MMO Declines, Being a Brewmaster, and Joining a New Guild

This week, the guild scored two progression kills between heroic Zon’ozz and Warlord Blackthorn. Otherwise, not many other events are going on at the moment. Still hard at work laying down the foundations for the guild league. It’s 1:20 in the morning as I write this and I am in the mood for some serious pho.

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MMO Decline Caused by Moves to Smaller Guilds

Theories about the decline of MMOs? Even though the past investors call from Activision Blizzard showed no significant decline in active subscriptions, there’s no doubt that people are quitting the game. Rohan surmises that it might be a result of shifts in guild sizes from large scale guilds to smaller sized ones.

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Guide to Being a Brewmaster

Sunnier has been hard at work in the beta creating a guide for Monk tanks! The guide covers basic stuff like your abilities and glyphs to the more advanced stuff like stat allocation and rotations. Give it a read if you’re thinking about tanking.

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Top 5 Things to do When Joining a New Guild

Lynesta is our newest Holy Paladin. It seems she’s brushed off the dust that had been collecting on her blog. Here, she adds a fresh perspective on different things you should do after being accepted into a new guild.

By the way, if you’re a League of Legends player looking to get started with the game or just a veteran looking to hone their skills, check out my LoL blog over at League of Matticus. Don’t forget to subscribe!

Pet Battles, Rapture, Symbiosis, and Monks

This week in The Herald.

  • An overview of pet battles
  • Why Rapture needs to retire
  • How to make Symbiosis better
  • Mistweaver Monk FAQ and Guide
Last weekend, I was over at Fan Expo Vancouver (think of it as Vancouver’s Comic Con). Not a bad event. I believe it was one of the first ones that was being organized and they were using it to test it out for future comic-ish cons. They hit capacity multiple times actually. Those who wanted to buy tickets the day of were denied shortly after lunch hour and the line was cut off. I heard both days saw around 12000+ people go in and out. Came home with this:

I miss that show.

Also, Kevin Sorbo is freakin’ tall. He was sitting next to Worf. I wonder who would win in a hand to hand fight. Hercules may be a demigod, but Worf is Klingon. Saw Marina Sirtis (Counselor Troi and might I add she aged really well). I bumped fists with Tony Amendola (Master Bra’tac from Stargate).

Hope we get a bigger and better one next year with a larger gaming presence, as well.

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An overview of pet battles

This post has a video demonstration of several pet battles from start to finish along with a preview of the new pets pane interface.

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Why Rapture needs to retire

Derevka lays out his thoughts on Rapture for Discipline and why he believes that mechanic must go. In a word, I agree with his sentiments.

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How to make Symbiosis better

Jasyla offers her opinion about the related spells of Symbiosis and offers up some alternative solutions instead.

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Mistweaver Monk FAQ and Guide

EGTactics has an up-to-date guide on the basics of playing the Mistweaver Monk. It covers aspects like suggested talents, ability usage, and gear.

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Are Good Healers Born or Created? 

Personally, my belief is that good healers can be created. But great healers are “born”. You can teach the technical skills to a player but you can’t really instill the burning desire to keep everyone alive.

Mists of Pandaria - Panda by the lake

New Priest talents, Glyph of Dark Binding, and Tier 14 healing bonuses

Mindbender is the third level 45 talent. It was a giant question mark before, but it looks like it’s another pseudo-Shadowfiend. On a 4 minute cooldown, the Priest creates a Mindbender to attack the target and the Priest receives 6% mana back when Mindbender attacks. It’s only up for 15 seconds.

Glyph of Dark Binding: You can now cast Binding Heal, Flash Heal, and Renew without cancelling Shadowform. Nice! I’m pretty sure that’s going to be a super, OP utility glyph. I wouldn’t call it a requirement or anything yet. But if it were up to me, I’d ensure every Shadow Priest in my guild had it on progression as a just in case measure.

Glyph of Penance: Increases the mana cost of Penance by 20% but allows Penance to be cast while moving. I can accept this tradeoff.

Glyph of Fade: Your Fade ability now also reduces all damage taken by 10%. Fade just became much more attractive.

Spectral Guise does not appear to be our level 87 spell (Watch it in action here). You can now find it as a level 60 talent (Check WoWhead’s talent calculator). Wonder what replaced it. Edit: According to Derevka, Void Shift is now learned at level 87.

Divine Insight has changed. It’s no longer just an improved Serendipity.

Original

Divine Insight
Serendipity
When you heal with Binding Heal or Flash Heal, the cast time of your next Greater Heal or Prayer of Healing spell is reduced by 20% and mana cost reduced by 10%. Stacks up to 2 times. Lasts 20 sec.

Shadow of Death
When your Mind Blast deals damage, there is a 40% chance your next Shadow Word: Death will treat the target as if it were below 20% health.

New

Divine Insight
Discipline:
When you cast Spirit Shell, there is a 40% chance your next Power Word: Shield will both ignore and not cause the Weakened Soul effect.

Holy:
When you cast Greater Heal, there is a 40% chance your next Prayer of Mending will not trigger its cooldown, and will jump to each target instantly

Shadow:
When your Mind Blast deals damage, there is a 40% chance your next Shadow Word: Death will treat the target as if it were below 20% health.

Can’t wait for beta servers to come back online. I want to check out Mindbender. I’m sure it’ll be mind blowing.

Have to admit, I’m a little sad panda at the loss of Serendipity. Maybe they made it a base line or something but I haven’t seen anything that indicates that yet.

