Ensidia’s Holy Priest Guide and Monday Links

Ensidia’s Holy Priest Guide and Monday Links

For Holy Priests interested in capturing a glimpse of how and what top end players do push themselves to the limit, one of Ensidia’s Holy Priests has written a guide to specs, gems, gear, and spell casts.

book

Quick Notes

One of the suggested specs is a 13/58/0 build which does not have Mental Agility nor Inspiration. This is a more specialized build which relies on Test of Faith and Healing Prayers for short, high healing demand type of encounters where Priests can afford to blow through mana.

In regards to gems, Poptisse advocates any gems with Intellect in the various sockets but notes that other gems will work just as well based on your personal preference. While I knew Intellect gems were the go-to gems for Discipline, I didn’t know it would be prioritized as high for Holy Priests. It must be due to the result of the Spirit nerf. Intellect didn’t really get better. Spirit just got slightly hit.

Caution: The guide you’re reading is written by one of the top Priests in the world. She’s in Ensidia after all. That’s a guild that probably has a plethora of raiders and players to choose from based on varying roles that are needed by different encounters. Most of us do not have that luxury. We have to make do with what we have which means we have to be more “all around”. There is a ton of valuable information but that doesn’t mean you should go out of your way to copy everything exactly. This is just an insight as to what a top tier Priest does. Read it, learn from it, and find out what works best for you.

Monday links

  • Brigwyn is hosting a Child’s Play Charity Auction – All donations going to a good cause. Do check it out.
  • Kestrel wants to know if WoW is Losing Its Hold on you – I know Megan has called a retirement from blogging (not sure if that includes the game). A lot of bloggers have called it quits recently. Rest assured, retirement is far away for me right now (Hopefully for Syd and Lodur too).
  • Wrote to Done: Three Tips to Avoid Being a Boring Writer – Read it.
  • Leadership now: 5 Leadership Lessons: Ultimate Leadership – Leading in Context – Great and short read. I liked this line the best:
    • General P.X. Kelly: "Listen carefully to the principles of leadership we will teach you here at Quantico, but always apply them within the framework of your own personality. A successful leader never languishes in the comfort of a swivel chair. The most important of all troop-leading steps, yet the one most often neglected, is the last – to supervise. And you supervise by being out with and devoting the bulk of your time to our most important product – people. You can always catch up on what you thought was essential paperwork during the evenings or on weekends, but once neglected, you will find it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to catch up on people."
  • Zen Habits: 5 Tiny Steps to Quit Being Such a Jerk

Other notes

  • Noblegarden sucks. Haven’t seen this level of spawn camping since the days of Halo and Day of Defeat.
  • Had a few questions about this. Yes I’m always interested in guest posts and promoting blogs of others. Just be sure to follow these guidelines.

Draft

Blizzard Reads Kestrel’s Aerie (Priest Changes for 3.1)

I don’t have much time. I’m rushing a quick post before I head to school (Delivering a 10 minute presentation on Forensic sciences). I’ll publish a post later with my thoughts on it. I am absolutely creaming my pants right now. When I alerted Wyn, she was virtually speechless as well. In case you haven’t seen them, here they are on WoW Insider. I wanted to point your attention to something though. Last year, I had the opportunity to do an interview with Kestrel (of his self titled Aerie). In it, he asked me what I thought the 51 point talent would be.

 

kestrel-int

Turns out I was wrong. It would end up being Penance. But look at the recent blue posts for Priests!

blizz-pwbarrier

Well, well, well. Will you look at that! A talent named Power Word: Barrier that’s a shield effect! I’m predicting it’s going to be replacing the spot where Diving Spirit is. But Kestrel my man, this is proof that Blizzard reads your blog, eh?

Weekly Digest: Kael Dead, Progression Methods, 2 Guest Posts

What’s Happening in WoW

We killed Kael on Sunday, yay! After the reset, we were able to kill him again which proves that we are now able to put Kael down on farm. After that, the special forces of Carnage decided to run into Mount Hyjal and help out Jaina. One wipe at around wave 7 before laying the smackdown on Rage Winterchill. Our healers had a tough time healing frostbolts and we’re currently working on methods to counteract it.

