Reader’s Question: Should I Follow William Shatner’s footsteps?

“Hey, I like your site. Like you, I tend to play as a healer since that’s pretty much what everyone is looking for plus it makes playing with my friends enjoyable. I like keeping everyone alive :)
Anyways, reason why I’m emailing you. I have a 70 Holy paladin and as much as I love playing him, I wanted to try out another character. I don’t raid. I like to pvp. But I find as a holy paladin I lack a lot of cc compared to a priest and such. I wanted your opinion on a Shaman. I wanted to level one for the longest time and try making him a healer in the end. Do you recommend trying one? Should I try a priest instead? Just wanted your thoughts on this since you played them.”

Now this isn’t a question I’m best suited for. I’ll try to answer it as best as I can. I play my Priest primarily for PvE raiding. My Shaman’s up there for PvP most of the time.

I found that as a Shaman, I had a bit more of an active role in my game. You’ve got to rely on your Rank 1 Earth Shocks to slow down enemy casters while dropping heals on your guy at the same time. Furthermore, you have to keep an eye out on buffs that you can visually see so that you can purge them off quick as possible (Pain Suppression, Blessing of Protection, etc). The only tools that you’ll be able to use as far as healing goes is Lesser Healing Wave and Earth Shield.


Here’s another response that covers more in depth in PvP then I ever will. An answer from official World of Matticus PvP Correspondent, Pwyff!

Currently in arena PVP, Priests are a lot stronger than Shamans. The difference between the two lies in what they bring to a team. A Shaman can run a huge amount of interrupts on any healer or caster with clever management of Earth Shocks and Grounding Totems, but you’ll find that you’re lacking in any significant preemptive heals. What this means is that every heal you do must always land after the damage is taken, and you have nothing that can help with this. Priests and Druids in particular are much better at preemptively healing, due to the nature of HoTs and the Priest’s Shield.

A Shaman only has Earth Shield as a preemptive heal, but many Shamans can attest to how frustrating it is to constantly have such a huge mana cost shield dispelled off. The other thing that might bother you is the complete lack of defensive dispels. A Priest has both offensive and defensive dispels, and in my opinion, he’s kind of a more defensive version of the Shaman. The Shaman can run extensive control upon the other team, while still helping his team and remaining on the front lines, while the Priest is more designed as a full support role.

It really depends upon your style. I myself am going to play a Shaman in my off-time, because I really enjoy the sturdy nature of the Shaman, and the fact that even as Restoration, a Shaman can bring decent offensive prowess to the table. I enjoy interrupting and playing a more offensive oriented style of play, and that’s something that cannot be said of Priests, unless they pair themselves with fully offensive classes. Restoration Shaman + Warrior is capable of bringing a lot more pressure to the 2s table than Priest + Warrior will. Resto Shaman + Resto Druid + Warrior is currently one of the highest rated matrices in BG9 (the most competitive battlegroup out there at the moment), so take that as you will (although there are more Mage + Rogue + Priest teams out there at high ratings).

If you enjoy pure healing and support, then a Priest may be for you. Manaburns, Power Infusion and Mass Dispels will be, for the most part, your most offensive oriented moves.


Keep those questions coming! If I don’t feel confident enough to answer your question, I will find someone who will. =)

This is My Last Post

… of 2007.

Tomorrow I will be out and about celebrating and counting down to New Year and all that fun stuff! I’m going to use what little time I have left today and tomorrow to finish up my new layout. It’s going to be simpler yet more functional. I hate coding. I transferred out of this profession years ago and having to modify this theme extensively for the past two months has reminded me why.

With a New Year comes new resolutions! Much like Honors Code who recently published his goals, here’s my list of things to do for 2008.

World of Warcraft

Mallet

* Kill Illidan
* Kill Zul’Jin
* Obtain Epic Flying Mount
* Break the base 2000 +healing mark
* Break the 300 MP5 while casting with full buffs mark

Saphfira

* Obtain 5/5 Vengeful Gladiator’s set (Elemental)
* Finish out Vindicator’s pieces (Ring, Belt, Boots)
* Level fishing to 375
* Improve myself more in PvP

Valoray

* Acquire Thunder
* Become viable in PvE as retribution (pigs might as well fly)
* Acquire a Flying Mount
* Become keyed for Karazhan
* Level blacksmithing to 375
* Become elixir specced
* Get reputation with Sporregar so I can transmute these useless Primal Earths to Waters

Personal

Blogging

* Start and finish out example healing assignments in Mag/TK/SSC
* Write less, but frequent
* Write more, but less often
* Continue pushing myself to deliver quality, timeless references

Academic

* Studying smarter, not harder
* Studying instead of raiding
* Not suck

Those are my resolutions. What’s yours? I will see you all in 2008!

