Disc Priest Tip: Professor Putricide

Disc Priest Tip: Professor Putricide

You know how on Professor Putricide, a player needs to inhale a potion and they turn into this Abomination thing which controls all the slimes, oozes and crap? In order for Abominations to do that, they run on something called Ooze energy (It’s basically like energy). The only way to get such Ooze energy is by (you guessed it) consuming Mutated Slimes nearby.

Actually, that’s not quite the only way.

You know that Discipline Priests have this talent called Rapture which feeds energy, rage, or mana back to the target if the shield wears off.

It turns out the Abomination works the same way.

In other words, if your Abomination needs a quick burst of energy, have a Disc Priest shield them and the Abom can just sit and chill in a slime pool for a second or two in order to trigger the effect before eating it for more energy.

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Note: This actually isn’t my parse. Someone sent this in anonymously.

As you can see, in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t offer much. But it’s nice to have for an initial energy boost when starting out.

If Druids have that Revitalize talent, it also provides a really strong energy boost as well.

Conquest will be taking cracks at him later tonight once we take down Rotface on 25.

Healing Icecrown From a Druid’s Perspective – Part 1

Healing Icecrown From a Druid’s Perspective – Part 1

 

This is a guest post by Epiphanize, a Resto Druid, and co-host of Raid Warning.

So you’ve just shaken the frost off of your branches and are staring down the entrance to Icecrown Citadel, the final raid of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion.  You and nine of your closest guildies (or 9 random pugs if your unlucky) are ready to face the challenges that await you in your quest to take down Arthas. The first of these will be the bosses of the entrance to the Citadel. Before we get into strategies, let’s discuss a few things you should think about before trotting into The Frozen Throne. There have been some major changes to how Druids approach healing that are worth taking a look at.

Most trees are in the process of making the swap from crit-laden gear to stacking haste (or at least you should be – Bad tree, bad). This, along with the introduction of Glyph of Rapid Rejuvenation, has given us some new and interesting options. The goal of this article is to help you understand the changes to Druid healing and how it affects you prepare to confront the Lich King.

In addition to these changes, 10-mans can leave a lot of uncertainty, and raid composition will often force Druids to fill rolls they may not be best suited for. Your choice of glyphs and spec will depend a lot on role, personal preference, and playstyle. However, there is some general advice you can follow when making these decisions. I’ve done my best to try to gives options for popular playstyles and specs.

I’m Still a Crit Machine

If you are still very early in the process of swapping gear from crit to haste, you are probably using either Nourish or Regrowth as your main spell. Nourish is a slightly better spell in most realistic situations where you aren’t sure you will keep Regrowth’s hot up on at all times (Thats a discussion for another article). However, at this level of raiding, either spell should serve you well regardless of role. So use whatever your little wooden heart desires, just make sure to bring the appropriate glyph.

Next, I would recommend Glyph of Swiftmend. This is especially helpful in situations where you are spot healing the raid or attempting to 2 heal. It allows you to quickly save a DPS that may be taking sudden burst damage, or catch up on a tank you may have neglected for a moment. It is also a nice way to save on some mana. Plus a global cooldown wasted refreshing a HoT can often be the difference between life and temporary, virtual death. If mana is not a concern and you are comfortable relying on some of your other emergency options, you can go with both of the choices for your third glyph.

Your third glyph is really up to personal choice and should be based on your role as well as the encounter. Glyph of Wild Growth is always a safe bet, especially if you are helping raid heal. There are lots of scenarios where the whole raid is taking damage in ICC, and that extra target is a welcome buff. Glyph of Rejuvenation is also good but slightly weaker option, as there won’t be large chunks of time where the tank is under 50%. Thought this can shine in some encounters, especially with the 4 piece tier 9 set bonus. One thing to keep in mind is that the small amount Glyph of Rejuvenation can play in helping catch up, can easily be replaced by a Swiftmend, Nature’s Swiftness/Healing Touch, or even a Regrowth.

