New Poll: How Often Do You Raid Per Week?

Hours spent raidingThis is another one of my curiosity polls. I’m interested in knowing the amount of time you guys (and girls) spend raiding on a weekly basis. This will help me understand my audience a bit more (hopefully).

For me, I log about 16 hours a week raiding (3 hours for Karazhan, 13 hours on SSC/TK and 12 of those hours are spent eating dirt in Kael’s room). How often do you raid and do you think you spend too much or too little time raiding? How much of it is spent on old or farmed content and how much of it is targeted at progression?

Most importantly, do you enjoy it?

How Often Do You Raid Per Week?

  • 5 - 10 hours a week (28%, 110 Votes)
  • 10 - 15 hours a week (23%, 89 Votes)
  • I do not raid right now (23%, 88 Votes)
  • 15 - 20 hours a week (12%, 47 Votes)
  • Under 5 hours a week (7%, 28 Votes)
  • Over 20 hours a week (how?!) (7%, 26 Votes)

Total Voters: 388

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Discipline Priests Unveiled: What Your GM’s Won’t Tell You

I received an email several days ago asking about the bastard brother in the Priest talent trees. Er, I mean the Discpline Priest. By Discipline Priest, I mean 41 points.

Matticus – I’m known as Hawk 99% of the time, but on my off days I join the ranks as Farrow, a now lvl 53 Belf priestess. I haven’t noticed many Discipline priests my level…ever actually. I love it though. I spec’d far into it and am finally starting to go into the holy tree and will put my remaining points there until I’m 70. I was wondering though – is discipline just not a comment way for priests to roll? I was heavy into Holy for a long time but like to solo…discipline enables me to do that easier. I just don’t have it in me to be shadow. Don’t ask me why! I did try it! (dont knock it til you try it)

What is your take on discipline priests? Am I doomed in this spec even though I enjoy it?

Matt’s Note: Hawk also has her own blog which I won’t hesitate to shamelessly plug because I enjoy reading it.

The truth is, until recently, Discipline Priests had no business being in a Raid. One of the recent patches changed that when it was announced that Pain Suppression could now be cast upon any member ony our party.

You don’t have to be a Gnomish Engineer to figure out what that means.

My History

When I was a wee little Dwarf Priest, I leveled from 1-60 as Holy/Disc. In my case, I had no problems at all getting the experience I needed. When TBC came out, I specced completely in Disc so I could get to 70 in a manageable way. I’ve had no experience playing Shadow.

My secret? The server I leveled on was brand new

Levelling

What Hawk is ding is leveling as Discipline. I wholeheartedly commend her for doing that. The Discipline tree requires… well, discipline to play. You get a ton of stats and your survivability is almost as notorious as a Warlock. I don’t see any problems leveling as Discipline because that’s what I did. Granted, you may not kill as fast as our dark, shadow brethren. But at least you can live.

Raiding as a Discipline Priest

As Healing

Just like in hockey, players in a team have to remain aware of what their roles are and what’s being asked of them to do. You don’t ask a shadow priest to heal your tanks. You don’t ask a resto druid to light up wrath and starfire.

I’ve spoken with several friends and colleagues in the game about Discipline Priests could be slated for. In raiding, you play 1 of 3 possible roles:

  • Tanking
  • Healing
  • Beating the crap out of the boss

Pwyff, a blogger on Gameriot (and friend), sees Discipline Priests as “fantastic panic healers”. True Disc Priests must have Brodeur like reflexes and can bail out your healers if crap hits the proverbial fan.

In other words, like Luongo (or Jesus), Discipline Priests save.

But herein lies the 5200 G question:

If you consistently rely on a Disc Priest to save your healers, what kind of healers are you bringing to a raid? Disc Priests are an excellent crutch and support class to have in a raid, but I think their presence isn’t necessary if you already have outstanding healers. Sure they can Power Infuse your best casters every few minutes at a time. Other than that and Pain Suppression, there isn’t much else.

Disc Priests cannot match the healing output of a Holy Priest, period. If you think otherwise, I expect several WWS reports as evidence.

As DPS

Don’t even think about it. You’re competing with Mages, Warlocks, Shadow Priests, and Boomkins for cloth gear.

PvPing as Discipline

As a healer

I’ve PvP’ed with my Shaman both against and alongside Discipline Priests

Nothing pisses me off more than seeing a player with that Pain Suppression blue glow around them. I end up spending precious time spamming Purge instead of Lesser Healing Wave, or Shocks offensively.