For those that might be perplexed, Winterchill fires a frostbolt at a random player during the raid which impacts them ~4500+ damage and freezes them in place. Following that, there is a DoT applied to that player for 2500 per second.

Current solutions

    Requirement of all players to obtain a PvP trinket by Tuesday

Here’s some advice for players who employ DKP bidding in their loot distribution.

  1. Bid high if you really want it
  2. Do not bid in increments of 5

I found this lesson out the hard way the other night. I had the option to bid on a Verdant Sphere which gives you the option of picking an epic neckpiece of your choice. During round 1, I placed a bid for 35. It was revealed the highest was 45. During round 2, I placed a bid for 55 thinking that no one would go for it that high. Unfortunately, I lost the item to a Warlock who placed a bid for 56. I guess I’ll need to do some more research and find me a neckpiece other then Lord Sanguinaar’s Claim.

On the PvP front, my Shaman has acquired the Vengeful Gladiator’s Mail Armor! That now brings me up to 2/5 S2 Resto and 3/5 Elemental. My goal is to become an Elemental Shaman in PvP. That seems to be what people want most these days. I’ve been thinking about what to socket them with. I’ll most likely lean towards the Honor gems.

What’s Happening with the Blog

I’ve decided to participate with a service called EntreCard. If you notice on the right side above my poll, there is a rectangular image. This service allows WoW bloggers to drop their business cards on to other blogs thereby getting traffic and raising awareness. As mentioned by TJ in her excellent summarization, the system is dominated by blogs that make money by telling other people how to make money blogging, there is no reason that it cannot be leveraged by the WoW blogging community. Why? Because you are able to approve or deny rights to blogs that wish to publicize on your blog. As such, I’m limiting blogs that show up under EntreCard to other WoW bloggers or gaming related blogs that have decided to use this service.

Latest Blog Posts

Here are the posts from this week:

20 Questions by Matticus

This week I had a chance to sit down with Kestrel of Kestrel’s Aerie.

Past Hits

Past columns I have written that still hold true to this day.

Trends in the WoW Blogosphere

Patch Notes have been strategically leaked by various Blizzard reps. Here’s a few community takes and responses to them.

Blog Spotlight

Banana Shoulders – Siha is a Guild Leader and a Holy Paladin. We’ve had a lot of conversations on the AIM Blogazeroth chatroom. She’s also a mac enthusiast!

Matt likes: The Jewelcrafting Quick Reference Sheet. I even printed out a copy. Unfortunately, since I use a laser printer it’s in black and white.

20 Questions with Kestrel

20 Questions with Matticus

Every week, Matt gets a chance to sit down with a WoW Blogger chosen by his Worg Pup. Find out a little more about your favourite bloggers as he tries to get to know them a little more!

To kick off this weekly feature, Kestrel of Kestrel’s Aerie was awesome enough to set aside some time in his schedule to answer a few questions.

I noticed you have an affinity for birds. Where did it come from?

The answer to this question dovetails (like that?) with the answer to the second. So let me explain…

Several years ago, I read a fantastic Mercedes Lackey series, “Bardic Voices.” Among the titles are The Lark and the Wren and The Robin and the Kestrel. Searching for a new character name when Asheron’s Call II was released (I’d gone by Earendil, from The Silmarillion, for many, many years), “Kestrel” fit perfectly: Back in my role-playing days (Shadows of Yserbius, on the ImagiNation Network, né The Sierra Network), I fancied myself a bardic type–never mind that I can’t play the lute or mandolin, nor can I carry a tune. See the next answer for the rest!

What’s the background behind your character’s names? (Kestrel, Osprey, Talonis)

When it came time to name alts (and yes, I’m an altoholic–explains 4, almost 5, level 70s on one server!), I stuck with the birds of prey theme. Currently, my characters include Kestrel, Osprey, Talonis (from Talon, which is always taken as a character name, but is the name of Talonis’ hunter pet), Sparverius (from the Latin for hawk), Owlhawk, Falken (German origin), Falconer, Raptor. Oh…and Earendil is my little-used Dranei Paladin.

What’s a typical day in the life of Kestrel like?