When it comes to talent choices with a Crit build, not much has changed since 3.2. Living Seed is a must in my book if you are going to be tank healing, and is also handy when dealing with Saurfang’s Mark of the Fallen Champion. This especially holds true due to Nature’s Bounty increasing the amount of Living Seed procs.

Another option that is good for tank healers, but is especially strong for raid healing, is Revitalize. While not a complete replacement for Replenishment, it is better than the complete lack of a regeneration buff. You should end up with something similar to 11/0/60 (full build here) with either 3 points in Living Seed or Revitalize depending on what tickles your fancy.

Crit Is So Last Month

If you are at or approaching the soft haste cap (856 without Celestial Focus, 735 with) Rejuvenation is now your baby. Blizzard has really made this our new bread and butter spell. With two strong glyphs, 4 piece tier 9, and the last two idols granting you spell power based on rejuvenation ticks, it is clear you should be using Rejuvenation liberally. This being said, Glyph of Rapid Rejuvenation is a must in my opinion. This is obviously slanted towards raid healing, though I’ve seen instances where it has come in handy as a tank healer. It also comes in useful for mechanics like Mark of the Fallen Champion where a glyphed Rejuvenation with 4 piece Tier 9 can often alone keep up the marked target with minimal management. ICC encounters seems to have been tuned to encourage the use of Glyphed Rejuvenation, as there are lots of dots and healing on the move.

If you plan on focusing more on your HoTs, the original Glyph of Rejuvenation is a good companion for the new Rapid Rejuvenation. It will take time for you to get used to how quickly you can heal up someone with this combo. Once your haste gets up there and you get down the timing, this combo is a very powerful option.

Glyph of Nourish is your other option for your second glyph. Some would even argue that Nourish is the main reason to stack haste, not Rapid Rejuvenation, as you will have a 1s cast time on Nourish. This, combined with a reduced global cooldown, should allow you to direct heal your stump off. This is also a perfectly viable options, especially at the 10-man level. I think its safe to leave this decision up to personal preference. 

Of course you could always just use the above three glyphs and have the best of both worlds, which is what I have ultimately done. But if you are indecisive, Swiftmend will save some mana when you need a big direct heal. In the same vein, Wild Growth will give some HoT power to go along with those quick Nourishes. There really is a lot of flexibility here.

There is however, not so much when it comes to spec. For most people, you will be stuck going deep enough into the Balance tree to get Celestial Focus, that you will not have much of a choice but to go 18/0/53. Now as you progress through Icecrown you will be able to move those points out of Balance and back into the more useful Resto talents. Revitalize being a priority in my book due to the amount of Rejuvenation’s you will be tossing around. Where you go from there will depend on how often you decide to use you direct heals. Your build should look more like the crit 11/0/60 build..

 Phew…Who knew when you signed up to heal as a sapling, you’d be in for so much homework? However, as long as Blizzard keeps being bipolar in regards to Druid healing mechanics, you better get used to it. Who knows, maybe if we cut back on the QQ they will give us new Tree Form models before the end of Cataclysm. Well, we can dream can’t we? In the next part of this article we will cover specific strategies for healing the first 4 bosses of Icecrown as a Tree.

How Our Guild is Handling Primordial Saronite

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Primordial Saronite is the item that’s required for the next level of crafting gear out of Icecrown. There’s all sorts of methods of picking up this stuff and our leadership’s been hard at work figuring out what our approach should be. There’s a few things that are high on the priority list.

Shadowmourne, for one, requires over 20 of these. While going for another Legendary isn’t required, it makes a statement about the guild (not one but TWO Legendaries after all).

Our tanks can get an early boost to their gear and not have to rely on random drops from the different bosses. The better those guys get, the easier time we’ll have moving forward.

As we’re packing a number of sharpshooters in the raid (4 hunters), they’re also going to need some heavy artillery. The recipes for bullets and arrows will cost one Primordial Saronite to learn.

There’s lots of different ways we can go about spending Primordial Saronite to maximize raider utility.