Nothing gives me greater pleasure than seeing that blue glow around me when I’m at 10% after popping Battlemaster’s Perseverance and a Fel Blossom to stay alive because I’m being focus fired.

They’re a pain in the butt to take down, especially with those stat bonuses. Then they sit behind one of those pillars in Nagrand spamming Mass Dispel, Mana Burn, and Power Infusion.

As DPS

No. It does’t seem to fit with pre-existing arena team setups. By DPS, I mean a Priest who actively Smites/Mana Burns and the like. I think they’re a reactive class. They cannot ever replace actual DPS like a Warlock or a Mage. If you think I’m wrong otherwise, I invite you to show me. But please do not give me theories or opinions. I do not want to know the maximum amount of DPS a Disc Priest can do under ideal conditions when his opponents are CC’d and there is nothing he’s doing other than spamming. Discussing theory is like discussing experiments in lab conditions. As a student, I know lab conditions do not equate to real life situations. The same should be held true of WoW.

Again, the only thing I know of offensively is Power Infusion, Mana Burn, and Mass Dispels. Healing and DPSing roles aren’t that far off from one another.


I know somewhere in here I’ve pissed off many readers. Good! Because anger breeds reaction and discussion. I want to know your experiences and thoughts about Discipline Priests. Specifically, I want to know from readers who are:

  • Priests who raid as Disc
  • Priests who PvP as Disc
  • GM’s who have Disc Priest raiders (and why)
  • Guildmates of Disc Priests
  • Anyone who has ever been in contact with a Disc Priest in any way shape or form (playing alongside or against

Over the next few days, I hope to compile the most insightful comments into a future blog post about what other players think about Discipline Priests. I want to get some community feedback and start involving more. I’m hoping for some feedback from GMW, Kirk, Ego, Kestrel, Karthis, Phaelia, Megan, and Galadria/Vladvin others that I’ve no doubt forgotten due to lack of memory.

Who knows? Perhaps Discipline Priests will earn the respect and prestige that Protection Paladins now have. After all, 10 months ago we were laughing at the idea of a Prot Pally. Now we beg them to come tank our runs.

A Much Needed Break

Blogging is tough business, it really is. I’m not able to stay on top of writing as usual. With family in town for the holidays, it’s up to me to play the good host. I might put up something short tomorrow and on Boxing Day (26th), but there’s always the fatigue factor.

Last week, the entire Guild’s been shut down with players heading home or just taking some much needed time off to relax. All mandatory raids have been suspended until January. It’s nice to have 2 weeks off when you’re a casual raider. I imagine with so many people enjoying the holidays, it would be difficult for guilds to successfully pull off 25 mans. It doesn’t seem to be worth it to me right now to go through all the trouble of rescheduling the umpteenth Christmas dinner or party just to attend a raid.

How’re the smaller Guilds handling it I wonder? By smaller, I refer to organizations who don’t have enough to step into 25 man raids on their own but large enough for rotating Karazhan groups. Has your Guild shut down?

Our raids resume in January.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Healing Tips for 25-Man Raiding: WoW Insidered, Matt Reviewed

I woke up this morning and decided to check my grades to see how I did this semester. Turns out I got an F in Cognitive Science. Now I’m really depressed about it, but I’m working on a plan to address it next year.

Anyway, aside from that I was catching up on a little bit of light reading on WoW Insider. One of the columns featured is that on 25-man raid healing by Marcie Knox. The article essentially summarizes the tips and tricks that healers can pull off in order to succeed in end game content. Let’s see if WoW Insider experts and I agree:

You need at least one of each healing class. Yes, even a holy priest and the rare resto druid. No matter what you’ve heard, running with all paladins really won’t get you very far, nor make the journey pleasant.

Disagreed. Ideally it would be nice to have all four healing classes, but sometimes it simply isn’t possible. Can you do some 25-man content with all Paladins? Yes. Is it recommended? No. But you do not NEED a Resto Druid, Shaman, Holy Priest and Paladin. If you set it as your goal to recruit one of each healer before trying your hand at raiding, you’ll be stuck for a long time. Carnage is incredibly stacked on Paladins and Priests. We have one Resto Shaman and no Druids (WE COULD USE ONE THOUGH SERIOUSLY). We went from Karazhan to Kael since we started back in June.

You have 6-8 raid slots for healers to work with. Start with 7 and make adjustments as you go.

