or casting cost. Instant effect? High mana cost or cooldown. Low mana cost? Reagent cost. And when it comes to pure healing spells, cooldowns can be death (literally). Waiting for a heal to be available – or, rather, a heal that so many people think is just "so awesome" is a crapshoot. If a six-second cooldown can kill Circle of Healing, how is Penance so great with a TEN-second cooldown?

I can’t deny that a lot of the numbers for Penance look really good. But assuming that this spell is going to be a Discipline priest’s best friend is like assuming that all druids have feral sets (they don’t) or that all Warriors have Titan’s Grip. I’m not saying don’t use it – just don’t be so surprised if your Discipline priest starts laying down the heals without Penance. It can be done. Really.

Chain Heal Rises as Circle of Healing Falls

Chain Heal Rises as Circle of Healing Falls

This is a guest post by Lodur, a blogger from Way of the Totem. Today, he examines the nerf to Circle of Healing, the impact it will have to Resto Shamans and how they may need to compensate.

The patch notes can be found here: PTR Patch Notes!

This is going to be important to us in several ways, not least of which is the change to some of the other classes. I’d like to offer my opinion on it. Let’s take a look at priests.

Holy: Circle of Healing now has a 6 second cooldown.

This is going to be extremely important to us. The fact that Circle of Healing is getting a 6 second cooldown is huge. My current experience with CoH raiding priests is they blow group healing out of the water. One of our Shadow priests rolled over to Holy to fill a gap for raiding in 25 man Naxx. With no gear change, he was able to blow past me in healing output while maintaining mana. Now I’m not suggesting that we need to be the kings of the roost, nor am I doubting the abilities of this priest, but it was a difference of almost half a million pure healing output over the next closest.

In a normal raid you would find a few percentage difference between the top 4 or 5. maybe 1-2% difference. Between healer in first and second was a whopping 6%. As someone who has poured over stats and combat logs after raids trying to figure out how to keep the tanks up while maintaining the raid’s health, let me tell you, that’s a lot. The higher the discrepancy between places, the more over-healing there is, the more mana issues during the actual encounter is, and so on.

This "nerf" to CoH to me, is an attempt to try to bring the spell back into line and make healing more consistent. I can’t say I didn’t see it coming, I do however think 6 seconds is going to be a bit much of a cooldownn, but only time will tell as the PTR is being run. I’ve been pestering my priests about it, so we’ll see what they say. In the meantime it means we should be preparing for another reliable group heal not being as powerful or present as it was before, we should be ready to pick up the slack so to speak.

I’ve gone on and on about the joys of haste, you can see it here For those that don’t remember there is a formula we follow to figure out the cast time of your spells and how it’s affected by haste. And look, here it is!

newcasttime

Importance of Haste Rating

If you want to spam your chain heals and heal a raid it’s time to start looking at your haste gear and to start looking at your glyphs.

First of all you should be shooting for somewhere near 350-400 haste. 340 haste with a Wrath of Air totem will net you a 2.2 second Chain Heal cast time.

Your goal should be around a 2.0s cast time on your chain heal.

This will allow for your Global Cool Down to be up but also allow you to keep a constant stream of CH casting. By using the formula above we see that 2.0 seconds = 820 haste rating, however one must take into account the haste around you in a raid. The trend of almost every raiding guild I’ve seen has been to include at least one Retribution Paladin, and lets face it, Balance Druids have come a long way since vanilla and have found their way into raids quite frequently.

I’m going to make the assumption that you’ll have at least a Ret Paladin. So we can assume you’ll have 350ish haste, Wrath of Air totem down and a Ret paladin, your chain heal will be 2.2 seconds. Not bad. If you snag yourself the all holy Egg (which currently does not have a cooldown on the proc) the proc will put you at a 1.9 second cast time. This is good as this thing procs off just about everything. You can see more about the egg proccing in my post here. Now the reason you want to shoot for a 2.0 second cast time is other haste effects. Heroism / Bloodlust give you 30% increase in your casting speed. If you push too much haste, when you use it you will push yourself past your global cooldown timer, causing you to trip over your heals and keeps you from being able to heal effectively.

Glyphs

To go with your haste gear you should also be looking at glyphs. If you are going to be raid healing I have three major suggestions.