Pretty dull! Weekdays, I get up just before 6:30, get ready for work, eat a bowl of cereal while Auctioneer Advanced is performing my daily scan of the AH. Usually, I have time to do a daily quest, and I also review the Aerie for new comments, as well as check the feed reader and Blog Azeroth very quickly. I’m a human resources manager in a call center, so I generally have time during the day to catch up on blogs (sometimes, even my own if there aren’t too many interruptions).

I go home for lunch each day, so I’ll log into the game, check on auctions, maybe hit another daily. After work, my wife and I generally have dinner fairly soon after I get home (and after I spend a little bit on my bike exerciser; in nicer weather, we go for a walk or bike ride 3 or 4 times a week). We usually watch a travel show or cooking program from the DVR while eating.

Then, it’s up to the computer room and an evening of WoW. I may delay my login if I have an article I want to finish for the blog, and I generally have Google Reader open on my second monitor to peruse on longer gryphon flights.

Most people around your age tend to not care about video games and consider them a waste of time. How did you get into gaming and WoW?

For the uninformed, I’m in my mid-50s. That already may be TMI for some people. *grin*

When I was a young captain in the Air Force in the mid-70s, I was an instructor for Minuteman missile crews. The computer that operated our simulators was a DEC PDP-11 minicomputer. In the observation cab, we had small 11″ monitors, and a couple of the more enterprising technicians had installed a game called “Dungeon” (I think). It was a very simple maze-like layout with typographic characters–letters and symbols–representing characters, monsters (this was before the term “mob” entered the lexicon) and treasure. I was hooked.

This was also about the time I started playing D&D 2ed with co-workers. Then one day, a coworker brought an Atari brochure into the office. Within a year, I was the very proud (and much poorer) owner of an Atari 800–still the most comfortable keyboard I have ever used, including the classic IBM Selectric.

From there, it was an easy evolution to cassette- and 5.25″-floppy disc-based games. A few years later (1986, to be precise) I upgraded to my first IBM-compatible PC (and I splurged on a huge 30MB hard drive!). “Bard’s Tale” and the D&D Gold Box collection, King’s Quest, Ultima IV, and my favorite, the Wizardry series. Time passed, I discovered The Sierra Network and Shadows of Yserbius. Eventually I got involved in Asheron’s Call, a teeny bit of EverQuest, and so on, culminating with World of Warcraft.

Your long lost cousin happens to find your blog and manages to get in touch with you. To your amazement, you find out he works at Blizzard as a lead designer. As a birthday present, he allows you to include another playable race in the game. What would you choose and why?

Oh my… what a great question! There are so many reasonable possibilities. Unfortunately, I’m not a lore master by any stretch–I never played the Warcraft series, or even Diablo. So whatever I say may make zero sense from a lore standpoint. But let me throw out a few ideas, then I’ll settle on my #1 choice. What about Arrakoa? And if you put them on the Alliance side, maybe Ogres on the Horde side? Of course, one could argue for Murlocs on the Horde side, to balance out Gnomes? Or how about an elemental race? Scratch that…no one wants to see eleventy-seven variations on Thing as a character name. But the romantic in me would probably go for High Elves (I completely lost it the first time the High Elf female in Allerian Outpost haughtily informs you she’s NOT a Blood Elf). And how about this: High Elves on both sides of the conflict, Horde and Alliance? If nothing else, the lorefiends would have a field day!

You have your own Guild. Tell us about them and the direction you are steering them.

Originally, the guild was just four of us who left Icecrown and our (large raiding) guild there because we had a lot of problems logging in to the realm. We picked up a few other friends who entered the game, but we have always been rather small and close-knit. Unfortunately, we lost several members a couple months ago who wanted to progress faster than the guild was currently moving. That’s how I inherited the GM mantle. Right now, we’re trying to get everyone (almost everyone in the guild has at least one 70) through the Outland 5-man instances. Several of us just finished off the Gronns this week, so we can start doing Ogri’La dailies, and we want to get everyone else who’d like to, through that. We have a couple druids (my two remaining co-founders) who want to get their epic flight form, so Heroic Sethekk is definitely coming up in the near term. And, I’d like to help everyone get attuned for Karazhan. We may have to pug it or join with another guild to get into Kara itself, but by ourselves, we can at least finish the attunements. And at some point, I expect we’ll have to address the question of whether to expand our membership.

What’s the most important piece of advice you can give to a new and aspiring GM?