Agreed. Typically, I would start with 7 and work my way up or down depending on the following:

  • The encounter
  • The gear of healers
  • The skill of healers

You’ll only need to do this the first few times when you’re working on a boss. After a while, when bosses can be done with no effort, you can remove healers as necessary to speed up the fight.

All healers must have the following information instantly available at all times:
a) Raid Health Monitor
b) Range Indicator

Kinda. I do keep the raid health monitor window open but I never make use of it. I’m not sure if Knox refers to the health of the entire raid as a percentage or the health of each individual raid member. Regardless,everyone’s health bar should be on the screen. Don’t just have your party window open in a raid.

As for the Range Indicator, it’s a good idea to have one. I’ve grown accustomed to my Priest that I can visually tell whether or not I’m in range of my tank. If I’m able to, I do a quick range check before a boss by lighting up a Prayer of Mending to ensure line of sight is not an issue. It’s a good tip for Alar when you’re not sure if the ledge the tank is standing on is going to interfere with your LOS heals. If your tank isn’t, a quick bark over vent should move them an inch or so over.

Have at least 2 people willing and able to handle the healing assignments.

Agreed. When I run my pickup Magtheridon, I make a deal with my partner. He runs the strats and I take care of the healing. He tells me whose tanking what, and then I pick out the healers who’re going to cover each tank.

In Carnage, our healers take it one step further. The raid leader puts up icons and calls out which tank is on which trash mob. Our healers take a more active approach and type in our healer channel which tank we’ll cover. Here’s an example for Hydross:

  • Resto Shaman: Raid
  • Holy Paladin 1: Water Tombs
  • Holy Paladin 2: Active Tank
  • Me: Active Tank
  • Holy Priest 2: Melee DPS
  • Holy Paladin 3: Elemental Tanks
  • Holy Paladin 4: Elemental Tanks

Active tanks refers to the one who is currently tanking the boss. Remember Hydross needs to be alternated between two tanks. This way, our healers are much more alert and everyone is accounted for. We have clearly defined our roles to ourselves and to each other.

You’ll need a way to do healing assignments. Here’s some common methods:
Macros – Easy, in-game, and nothing to download; this is what I use
Text File – WoW crash-proof, alt+tab then copy/paste into chat; Notepad, etc. (Watch for the multi-line limit)
Text Addons – Like a text file but in-game, good if you have 1k macros already; Notes (Is it still around? Can’t find it.), etc.
Assignment Addons – Fill out a form

Agreed. Typing it by hand sucks. Typing it again because someone was AFK sucks more. Personally, I use macros. Example:

/rw HEALING ASSIGNMENTS:
/rw —
/rw Tank 1: Healer A, Healer B
/rw Tank 2: Healer C
/rw Tank 3: Healer D
/rw Tank 4: Healer E
/rw Raid: Healer F and G

I mainly use this one for my own pickup raids on Mag and it spits out nice lines and alerts everyone.

Set up a healing channel to broadcast the assignments or use the Guild Info window if you’re an officer

Agreed. A typical channel name is GuildHeal or something. Just type /join GuildHeal and type / followed by the channel number. Usually it’s something like /5.

I like to change the color of all the text in the healer channel to something bright so that it stands out. To do this, right click on the tab above your chat window (General). Mouse over to Channels, then there should be a red square next to the name GuildHeal. Click the square and a color wheel should pop up. Drag the circle to any color you like.

Get set up to record your combat log and parse it via WWS.

Agreed. Post raid analysis is always important when you can’t seem to do a boss properly. You need to troubleshoot and diagnose the problems in order to fix it. For in game, I suggest an addon called Recount. I’m going to post an indepth guide to it later on in the week when I start accumulating some screenshots.

Well for the most part, it looks like we do agree and emphasize the same things (except for the first point). Knox’s healer is in Mount Hyjal. My Guild’s working on Kael. Who knows? Maybe I’ll radically change my views once I get into Hyjal.

Carnage is LFM SSC and TK

I’m happy to announce that I’ve been asked to help recruit people into Carnage. The past few days have been very rough for us which got to a point where we had to cancel a raid due to key personnel having to cancel at the last minute. We’ve seen a lack of attendance on our sunday raids in the past few weeks.

During my time in Aurora, I was tasked as a headhunter to help look for players to supplement our Guild. Now I’ve been asked to do same thing. I will have to apply my awesome Fantasy Hockey Pool skills to WoW and somehow find some pieces that will help build us into a playoff contender consistent raiding guild.