  • Glyph of Water Mastery: Will help keep your mana supply coming in good order (30% counts for a lot more then you would normally assume),
  • Glyph of Chain Heal: Necessary. The extra target just makes the spell even more effective. This again allows it to claim the title as most mana efficient heal around.
  • Glyph of Earthliving Weapon This one is a must for a few reasons. First, the Earthliving Weapon ability can proc of any heal, and each target of Chain Heal counts towards it proccing. Second, is the fact that the egg procs off HoT ticks. So, with chain heal delivering Earth Living to everyone and ensuring you have 4 targets and more then likely a HoT up at all times, your egg should be giving you an almost constant 505 haste. Pushing you right at 1.9 – 1.8s chain heals constantly allowing you to keep that raid nice and topped off.

Mana Regen

Now I’m sure many of you are asking "but what about mana regen?"

MP5, the magic shaman stat, is still present. If you are collecting gear based on haste, much of it also comes with a healthy dose of MP5. With that said, it is well within reason to have around 350 haste while still being able to pull off close to 550 mp5 while in combat. Once you reach your haste number, start getting a few pieces with MP5 in spades and everything will be fine.

On the topic of MP5 we do have a change on the horizon that will help with this.

On the PTR currently we see these:

Healing Way: Now only one application is required to reach full benefit. No longer stacks.

Improved Water Shield: Lesser Healing Wave now has a reduced chance to trigger this talent WOOOOOO.

First, of all lets talk improved Water shield. On a crit of Lesser Healing Wave or Riptide It will consume a charge of water shield, giving you the mana return as if you were hit. This is fine and dandy but in the heat of a battle, there are times you won’t be able to give up the Global Cool Down to put it back up instead of healing. A reduction in the proc rate down from 100% is very very good as it allows the orbs to stay up giving use more passive mana regeneration, which will come out to more overall MP5 in the long run.

Second, the change to Healing Way means we only have to plop down one Healing Wave instead of the 3 we normally would have, which means we can conserve that mana and still get the full effect.

Front loading the effect was an amazing move on the part of Blizzard.

That’s it for my thoughts on this patch at this time. I’m currently waiting on a response from my priests as far as their input goes on the talent change, but in the meantime, be prepared to step up and fill the gap.

Happy healing!

The Off Armour Problem

The Off Armour Problem

guest-post This is a guest post from friend and bodyguard Cassio

I’m Cassio, I’ve been playing a rogue on Ner’zhul for the better part of three years so my area of expertise is something different then the writers here.

I’m a damage guy. I run numbers to figure out how to squeeze another one or two points of damage per second out of my rotation or how much I should weigh hit stat verses attack power or agility. So please understand that I will not be talking about the best way to heal a boss encounter. Most of the time I have no idea what a healer is doing in them since they are behind me somewhere. Instead, I’ll be trying to stay remotely within the sphere of this blog by talking about loot distribution.

The problem

With the changes that have been made since the release of Wrath, almost every spec to become viable for raiding. This means that some classes may be dipping down into gear that’s exclusive for other classes to use due to armor class restrictions. Boomkins, tree druids and holy paladins may start to want to take gear that all cloth wearers can use. The same goes for titans grip (TG) warriors and to some extent enhancement shamans and hunters with rogue/feral druid gear.

It is my opinion that this should be avoided whenever possible.

Taking gear from a class when it is all they can use and giving it to a class that is moving down armor types to pick up an upgrade might seem fine in the short term. However, it will hurt raids in the long term due to the limited upgrade pool available to classes who have no other option other than leather or cloth.

In my guild, I am currently the raid leader for ten man raids and it falls onto me to sort out loot distribution and how to do so without causing problems that could destabilize the raid group and force us back due to people leaving and having to replace with new people. The system I have worked out is part science and part art but the basics of it is to keep gear separated to classes that are restricted to their armor type before opening it to others. There are some exceptions, such as if the gear is only a miniscule upgrade for a rogue and a large one for someone else.

Weapons

Weapons are handled by letting those that get the biggest upgrade from them roll, any two-hander classes have to roll against each other just as any one-hander users and casters have to roll against each other. So that means that ret paladins, TG (Titan’s Grip) warriors and death knights all have to roll against each other. This method relies heavily on the loot master knowing the different needs of the classes and where his raid members are in gear progression.