Our approach

In a recent thread on the WoW forums, Ghostcrawler was clarifying a question regarding Shadowmourne. At the same time, he wanted to know this:

We’re also interested to see how various groups handle the Primordial Saronite issue. We designed it so there isn’t necessarily a right way to handle the material and we don’t want to over-prescribe your social dynamics anyway.

I found out over the weekend that Blizzard devs do read this blog. Wyn and Lodur kept bugging me and insisting that they did, but I remained a disbeliever until one of their guys pinged me on Twitter about it. That was too cool!

So here’s our answer:

Prioritizing Saronite to the tanks – Our tanks will get first crack at the Primordial Saronite that they need. The better their gear gets earlier on, the easier time we’ll have heading into Icecrown. I think they’re shooting for the boots first, but I can’t be sure of that yet. I’ve created a queue list on the forums where the tanks put down what they need (not necessarily what they want). I’m not sure how the legs are. If they beat the tier legs, then I’ll devote more Saronite to it. Until then, the queue list is just for the tanks and once they have all that is requied, the list will be opened up to the rest of the guild.

Ammo recipes – This is another one for us but it won’t happen until later on. Not only do you need the Saronite, the engineers need the reputation to purchase the recipe. It’s Goblin and Gnomish right? One crafts bullets and the other does arrows? Once our engineers have the requisite reputation, we’ll send one their way as well.

Shadowmourne – The Shadowmourne quest line is fairly extensive. The last step involves taking down Sindragosa which isn’t going to be anytime soon. Not only that, you have to perform a variety of tasks at different bosses (like standing in fires while surviving for a prolonged period of time). This step can wait a little longer before we invest.

On the other hand, there is some speculation that you need to be on the opening quests before you get the Shadowfrost Shards from the bosses. We don’t know how often the drops are and there is no confirmation.

Getting saronite

To that end, we’ve decided to increase the chances we have of obtaining Saronite. Sundays have been opened up for a new alt raid. We’ve been doing this for a while now, but we’ve decided to lay down some ground rules for it.

Why an alt raid?

For one, there’s many players with nothing to do on Sunday nights. We could either jump on our alts and join a pug with a 50-50 shot of succeeding, or organize our own with a higher chance of it working out. We like having multiple geared characters!

Our alts are almost as geared as our mains and it gives us a nice “break” from our normal duties that we have to do on our main characters. It’s nice for me to randomly destroy stuff on my Ret Paladin or my Elemental Shaman.

As I said earlier, extra Primordial Saronite is a plus. We can channel the results of those into the main raid. Not only that, since they’re alts, the players that are comfortable with it can spend their Emblems of Frost that they have to purchase Saronite for their mains if they need to.

Our main raids are overstaffed. We do this in order to ensure that we have enough players to raid. This inevitably means that some players are going to sit out during the week.  I don’t want them to fall too far behind us in gear. So any main raiders that don’t get to come in during the week are able to come in on Sunday in order to use up their lockout period. At the very least, they’ll get some Emblems.

We’re still working out loot systems for the time being. Last Sunday, when we walked into ToC 25, we had 23 alts in total. The other 2 were friends of the guild. The one thing that we’re lacking is another tank for our alt runs. If we can field a full crew for 25, then I can definitely apply loot council rules and prioritize main readers who need loot and balance it with the alts.

If you’re a tank out there with nothing to do on a Sunday night, come and check us out. Of course, anyone who feels that they are exceptional healers and DPS are welcome to apply regardless.

Let’s take down Arthas and move on to Deathwing already!

The Case for Limited Attempts

We’ve seen the mechanic in Trial of the Grand Crusader and it seems like it’s going to be implemented in Icecrown as well. When I was on the PTR, I saw the countdown at 3000. We were down to 2994 when the raid group was called.

Again, this is why I’m in favour of being on the PTR often so I can waste my learning attempts there where it doesn’t matter. But that’s the tactician in me anyway.

There’s been objection to using limited attempts as a means to make raids more difficult for players. It means every attempt means something and they cannot just be squandered away. A ceiling has been imposed on the amount of times a guild can throw themselves at bosses.