My current standings in my hockey pools

Here’s what we’re looking for in terms of raiding:

1 Rogue
1 Elemental Shaman
1 Enhancement Shaman
1 Warlock
1 Holy Paladin
1 Resto Druid

Please, no comments on what we “should” get or what we “shouldn’t” get. We like to keep our options open.

Ideal candidates will have:

* A “can do” attitude
* A willingness to wipe to learn new content
* Ventrilo 3.0 (and the willingness to speak up)
* Deadly Boss Mods (latest version)
* CTRA or ORA2 (for raid querying only, you can use whatever raid interface you like)
* Omen Threat Meter
* Minimum Karazhan gear (that is, you don’t need any loot from there)

About Carnage:

Carnage is a high end-game raiding and PvP guild on Ner’zhul. Founded more than two years ago, we are an established guild with very stable membership. Before the expansion, we cleared MC, BWL, and had made significant progress in AQ40 and Naxx. Karazhan is phased out of our raiding schedule, although we still do an alt/main run for fun and some gear. We have all bosses of SSC and 3/4 TK on farm and are working to progress into Hyial and BT. Several of our members also PvP in arena, AB, WSG, and AV on a regular basis.

We utilize a 2 round zero-sum bidding system.

Raiding Schedule (All times in PST):

Tuesdays, Thursday: 5:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Sundays: 3:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Note: We’re very sharp about our raid times. We have several members in the guild that play from the east coast, therefore we do enforce the 9:00 PM end time. Those raid times posted are for 25 mans. There are some optional 10 mans that may happen on the fly.

Example of a bad application for a WoW Guild

Interested?

If you think you can contribute to what we’re looking for, head on over to the Carnage forum and put it an application. Make sure you read the Announcement thread on top in the Applications forum and follow the instructions.

Why Raiding With PvP Gear Is a Bad Idea

Matticus,
First off, I want to commend you on the very nice extensive blog you run, a lot of great resources and discussion. I have an issue and am seeking some general advice and maybe to stir up some discussion. I am currently in Iraq right now BUT i get about 3-4 hours of playtime with acceptable latency. I have a 70 Druid that I just recently (1.5 weeks) re-specced to healing due to feral frustration and a noticable lack of heals on my server. Right off the bat I hooked up with some friends (2 mages+1 hunter) and have been doing BG’s to get honor and marks in order to attain some of the PvP epics.

I’ve been doing some research via blogs to find out some easily attainable gear to help my healing and survivabilty in PVP and eventually to start up some daily instancing. I thoroughly enjoy healing and I’m going to stick with it but I can’t make the decision to PVP or PVE as my main concentration.

Right now, i am trying to do a little of both and i dont see it going anywhere fast. What im looking for is to be able to PVP/Arena grind and get myself in good shape to be a full time raid healer once i get back to the U.S. where i will have ample time to dedicate to raiding. My overall question is: Am I wrong to assume that PVP gear (since it’s mostly a solo endeavor aside from arenas), is probably the best route to achieving pre-Kara quality gear? And are there any other resources out there that might be able to lend some guidance to an undecided healer? I know my question is most likely un-answerable and is mostly self chosen, but I’m just looking for suggestions, thoughts, or guidance.

Thank you,
Jordon

P.S. Whats up with all of the ?‘s instead of ‘s

Wow, I had no idea my blog was being read overseas. I salute you, sir, even though I’m from Canada. Thank you for the kind word =)!

Now, let’s get to business.

I know there are a lot of players who recommend supplementing raiding gear with some PvP Gear to help increase their survivability. Either that, or they’re unable get access to any kind of raiding gear because the population on a server is ridiculously low.

I definitely think DPS classes benefit with a mix of several PvP pieces. As a Priest, I have even added the [item]Veteran Mooncloth Bracers[/item] to my Priest raiding gear list as suggested by you readers (You know who you are).

As a healer, would I recommend going all out for arena gear just to be able to start raiding in Karazhan?

No, I would not.

Remember that PvE gear is tailored differently than PvP gear. Even though the healing or spelldamage increase may seem similar, the difference lies entirely in stat distribution.

PvP gear has a ton of stamina allowing you to withstand and deal serious firepower within a limited amount of time.

PvE gear has added longevity and endurance so you can deal firepower over a longer amount.