Suggested process

While I find that I can do this (with some help from officers and others outside my guild that know the other classes better) I would not suggest that anyone try such a method in a twenty-five man environment. Instead make your officers/class leaders do gear upgrade charts for your members and give the upgrades from the different raid instances a set value, making sure to include heroics gear where it applies, and then use that as a way to check which gear is a better upgrade for who. The higher the number the larger the upgrade, also there should be a method worked out to reward those that go out and craft or farm the gear for outside raids that will help you progress through the instances you wish to run.

While all this sound complicated it really comes down to the simple idea that each classes chances for upgrades is different. If someone needs an item that is all they can use, then this may be one of a limited amount of chances to get it. Someone that can use other armor has a larger pool of gear to pull from and so has better chances at upgrades.

Guest Post: Mana Tide – To-do List for the Level 80 Resto Shaman.

Guest Post: Mana Tide – To-do List for the Level 80 Resto Shaman.

This is a guest post written by Devon.

guest-post Prologue

Click the link above fellow totemites, let the rejoicing begin. This position of power ensures Shaman buffs in the future (and hopefully a college football playoff); not even Blizzard can tell this guy “no”. Damn government just can’t keep its hands off, but in this case I’ll keep my trap zipped.

In preparation for the shaman revolution and my PvE aspirations I’ve compiled a quick gear list and to-do list for the chain healer in all of us. This can, and should, be started at late level 77 and 78. The goal is not to make heroics manageable, but to make you one of the best resto shamans in your guild regardless of your time in Naxx.

Print it out, tack it to your wall, and let it do the thinking for you. You know you want to.

*Steps 0-0.5 are preliminary. The rest should be completed every day until your desired epeen loot level is achieved.

Step 0:

Get your freak spec on.

Before respeccing I suggest getting your Icecrown quest achievement. It will get you the Cannoneer’s Morale trinket, Knights of the Ebon Blade rep, and Argent Crusade rep. Searing totem just doesn’t kill as fast as ye ol’ Stormstrike.

http://www.wowhead.com/?talent=hZ0xxIZxMezVxogkrIRt is my recommendation.

The 16 points in Enhancement are very solid. The following build has the restoration tree must-haves, everything else is just gravy (or filler you pessimists):

Must have talents click here.

Head over to the AH and grab your Glyph of Chain Heal, Water Mastery, Earth Living Weapon, and Water Shield. You should have already had the latter Boudreaux.

This oh-@#^& macro free of charge from elitistjerks.com:

#showtooltip Nature’s Swiftness

/stopcasting

/use 13

/use 14

/cast Nature’s Swiftness

/Cast Tidal Force

/cast Healing Wave

With this and rip-tide I’ve had no heroic troubles. This has the over-zealous rogue seal of approval.

Step 0.5

Where the little guy gets his totem.

Grizzly D. Adams will give you Totem of the Bay.

Dis one, it’s da best. Get 30 of these.

Step 1

What’s with the fat guard standing on the quest giver? Go do your Wyrmrest Dailies everyday until you are Exalted for the Grips of Fierce Pronouncements.

- Drake Hunt at the Nexus. Raelastrasz 33, 34 coords. The harpoon has ridiclous range. If you don’t have your flying mount I recommend the western platform.

- Defending Wyrmrest Temple at Wyrmrest Temple. The quest-giver is on the MIDDLE level of the temple. As with all dailies practice makes perfect, but I recommend renew and the sprint (press 4) every time they are up. For those going for time note that it only takes one dot and one flame breath to kill the drakes, pwn and move on. Happy hunting.

- Aces High. See comments here.

Step 2

Knights of the Ebon Blade make me think of emo kids at my high school.

Ebon Blade Dailies everyday until you are Exalted for your Kilt of Dark Mercy.

Icecrown dailies:

Repeatable Quest:

Step 3

Troll Pa’troll everyday until Exalted with Argent Dawn for your Signet of Hopeful Light.