Just so you understand, this isn’t my first stint at being a GM. I was a realm GM for a couple years in Shadows of Yserbius (at that time, if not the largest, one of the largest online guilds in the world), and in Asheron’s Call II and Horizons, I was the #2 person in one of the largest guilds in both games (we moved from AC2 to Horizons). So I’m not exactly a rookie. :)

Thus, the one thing I would tell any GM is, “You can’t do it all.” Don’t even try. Have trusted lieutenants, delegate responsibility AND authority. But don’t forget that YOU are the Guild LEADER. When a tough call has to be made, discipline, or /gkick, then the GM has to be the one to make the call. But being a GM isn’t a power trip: /gquit is even easier to do than /gkick.

Seeing as you are clearly a bird enthusiast, do you have any ethical objections to the use of Gryphons by the Alliance for their day to day purposes?

Another great question. Having done the Hinterlands quests and having become acquainted with some of the Gryphon elders, I think they appreciate the service they do for the Alliance. After all, I’ve never seen a tether on one of them; they can leave any time, or simply drop us in the Twisting Nether if they liked. However, I think we, as riders, should have the opportunity to maybe slip them a tasty treat occasionally. Then, they might be persuaded to take a more direct route once in awhile. After all, have you SEEN the route they fly from Shattrath to, say Area 52??

Tell us more about your blog like the background and history and your future plans and goals for it:

Like so many of us, I caught the blogging bug after reading BigRedKitty in WoW Insider, then checking out his blog. I went from there to several others–Vonya’s Egotistical Priest, since Osprey was in his mid- to late-60s and about to really get into the healing business, as well as Kirk’s Priestly Endeavors.

And as I read their blogrolls, my horizons expanded quickly. The one thing I didn’t see too much of at the time (early August) were blogs by non-raiding types, yet I know that raiders make up a relatively small part of the WoW population. So I thought I could help to fill that void. I’m not sure I’ve met that precise aim, but my readership is growing, so something is working! My biggest problem is finding the time to do all I want to do with the blog: I’d rather play! (But that’s about the only thing I prefer to writing, so I hope I can find more balance between the two going forward).

While I’ve been playing since beta, I really am a pretty casual player, in terms of what content I’ve experienced. But I am getting more experience, and I feel pretty confident in my expertise in some areas. So I expect to post some “how-to” articles in the future. I also want to get back to reviewing UI add-ons. But I’ll still keep the stories, the rants, and the shout-outs to exceptional bloggers in the mix.

Where do you see yourself in 10 months in WoW?

Oh, maybe 1/3 of the way to level 71? But on about 6 characters. *laugh* I hope by the end of this year, I’ll have downed all the bosses in Kara. I’d also like to complete all the Heroic Outland instances. But one thing I’m sure of: I’ll be logging into Wrath of the Lich King on Day 1!

Speed Questions

Most cliche’d excuse in the game:

“Sorry…I hit the wrong button.”

Nerf:

Fear. I hate Hate HATE being Feared!

First thing you do in the morning:

Take a shower. THEN I log into WoW.

Blogging is like:

Eating chocolate – all the flavors are good!

I like to play WoW in my:

Sweatpants and quilted flannel shirt.

Most hated zone:

Oh… tough one; I like ‘em all. Swamp of Sorrows.

Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Rockies, Denver Broncos, or Denver Nuggets?

Avalanche! Take that, Matt! ;) (Dodgers, Rams, Lakers in case anyone’s curious)

5 things that annoy you in WoW:

1. Trade channel spam (i.e., non-trade chat; it’s the new General channel!)
2. Duels in Iron Forge
3. Roundabout Gryphon rides (fly in a STRAIGHT line, dammit!)
4. W-A-S-D
5. The UI–SO hard to simply move or resize elements.

Matt needs to:

Send more people to Kestrel’s Aerie!

Thanks for taking the time to sit down and answer my questions. Shout outs to?

BRK for opening my eyes to blogging, and to the BM spec. Vonya and Kirk for the blogging inspiration and the encouragement to keep growing my Priest. Galadria, Pelides and Mania for the blogging encouragement. Phaelia and Matticus for their friendship through this blogventure. Phaelia and Valenna for kick-starting Blog Azeroth.