It’s like comparing an A-10 to a Spectre gunship. The A-10 comes in, drops its payload, and speeds off. The Spectre just flies circles above an area protecting it’s assignments.

It’s all about endurance.

If you want to raid, stat collecting raiding gear. PvP gear isn’t going to help you much at all because it lacks important stats like mana regeneration. Five minutes into a boss fight and you’ll be OOM (after innervates and potions).

What I can recommend is this: Start arenaing and get a few points under your belt. Keep doing this for several weeks. Meanwhile, if you don’t have a good set of bracers, hook yourself up with a Vindicator’s Kodohide Bracers.When you feel ready for Kara, start running the lower level of it a few times to help gradually build up your pieces. If you’re having trouble getting Maiden’s Shard of the Virtuous, put the Arena Points to good use and grab the [item]Merciless Gladiiator’s Salvation[/item] (S2 heaing mace). That should take you anywhere between 4 – 8 weeks.

How will you know if you’re good enough? Refer to my Minimum Kara Requirements for classes. Alternately, I’m sure Phaelia, Karthis, and Big Bear Butt can help you get in the right direction as they’re both Druids and far more familiar with what you’ll need. Well, the latter two are feral. But I like to randomly link to bloggers anyway.

P.S. The ?’s occur due to a CSS oversight on my part. Will be fixed when my new layout goes live. Hopefully it will be up before Christmas. Basically, what happens is WordPress interprets my apostrophes and quotes in a weird fashion.

And godspeed, Jordon.

Guest Post: Why Do You Play WoW?

Matticus’ Note: I posted a small, but brief plea yesterday for help with my blog. Leiandra has helped me answer my plea. My exams conclude on the 15th of December, therefore my personal posts will be drastically reduced while I’m busy raiding cramming for my finals. But I don’t want to leave my readers hanging. I’m looking for some guest posters to help me for the next week or so. If you have your own WoW blog, chances are I’ve read it or ran into it. This is a great opportunity for you to expand your viewership and receive exposure. Your posts (if I like them) will appear here and on Curse. Simply drop me an email (look right) and we can work something out. I spend 2 – 4 hours a day blogging and I cannot sustain that kind of effort for the time being. Anyways, here’s Leiandra!

With Matticus being busy with finals, I volunteered to help him out with a post or two so that he could hopefully pass his classes :). Just a few, quick comment about me for those that don’t read my blog: My mage’s name is Leiandra, and I am a Guild Master for a raiding guild on the Bronzebeard – US server. I’ve been in guild leadership since I first starting playing MMO’s (only with the release of EQ2), and have been playing Wow for about 2.5 years now. I’ve been the GM of Primogeniture for about 2 months now, but have been part of the final decision making process for much, much longer.

The latest inspiration for this post comes from a recent person that I have been recruiting. Most of the Bronzebeard raiding guilds tend to start around 5 or 6pm server time. Our raid times start at 8:30, so we get a lot of people that want to join because of work shifts or just general night owls (vampires as one of my Raid Leaders calls them). This recent recruit registered for an account on our forums, but never filled out an app. He then contacted me in game to find our more about our guild. His work schedule had changed and he wouldn’t be able to raid with his current guild, hence the conversation he had with me. He sounded like he was interested, but told me he had to think about it. A few days later, he told me that he just wasn’t being fair to us, because he would only raid with us until his work schedule changed. I thanked him for his honesty, and we put each other on our friends’ lists in case we ever needed anything.

A few nights back, I needed another member for a 5-man run. He was online, and I asked him if he wanted to come. After a fairly successful run in which he did a great job, I was curious if he still maintained his loyalty to his guild. He told me that it was really only one raid leader that he was still loyal to, and that person was actually okay with him leaving. He filled out an application on our forums, and then again, decided that he wanted to stay with his guild.

Some people might consider this frequent changing of one’s mind quite annoying, but I completely understood. Sometimes people move on from the game. Sometimes people change guilds. The only thing that’s constant is that each guild will change. I think the successful guilds generally roll with those punches, adapt, and move on. But when is it right for you, the individual player, to move on?

To answer that question, it takes some deep introspection on the part of each individual. Questions like “Why do I play WoW?” should be addressed. What is most important to you? Is it important to be with friends? Is progression your big thing? Are you just in a guild that nobody is online when you are? Sometimes there’s drama or fights… that can happen to. Do you just want to play solo for awhile? How much are you going to regret leaving your guild, if at all?