The Troll Patrol quest is given in the Argent Stand of Zul’Drak. 3 of them are very easy, the quest form Alchemist Finklestein WOULD be difficult if you didn’t have this mod: http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/easyserum.aspx

You get a bonus for doing Troll Pa’troll in less than 20 minutes, there should be time to spare using this mod.

Step 4

No moar dailies, so sayeth my sanity.

All in all I spend about 1.5 hours doing dailies. I try to keep my play time at less than three hours a day for personal reasons so another 0.5 – 1.5 hours lets me run an instance or two (good riddance UBRS). In addition to the loot list below I recommend doing the daily regular or daily heroic instances for the reputation and emblems of heroism. Much of the gear you get in this step each day will be a place holder for crafted epics listed in Step 5. Start with the Wyrmrest Tabard since those dailies require longer flights between quests.

Step 5

Ok, I can haz gold now.

As money permits purchase the following items or their respective mats as they show up on the AH:

Revenant’s Breastplate (Leatherworking): 12 Heavy Borean Leather, 12 Eternal Water, 1 Frozen Orb

Revenant’s Treads (Leatherworking): 10 Heavy Borean Leather, 10 Eternal Water, 1 Frozen Orb

Titansteel Guardian (Blacksmithing) – 6 Saronite Bars, 6 Titansteel Bars, 2 Frozen Orb

I haven’t gotten my guardian yet because I’m scurd of handing a stranger that many mats. Guild blacksmith has a wifey, no chance for me there. The two revenant’s pieces cost me about 1000 gold, which you should have after all that questing you did RIGHT? Quick aside: Lesser Healing Wave and its associated glyph rocks my healing socks.

Regards,

Devon

Guest Post: A Micro Level Look at a Priest’s Trinket Usage

Guest Post: A Micro Level Look at a Priest’s Trinket Usage

guest-post This is a guest post from Calogero

Hey all , this is Calogero, level 80 discipline priest from Lothar. A little about me before I begin: I am currently raiding with ‘Legion’, a guild that has pushed through all of Naxx 10 up to Sapphiron in the past two weeks. My raid experience includes everything up to AQ 40 in vanilla, up through Black Temple in BC, and now through most of Naxx and Sartharion in WOTLK. I actually only started playing the priest about 3 months ago, when a friend asked me if I wanted to roll on his server (Lothar). Outside of WoW, I’m a 20 year old guy from New York, I go to school and do data management for a hospital.

Topic of the night: Trinkets

I recently picked up the Spirit-World Glass from Gothik in Naxx-10 and the Majestic Dragon Figurine from Sartharion-10. These two can make a wicked regeneration combo that should not be overlooked for longer fights. Any and every spellcast will trigger the Majestic Dragon figurine. Cheating the 5SR with this trinket can regenerate a lot of mana. In addition, Inner focus triggers the figurine, and all ticks of the following spells will trigger the figurine: Hymn of Hope, Penance, and Mind Sear.

So, in a perfect world, to regenerate the most mana, I’d do the following, assuming I had 10 full ticks from the figurine:

FYI: O5SR means out of the 5 second rule

Don’t cast for 5 seconds, then pop Spirit-World Glass. Stop casting for 4 more seconds, cast Inner Focus, which renews the Figurine tick. Wait another 9 seconds, cast Penance, which renews the figurine tick 3 times. Wait another 9 seconds, cast Hymn of hope, which gets 8% of my mana back, and the last tick will renew the figurine, which gives another 10 seconds of extra mana, O5SR. If this was at all possible to pull off uninterrupted, I could get 12 ticks of mana regen O5SR, which, at my current gear level, gives me about 1300 Mp5 when raid buffed with the Spirit-World Glass in action, and a little less than 1000 without it. This all would come out to around 13000 mana over 60 seconds.

Matt’s included a little diagram to help illustrate this better:

trinket-timeline

Obviously, in a raid situation, it’s near impossible to get all of these off in a row. This is where trust comes in. If you have another trustworthy healer or two, let them know, and see if they can keep an extra eye out. See how much of this you can play with and manipulate to keep yourself out of the 5 second rule, while keeping the Figurine ticks up. You can throw a shield, renew, PoM, and pain suppression on the tank before you start. The penance will heal your target for around 9k health on average. It’s very possible to get a few ticks off if you’re prepared.

