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: 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.

Wrath Content Patch Spells Doom for Raiding

Wrath Content Patch Spells Doom for Raiding

armageddon

This is a guest post by fellow guild and Enhancement Shaman all star Aylii who has become worried by the recent announcement of the pre-Wrath content patch and what it could mean to current end game raiding.

A few hours ago, Eyonix posted that the pre-Wrath content patch will be released in the coming weeks, which means that Wrath is just around the corner.

Like in the pre-Burning Crusade content patch, we will get to experience many of the new changes that will be coming to wrath a bit early, without needing the new expansion (Inscription to 375 anyone?). However, there is one flaw in the release that has me worried, and that is the new class spells and talents.

So far in Wrath, we as bloggers have read and kept track of the many changes to our respecting classes in the coming days. From the addition of many AOE healing spells, the change in mana regeneration and it’s respective talents, the warrior dreaming of duel wielding his two-handers, we have watched it all. There is one darkness that looms over all of these changes, and it mostly revolves around something many of us do casually or hardcore:

We love to raid.

Many class mechanics in Wrath were drastically changed to handle the encounters for the future. Crushing blows were removed. Intense need for mana regeneration destroyed. Changes in how we attack and defend. All of this tuned for Malygos and Arthas.

Yet it is released now, when we are still killing bosses who will preform crushing blows, still begging for blessing of salvation because we know we will pull, still chugging our mana potions. The sad thing is, there is most likely nothing we will do to stop it. For, after all, the pre-BC bosses were never changed, so why should the post-BC bosses be changed for wrath?

Crushing Blows

When I read about these changes, the first thing that popped into my mind was, “Gridlock is never going to get his Warglaive now.” The reasoning, Illidan will become undoable with the changes to talents. In the new content patch, Shield Block will be changed to a 40 second cooldown with Improved Shieldblock. Your Warrior will be crushed if he saves his shield blocks for shear. Sure, you can use a paladin to tank Illidan, but then the flame tanks will be crushed. I’d hate to imagine Sunwell guilds trying Brutallus now.

Threat

Every boss in BC is tuned to have threat control. In the content patch, we will be losing the main ways we reduce threat, Salvation and Tranquil Air. The talents will be still there, but until tanks (mostly warriors and druids) get some new gear from Northrend, they will not be able to keep up threat, unless they tank in Arena Gear. Goodbye Reliquary of Souls.

Itemization

So far I know of three classes (specs) who are getting major itemization changes: shaman, druid, and warrior. The smart enhancement shaman currently wears leather gear, which will leave them weaker after the patch due to the new stat bonuses they get (1 ap per str, agi, int). Similarly, protection warriors, who focus on block value and stamina, will be unable to keep threat because none of their gear has strength. Blizzard has stated that they will make the transistion easier for classes such as these, but gear only accounts for one of the problems.

These are the highlights of Eyonix’s post, but it is just that, highlights. There are other things in the content patch that we might see that can kill raiding, such as:

Potions

Potions. Potions. Potions.

We love them, we need them, we crave them. Soon we will be without them. Currently, in Wrath, if you drink a potion, you get potion sickness, which makes you unable to take another potion. Current bosses are tuned to make us chug mana pots, and even with three classes now supplying mana, I fear the changes will not be enough until we hit Wrath itemized gear.

Downranking

If the downranking nerf makes it into the content patch, kiss your healers goodbye. As I write this now, there is currently no alternative to healing people up besides using the max rank heal, which means more mana, which means out of mana healers who have to sit on their butts and watch their aggro loving dps and tanks die. I sincerely hope that Blizzard does not include this in the content patch, ot better yet, unnerf the nerf!
Whatever Blizzard does, I hope they do something about this. Myself, and many other raiders, still wish to raid before Wrath.

Source: Eyonix Post

Now it’s your turn. Do you think raiding will become even more difficult? Would this alarming change add even more pressure to your Guild to start knocking out bosses and seeing more of end game?

Guest Post: A First Look at a Feeder Guild

This is a guest post from Galadria. She represents half of the knowledge from the Light and the Dark.