When I first starting playing Wow, I did so to play with my best friend and his brother. The three of us started a guild because we were tired of random guild invites. The guild grew as RL friends and relatives joined us or transferred servers. We were never huge, but at our height, right before the expansion, we were getting in to Zul’Gurub. A lot of us also PUG’ed and participated in other guild raids in almost all of the dungeons (I think Naxx was the only one not on our lists). With the expansion, and me being a night owl, a few of us decided that we’d break off into a more structured raiding guild and have more than just one guild run per week. It was a difficult decision to leave my guild of friends. I knew a few of them would come with me, and hoped others would follow. We had all been together for so long that I knew I’d still talk to them often, and hopefully group with them regularly as well. Well, the grouping thing hasn’t happened as much as I had originally planned, but I still talk to most of them nightly. My priorities, at the time of our new guild, were based around progression and seeing new content. I have a whole list of new, online friends, and I enjoy being in the guild I am.

My priorities are aligned with where my toons are and the guild they are in. Sure, there are ups and downs. It’s not like I always get my way, even as GM, but I’m happy where I’m at. Are you? Is it time to move on? Is there something better on the horizon, but maybe you’re just too scared to make the change? Or are you exactly where you want to be with the people you want to be there with? I hope most of you can answer “yes” to that last question. It’s just a game. Have fun. Be happy.

So did you like what you read? Then head on over to Leiandra’s blog. While you’re there, don’t forget to subscribe to Leiandra’s RSS.

Leaving? But You Just Got Here!

I have often wondered what drives people to do the things that they do. At about 10 PM, I saw someone advertise that they were looking for a healer to help fill out Kara. Nightbane and above were the only bosses left. I opted to join. I had nothing really going on and I was tired of reading. I brought in Saphfira to collect some badges along the way. We wiped three times against Nightbane and then cleared to Curator taking him down in the process.

Here’s where things got eyebrow raising.

One of the mages had to leave.
Then a druid just left the group and hearthed.
Subsequently, we lost a Priest due to a family emergency.
A rogue had to raid in 20 minutes.

WHAT THE HELL!?

I think we did pretty well for the most part. We wiped on Nightbane, people stayed. We killed Curator, people left. When you join a raid, there’s a level of expectancy that is involved. It’s expected that your next 2 or so hours will be free from any other activities or interruptions. Your Guild expects that. Pickup players expect that. What the heck’s the point of joining a Karazhan raid when you have to raid 30 minutes later? These people are on my blacklist and I’m sure they looked bad to everyone else. At least we cleared Prince. Then I checked the clock and it was 130 AM. I fell asleep.

But I didn’t leave my group hanging. I told them beforehand that I could guarantee awakeness until 130 AM. After that, all bets were off. I’m not as young as I used to be. I can’t stay up until 4 AM anymore.

Exam on Thursday and on Saturday. Reduced blogload this week. WTB guest posters.

Choosing the Right Meta Gem

I’ve touched on gems briefly in my Priest gear list. What I failed to address at the time was what meta gems to use when you had an item that could use it.

What are Meta Gems?

Meta gems are like your standard blue, red, or yellow gems but with one very significant exception: They are fairly rare to obtain. These gems are special because they bestow a special effect or passive ability to the head piece that it is socketed in.

Light-Collar of the Incarnate

Mouse over that link for a moment and you’ll see a helm that has a meta socket and a blue socket which activates the healing bonus. Most head pieces don’t have meta gems. But for healing helms with a meta gem, there’s a few options.

What gems should I use?

3 Choices:

Mystical Skyfire Diamond

  • Abilities: 15% chance on spellcast – next spell 50% casting time
  • Requires more Blue gems than Yellow gems

Insightful Earthstorm Diamond

  • Abilities: +12 Intellect, Chance to restore mana on spellcast
  • Requires at least 2 Red gems, 2 Blue gems, 2 Yellow gems

Bracing Earthstorm Diamond

  • Abilities: +26 Healing Spells, 2% Reduced Threat
  • Requires more red then blue gems

I can tell you right off the bat that I would knock off Bracing Earthstorm Diamond from the list of considerations. The abilities are attractive. But the requirements are too difficult to meet as Priests. The requirements are a little more reasonable now. The 26 healing is nice. I’d consider using it if you’re having some issues with lack of healing. I’ve never really had much of a problem. You’re going to be socketing Nightseyes more than anything else anyway.

You’re better off weighing the other two choices.