Guest Post: 3.0 Professions for the Priest (and Clothies)

This is a guest post written by Galadria.

Hello Matt’s Readers!  For those of you who remember me, I’m back playing WoW and writing my blog again.  For those of you who don’t, I’m Galadria and I write Galadria’s Corner (yes I renamed it… again) formerly The Light and The Dark formerly The Holy Light.  I’ve got raiding experience on 2 level 70 Priests, one Holy and one Shadow, and I’m now rolling new toons on a new server, another Priest and now a Warlock (they’re both 40ish at the moment).  Without further ado, here’s my thoughts on Professions in Wrath!

Professions have taken a slightly different flavor in WotLK. Each has its own unique benefits, even the gathering professions. It seems to me that Blizz decided to balance not only classes, but professions. Tailoring was so incredibly OP for casters that I felt I didn’t have a choice but to learn Tailoring or be horribly gimped in raid.  With each profession having something special, the selection of your professions requires a little more thought (especially if you’re leveling new toons like I am!). The information included is from the Beta and WoWHead’s WotLK site. Since WotLK isn’t live yet this data isn’t set in stone there are likely to be a few changes. When the expansion goes live I’ll let you know what changed and how (over at my blog, or course, so add me to your reader if you haven’t already!  /shameless plug off). With the disclaimers out of the way, here we go!

Alchemy

  • Double duration on Flasks and Elixirs
  • Increased effects of Flasks & Elixirs (it appears that the increased effects are 37 spellpower for flasks and 19 spellpower for Battle Elixirs, not sure about Guardian Elixirs)
  • BoP trinket (Mercurial Alchemist Stone) that will increase effects of Pots by 40%. The highest mana potion grants 4200 to 4400 and we’ll assume that the average is in the middle. Adding 40% gives 6020 mana.  Let’s assume for simplicity’s sake that boss fights are 5 mins (I’ve heard as low a 3 and up to 8).  Over a 5 min boss fight, the unbuffed mana pot gives 71.5 MP5, the buffed is 100.3 MP5.  Using the same logic for health pots, with the largest being about 3600 plus 40% gives 5040, giving 12 HPS unbuffed and 16.8 HPS buffed (I’m not sure how meaningful that statistic is, but there you go… I did the math for you!)
  • If PvP is your thing, there are also craftable Arena potions.

The Bottom Line: Alchemy can be a great profession for anyone. The double duration will save you money and I think the Alchemy stone will be very valuable with the potion changes (my gut is telling me that this is going to be one of the more powerful profession benefits available, but nothing is set in stone yet).  It can also be a money maker if you can get your hands on some of the rare or discovered recipes.  If you are going to be an Alchemist I highly recommend Herbalism to go with it so you don’t have to purchase Herbs.

Blacksmithing

  • Extra Socket for Bracers and Gloves
  • Entry level BoP Epic Weapon

The Bottom Line: I can’t recommend Blacksmithing for any caster since we can’t use the majority of the crafted products.

Enchanting

  • Enchanter only Ring enchants that give 19 spell power or 24 stamina

The Bottom Line: I think we’ll find Enchanting to be less tedious to level and make money off of than it used to be with the introduction of scrolls.  A friend told me that she was actually able to make a little money selling the enchanted scrolls that she made while leveling Enchanting.  While it’s a pain to level, Enchanting requires no gathering profession and therefore pairs well with Tailoring or any gathering profession for money making.  To me the ring enchants aren’t enough to make me level the profession, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good option for any caster (as it has always been!)

Engineering

  • Mounts
  • Utility enchants for gloves (rocket launcher, haste)
  • Portable Mailbox and Vendor
  • Epic Helmets – This is a level 72 helmet, I’m sure there will be a level 80 one but I can’t anything on WoWHead right now.

The Bottom Line: I’m not sure Engineering is a great choice for a caster… but I don’t think it’s a bad one either.  The Repair Bot brings a lot of utility to raid and there’s no denying the mounts are really cool.  If Engineering is your thing I can’t knock you for it.