This means that a guild who raids for 24 hours a week has no advantage over a guild that raids for 12 hours. They both have the same amount of chances to get the job done. The playing field has been leveled in such a way that guilds can’t simply just “brute force” their way through a raids and rely on a sheer number of attempts to do so. You can’t have players doing the same stupid things that cause them to die. The overall skills have to go up.

Granted, I’ll admit it is a cheap way of slowing down raids and making stuff harder. But I like this approach instead of throwing in more trash mobs. While ToC was one blend of the spectrum, I don’t think I’d be particularly happy if most boss chambers and corridors had quantities that rivalled Freya or General Vezax trash. I’d rather spend that time focusing on boss attempts. Some of the areas in ICC had trashed turned on. From what I’ve seen, it’s difficult enough to keep players entertained on the route to trash and there’s just enough where you’re not going to get bored of it and want to gouge your eyes out.

Will there be a reward system?

I’m not sure. It could be modelled after ToGC where the attempts remaining has an influence on the type of loot received. In fact, I think that is something they’ll implement.

Did you like the way limited attempts were set up in ToGC? What would you change for Icecrown?

Crystal Spire of Karabor 2.0

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Have you seen this mace? It’s supposed to drop from Rotface, I believe. Have you looked at the proc yet? Make sure you read it twice.

Each time your spells heal a target you have a chance to cause the target of your heal to heal themselves and friends within 10 yards for 217 each second for 6 seconds.

I’m assuming there’s a 45 second internal cooldown. This mace could come in handy for any class, I’d imagine. Judgment of Light? Chain Heal? Circle of Healing? Wild Growth? You’ll be hardpressed to make the argument for why this mace is hands down better for one class over another.

I know there’s one person in my guild who won’t be getting it.

I’ve already got my legendary. I’m assuming Val’anyr won’t get buffed to bring it in line with 3.3 weapons. Loot Council’s going to have a difficult time with this one (or easy, since it’ll be effective in the hands of any of our healers anyway).

Handling Icewell Radiance

Props to this guy for coining the term.

Daelo announced earlier in the day the implementation of raid wide buff called Chill of the Throne. What does it do?

The spell, called Chill of the Throne, will allow creatures to ignore 20% of the dodge chance of their melee targets. So if a raid’s main tank had 30% dodge normally, in Icecrown Citadel they will effectively have 10%.

Similar in concept to Sunwell Radiance, the reason it was implemented was to lessen the overall spikiness of incoming tank damage. Spikiness refers to something like a tank taking constant streams of 15k damage here, 14k damage there, and then suddenly plummet after a 44k hit of some sort. Sometimes it was predictable and in other cases it was not. It’s a large and often unpredictable hit that is capable of flooring a player.

I call it the Chuck Norris effect.

For present healers, the current way to deal with this is to use defensive cooldowns in tandem with tanking cooldowns. If tank avoidance isn’t high enough or if cooldowns aren’t used, they can easily get 2 shot in a manner of seconds.

With luck, this will be the last time we’ll ever see a buff like this in the game. Going forward into Cataclysm, the idea is to raise the health pool of tanks. Right now our overall approach to healing is to spam really fast heals, really large heals, or AoE heals depending on the situation.

While tank health pools go up, healing spells will scale up but not as sharply. The ratio of healing done on a tank vs tank health won’t appear to be the same as it is now. Let’s say a Greater Heal can cover 60% of a tank’s health right now. When Cataclysm hits, Greater Heal might only heal for 35% or something. The approach is to make overhealing a real risk to the point where healing spells can’t be spammed just to get through the boss fight.

That’s going to present an interesting change. It feels as if it’s going to be a hybrid between Vanilla-esque healing and TBC-era healing. I daresay those were the two extremes. In Vanilla, you had to rotate out with other healers and regen for a minute before tagging back in. In Burning Crusade, you could get away with Circle of Healing spam. It looks like in Cataclysm, they just might make overhealing mean something again since we can’t spam heals nor can we switch out with other healers to come in for us.