Tier 14 bonuses

Priest

  • 2 piece: Reduces the mana cost of Flash Heal by 10%
  • 4 piece: Reduces the cooldown of Penance by 4 seconds and reduces the cooldown of Circle of Healing by 4 seconds.

Shaman

  • 2 piece: Reduces the mana cost of Greater Healing wave by 10%
  • 4 piece: Your Tidal Waves ability now grants 1 additional charge each time it is triggered.

Paladin

  • 2 piece: Reduces the mana cost of your Holy Radiance spell by 10% (Overpowered).
  • 4 piece: Reduces the cooldown of Holy Shock by 1 second.

Druid

  • 2 piece: Reduces the mana cost of Rejuvenation by 10%
  • 4 piece: Reduces the cooldown of Swiftmend by 3 seconds.

Monk

  • 2 piece: Reduces the mana cost of Surging Mist by 10%
  • 4 piece: Your Chi Wave spell will now heal 1 additional target

Symbiosis and Monks

I’m so flippin’ mad.

Times like this I wish I was a fan of golf instead.

But enough about that. Let’s get on to the highlights for this week. The beta cap in Mists has been raised. The big spotlight’s on Druids since they get Symbiosis to play with which impacts the rest of us.

WoWScrnShot_041412_200317

The great wall of Pandaria.

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Overview of the Mistweaver Monk

In the weekly WoW Insider Raid Rx column, you can get an introductory look at the Mistweaver Monk (The healing one) and gain insight on how the class is supposed to heal. They’re going with a hybrid DPS/healing mentality with high mobility.

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State of the Brewmaster

Sunnier has gone self hosting and has gotten a new look, new domain, and new everything. Wear sunglasses. It’s really bright. Other than that, you can check out her recent post on the recent state of Brewmaster tanks. A part of me thinks this might be a good expansion to give tanking a shot.

Then there’s the other part of me who isn’t going to trust the healer to keep my sorry ass alive.

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Symbiosis: Practical Assignments

This is Lissanna’s part 2 of Symbiosis analysis. Found this way more interesting since she has a raid composition with 5 (five) druids. You think deciding things like Focus Magic was hard? Raid leaders will have another level of headaches with Symbiosis to deal with now and here’s a theoretical case study on how it would go.

How Complex Should Healing Be?

In my weekly Raid Rx column on WoW Insider, I published a post with an introductory look at the Mistweaver Monk. While Monks are still in the stages of construction, there’s enough of a foundation in the beta right now that players can mess around with. Monks have two resources: Mana and Chi. One of the comments in the column piqued my interest.

I get it that Paladins are monks are Blizzard’s ‘special’ healers that have to get extra resources like holy power and chi. Why can’t priests get their ‘insight’, druids their ‘harmony’ and shamans their ‘ether power’? Not a rant, just out loud wondering. Any beta testers can confirm that Monk healing is more similar to paladin than the other healer models, or not?

– Grmshepard

Now Grmshepard raises a point. You can’t seem to go a day browsing the WoW forums without a few players all depressed about how homogenized and similar the different healing classes are. The four (well, five) healing classes share some similarities but one needs to look much closer to really notice the nuances.

Secondary resources

Paladins get Holy Power. At the basic level, the class lets you develop charges of Holy Power giving you the ability to amplify the potency of select spells. It’s up to you to determine what that spell is and when that timing is. Remember when all you guys did was just stand there spamming Holy Light bombs during Burning Crusade? Now you’re dropping Holy Light bombs while building Holy Power charges at the same time! … I mean, it’s something new (Sorta).

Monks have Chi. It’s similar in concept to Holy Power. You’re using specific abilities to raise your level of Chi. In an earlier iteration, Monks had to utilize both light and dark chi. The general player feedback and consensus appeared to be “What’s the point?”. Therefore, that concept was simplified to just Chi. The thing with Chi though is that a number of the spells can be unloaded with just Chi. You’re using your mana to build up points of Chi. Chi can then be used to help heal your allies. The amount of Chi that is consumed has an impact on how much mana you get back (Cherry Mana Tea). It’s quite the interesting trinity. Don’t worry though, there’s still a number of healing spells that rely on your mana.

What about Druids, Shaman, and Priests?

My belief is that the three aforementioned classes feel complicated enough without the need for an additional secondary resource.

Looking at Priests, Chakra has added enough complexity on it’s own. The player needs to decide as is which stance they need to be in order to appropriately address the challenge of the present encounter. Talents like Serendipity allow us to charge up our own stacks to unleash a really fast spell on demand. It goes without saying that Discipline is fairly flexible between Atonement style and non-Atonement style. The Priest toolbox is pretty damn large. In fact, they should just call it a tool garage instead.

I’m not as qualified to talk about Druids as much. For more commentary on Resto Druids, I’d strongly suggest you head over and subscribe to my friend, Restokin. Way more knowledgeable than I, for sure. I’d say that the essence behind Druidism revolves around their HoT abilities and shapeshiftery. The latter talents in the Druid tree explicitly spell out the various benefits in switching between forms and taking advantage of the offered bonuses.

Going to have to defer on Shaman as well. Lodur’s the guy to talk to about that and you can catch his columns on WoW Insider.  There’s a heavy emphasis on totem usage and placement. Going into Mists, we’re going to see more involvement from the different elemental aspects. I need to play more Resto Shaman myself from time to time. The complexity with Shaman continues to rely upon strategic use of totems. We’ll have to see how the elemental forms play out.

Do you think the healing game for your class would be better if you had an additional secondary resource of your own? How much more complex does your class really need to be?