Herbalism

  • Lifeblood: a self HoT that scales with Herbalism level, costs no mana, and does not trigger the GCD. At it’s current incarnation Rank 6, available at 450 Herbalism grants 2000 health over 5 seconds with a 3 min cooldown. If used every time it’s available it averages out to 11 HPS.
  • Fire Seed: increases spellpower by 200 for 10 seconds with a 1 min cooldown. It also increases damage taken by 10% and reduces all resistances to zero. Shares a cooldown with other crafted consumables (Drums and Grenades but not Pots, Healthstones, or Mana Gems)
  • Herbalism provides the raw materials for the crafting professions of Alchemy and Inscription

The Bottom Line: As far as gathering professions go, Herbalism is my favorite and the 2 crafting professions Herbalism benefits are both useful to a caster. If you need a profession to make money for you Herbalism can be a good choice, especially since there are now 2 crafting professions that benefit from it and therefore more demand.  Also, Lifeblood has saved my tail more than once!!

Inscription

  • Scroll of Recall – consumable hearthstone with a 20 min cooldown that is separate from regular hearthstone
  • BoP Off-Hands – There’s a PvP oriented one (or Lock tank) and a general caster one.  Both look to be pretty good.
  • Scribe only Shoulder enchants – these are MUCH better than the reputation versions
  • The extra Glyph slot was taken out.

The Bottom Line: I can tell you from personal experience that the Scroll of Recall is HIGHLY useful, but it’s not a raid benefit.  The shoulder enchants are much better than the reputation versions and don’t require a rep grind on top of it. I’m leveling Inscription on my Priest and really liking it!  If you are going to have Inscription for a profession I recommend Herbalism to go with it so you will have easy access to the raw materials for Milling.

Jewelcrafting

  • Slightly better epic gemsyou can equip up to 3 and they are prismatic to match any socket color.  The JC only gems have 7 crit, haste, or hit, 3 MP5, 11 sta, or 9 sp more than their counterparts.  These are epic gems so to see this benefit you’ll need gear you’re willing to put epic gems in!
  • Entry level BoP trinketsHealer, or Caster DPS

The Bottom Line: Jewelcrafting can be a money maker if you can get the high-end patterns, though it is very expensive to level (second only to Blacksmithing).  If you are going to have this as a profession I would recommend Mining to go with it so you have easy access to the ore for Prospecting.

Leatherworking

The Bottom Line: Leatherworking is like Blacksmithing, I can’t recommend it for a caster

Mining

  • Health bonus that scales with mining level
  • Mining provides the raw materials for the crafting professions of Blacksmithing and Jewlecrafting and is recommended for Engineering.

The Bottom Line: If you are a Jewelcrafter, Mining is a good choice for your second profession.  Also not a bad idea to accompany Engineering.  I also know several people that have paired it with Enchanting to make money

Skinning

  • Bonus to Crit rating (now that Crit is a uniform stat this will benefit melee as well as casters)
  • Skinning provides the raw materials for the crafting profession Leatherworking.

The Bottom Line: If you need money Mining or Herbalism will make you a lot more money and Leatherworking just doesn’t benefit us.  However, if you are going to have 2 gathering professions for leveling or on an alt skinning pairs well with the others since you can’t track herbs and mineral nodes at the same time.

Tailoring

The Bottom Line: It appears that Tailoring won’t be practically necessary for clothies this time around. Yay! I have never really liked Tailoring, the only reason I had it was to get the gear. That said, Tailoring is nice because it requires no gathering profession and can be easy to level while you level your toon since you are always picking up cloth. Bags can be a money maker on some servers (my experience is that it will be more profitable on low-pop servers).

There you have it!  You can look at the BOP benefits of each and see which suits your playstyle best.  I think we’ll see a lot more variety in professions this time around.  I’m really looking forward to seeing where the expansion takes us.

Matticus Interviewed

It all started with a PM from Blog Azeroth which exploded into a full fledge interview. Had lots of fun answering this one from the WoW Blogger. Go read it!

Most important question asked?

Will the blog still be going? For that matter do you foresee WoW itself still alive in a decade?

The blog itself will be up. I chose this name so that it wouldn’t exactly be limited to just World of Warcraft. It’s World of Matticus and whatever happens to be contained in that world will be up to me. Blizzard’s stories have been compelling in every game they’ve produced. If they keep up story telling and designing the games the way they are now there is no reason to see WoW even remotely slowing down at all.