We’ll start with a sample scenario. You are a member of l33t Guild, part of the raid core. Your guild is farming the lower bosses of TK/SSC and trying to down Vashj and Kael to get into Hyjal/BT. Since most of your raid core doesn’t need gear out of T4 content, it’s basically PUG. Whoever can throw a run together does whenever they happen to be in the mood. Since the raid core doesn’t want to have wipe fests, when they do farm that content (for badges or off spec gear) they tend to do it with each other so they can blow through it quickly. One day JoeRogue; who has been raiding in Kara for a while and gone on a few runs of Gruul and Mag, asks that oft dreaded question in Gchat:

    “How come I never get to raid?”

This sets off a fevered discussion with much flaming from the raid core and much grousing from lower echelons of the guild. The core raiders don’t want to hear it, they’ve put in the time and effort to be where they are. The lower ranked players feel shafted, they never get a chance at better gear or to show the raid leaders that they can play competently.

Overlooking the fact that there seems to be a bunch of whining, it shows a problem I think a lot of guild at this level have. The guild is split between those that are part of the progression raiding and well geared, and those that are just getting Kara keyed or just out of Kara, and learning how to raid. These two groups have different needs from the guild. Both groups need structured, scheduled raid time for their level of content, lead by a competent RL to make things go smoothly. They just need different content.

Requirements

Kara (1-2 nights), Gruul (1 night), Mag (1 night), SSC (probably 2 nights), TK (probably 2 nights). If you stacked groups correctly, you could do Kara in 1 night and Gruul and Mag in the same night. That’s still 6 nights of scheduled raiding! I don’t see many guild leaders (in average guilds) being able to handle that.

As I see it you have a few options:

Option 1

Let the lower level players fend for themselves. They can probably make in-guild PUG Kara/ZA runs without much problem but Gruul/Mag is going to be a lot for some random person with a little initiative to get together. This may lead to unhappy players in your lower ranks. However, since they’re not part of your progression team you may not care if they come or go but I tend to think that’s kind of a crappy way to deal with the situation.

Option 2

Another option is to be up front with this group and tell them that you will not be scheduling any events at their level of progression and if they want to experience that content they should find a guild at their level to grow with. This is tough since a lot of these people will be friends of members of your raid core. I think it’s good to be up front and honest, and you’re doing them a favor by letting them know that you are not able to meet their needs. It can be up to them to find someone who can.

Option 3

What I think is the best option is to establish what I call the Feeder Guild. This can be a separate entity or a sub-set of your existing guild. This guild becomes a leveling and early raiding guild that prepares your lower level players for higher content. This option will take more work at the beginning to get started, but will be worth it in the end.

You’ll need to find someone (or a couple of people) who have the organizational skills and the drive to run the show. This person should be outfitted with the resources and responsibilities to organize your lower level raids for those that need/want them. It’s also a good idea to get a few of your higher level raiders willing to help out. Even a few above level players can make a huge difference in how smooth a raid goes. If you don’t have anyone willing to help, you can consider offering a small amount of DKP for an incentive with a weekly limit.

This is also a great way for your Raid Core to get their alts into the lower level raids. Just about every 70 raider that I know has and alt (or 5) and most of them have been at it long enough to have another 70. They always seem to ask to take their alts on Kara runs. Here’s a great opportunity to get them access into regular runs of lower level raids.

Splitting the raiding responsibilities between 2 groups means a manageable 2-4 nights of raiding for each group.

Each group can also handle loot individually. I know a lot of guilds tend to throw DKP out the window for lower level raids. Then the guy who’s been playing with your guild for a while can get unlucky on a roll and loose loot he’s been waiting for to a guy who just joined looking for some quick purples.

As with everything else, this is a highly personal situation. What works for one guild will not necessarily work for another. You may be really picky about who gets a ginvite and don’t have this problem since you don’t let anyone in that’s not geared well enough. You may let everyone and their dog into the guild, but don’t really care if they get any raid time. If however, you do have a similar situation, consider this solution.