In a nutshell, it’s either going to be faster spellcasting or mana regen over time. In a raid setting, Priests will be spending mana like crazy. It would help to have other ways of replenishing your mana, so that’s the argument for the Insightful Earthstorm. I don’t know how often I’ve preached mana regen. If you close your eyes and click a post of mine at random, you’ll probably find some mention of it. The requirements aren’t insanely hard or ridiculous to meet either. 2 reds, blues, and yellows are easy to slot up with. The trick is to find the right combination of gear which will have the necessary slots available.

But don’t discount faster casting entirely. Sometimes, having a fast heal can pay off. My Shaman has this meta gem equipped. I’ve gotten many timely procs of the ability when I thought my party would wipe. The requirements for this to activate are even easier. You just need 1 blue gem and no yellows and you are set. There’s going to be encounters where tanks are taking huge hits and you need that spell haste. Those heals have got to land or else your healing assignment is dead because you can’t keep up with it.

Bottom line

If you’re still unsure of which meta gem to choose, I would suggest picking up the spell cast gem first. Odds are, you may not have enough gear with the necessary sockets for effects to activate. Go with that for now then as your gear progresses, make the shift towards the Insightful Earthstorm Diamond (mana regen). You can’t heal without mana. Always remember that.

Sadly I’m still using the Headdress of the High Potentate which doesn’t even have any slots. I’m waiting for Vashj to surrender a token so I can finally replace it.

A Tuesday Story and Trash Blows

I stumbled upon this touching story today. Everyone needs to go read it. Sometimes we all need a reminder to slow down just a little bit even in WoW.

Fate wrote a nice piece the other day about the hassles of trash mobs. One of his Guildies complained about them and Fate took it upon his hands to write about why trash is good and not bad. His main argument? Trash helps to build up the suspense and the pleasure when the boss in charge of them gets taken down. Otherwise, you’d be blowing through Karazhan, SSC, and TK within time frames of an hour.

Personally, I’d love to see more instances akin to Mag and Gruul (Ony style). We’re on a limited raiding schedule. Every wipe, every trash kill, every rebuff eats into the precious time we have. Our 25 mans are capped at exactly 11 hours of raiding per week. Let me first say that I’m proud of the Guild that I’m in and the discipline that they show during crunch time. We may fool around and crack jokes, but when we get down to business we do whatever it takes to get the job done. The clutch Al’ar kill is a testament to that (5 hours of sunday wiping, one more respawn kill, followed by an Al’ar first down). Sometimes, I just wish we had more time to do it.

Trash is nice to have sometimes. I do agree with Fate that it’s something to do in between bosses. Players need to have a little bit of a downtime. It’s not possible to ask 25 players to maintain a 110% focus and concentration. They would burn out too quickly. I know I can’t remain that tense for such a period of time.

But on the other hand, I don’t want to spend time to reclear trash repeatedly. Nothing kills momentum faster then getting a boss down to 10% and knowing you’re able to kill him only to get stopped by the Wall of Trash (0/*, Creature – Wall, Tap: Piss off target raid).

Ah M:TG. Sometimes I miss playing. But it’s either that or WoW.

Anyways, the trash respawns, you look at the time and you realize that your raid is over as people have to work or go to school on the east coast. Trash respawns just kills that level of energy and anticipation. With all the trash removed in SSC, we’d be able to one shot all the bosses and have time left over to do other things (Like Cartman says, now we can all enjoy the game)!

Fate’s point is excellent though. We DO need that trash. Where else are we going to get our Primal Nethers from? Or random BoE/BoP recipes?

Here’s a thought.

We’ve all sniggered at one point when our raid leader forgot to downgrade a raid instance from Heroic to Normal difficulty.

What if Blizzard implemented it and made Heroic raids? Give Raiders a choice in how they want to go through SSC. They can do it normally, or they can do it the Heroic way. Reduce trash by 80% but increase boss difficulty by 20%. Keep loot tables roughly the same and throw in some badges. Maybe the health of Hydross will increase a little bit so the raid needs to ice and poison dance for an extra minute. Think of it as an express raid. I’m not going to try and develop that concept any further. It would probably get defeated in a manner of minutes. But at least it’s something to think about. I sure as hell am not a game developer.

Sadly, I don’t get to go into Zul’Aman today. Our 25 schedules stay the same throughout. With the reset timer nearly twice as fast as Karazhan, it means we can do it any time we want. I’ll probably run through it tomorrow.

Meanwhile, snoozing through trash is the order of the day.