Have a Happy (and safe) New Year!

The 12 Hour Raid

I didn’t really want to do it. It just… happened! Honestly!

12 PM to 330 PM

Keruen and I set up a half Carnage raid to go in to Zul’Aman (We didn’t actually start pulls until 1 PM). We spent a few hours in there downing Bear Boss easily within three shots. The [item]Robes of Heavenly Purpose[/item] dropped. Unfortunately, I was on my Resto Shaman so they went to Keruen since he was the only healing priest in there. I think we’re a few weeks from being able to go for the time trials. We don’t have a consistent number of personnel to go in with at the moment. Then we tried clearing to Lynx, but we had a number of players drop out. By then it was around 315 and with our SSC raid starting in a few minutes, we had no choice but to abandon it.

330 PM to 9 PM

Spent the 30 minutes getting something to eat and getting flasks and such (By the way, you know all those Apexis Shards you have? There’s a use for them now at the Ogrila Quartermaster as you can use them to purchase Level 55 Potions for 50 shards and some silver).

Lady Vashj started off well enough. We were able to get her consistently into Phase 3. The main things that were killing us was a combination of Static Charges and poisons. After some more minor adjustments, Lady Vashj went down fairly cleanly as evidenced by my new Flickr shot. Her loot? Well, nothing I would be interested in:

[item]Vestments of the Sea-Witch[/item]
[item]Krakken-Heart Breastplate[/item]
A Champion and a Defender token

Then we jaunted over to Tempest Keep and here’s where the fun began.

Al’ar went down after two shots. Void Reaver apparently has been modified or something. I noticed his bolts now come at us in an arcing fashion. I don’t know if that has altered the speed at which they arrive, but we had some issues with him for tonight and wiped about 4 times before we killed him. By this time, it was about 830 PM and that gave us only one shot at Solarian.

We didn’t get her down sadly. I really want her [item]Ethereum Life-Staff[/item]. It’s a fairly sizeable upgrade over my [item]Crystalheart Pulse-Staff[/item]. What I plan to do is slap 81 Healing on one of them and Spellsurge on the other. I haven’t quite yet decided which for which.

9 PM – 12 AM

My real life friends and I decided to go in and tackle Zul’Aman. This time, I would go in as my Priest. We came, we saw, and we conquered the Bear Boss after 4 attempts. Ironically, the same Robes that dropped earlier in the day dropped for me again and the other Priests were kind enough to pass them (We had four, COUNT ‘EM FOUR Priests).

After that, we strolled over to the Eagle Boss. We didn’t have a Rogue and could not exploit the gauntlet, but we did discover something intriguing.

One of the Shadow Priests had the brilliant idea of mind controlling one of the spawns that come up behind us. Shortly thereafter, the gauntlet waves stopped. The Troll he mind controlled disappeared. We were initially stunned at first but continued to press forward. Sure enough, the Troll on the steps who we’re supposed to kill was not there. Like the Rogue infinite sap technique that GMW informed us about, I fully expect this one to get fixed at some point in the future. It was an interesting bug, to say the least. We didn’t let it to go waste either.

Eagle boss went down in one shot. The [item]Mojo-mender’s Mask[/item] dropped. It went to our Elemental Shaman. Sweet deal indeed. We started plowing on over to Lynx Boss but we alas, we could not complete it due to people having to leave again.

Aftermath

I still had plenty of energy. I haven’t done one of these in a long time. I know there’s no way I’d be able to consistently do something like this. But it was fun all the same. Most of my work was completed on Saturday so I had the entire Sunday free. All of that just to upgrade my PMC Robes.

By the way, for all you aspiring Priests out there, I made my [item]Primal Mooncloth Robe[/item] since the end of March. It is now halfway through November. Those Robes lasted me seven and a half months before I upgraded to the ones I have today. I cannot stress the uberness of those Robes anymore then this.

Sure you can try to gun for the Opera ones, but really the odds of that dropping have been quite minor for me. I have never seen it drop on my Priest. Not only do you need to get the correct boss, there’s the item randomness factor. So bear that in mind if you decide to wait.

EDIT: I forgot to mention, we raided Zul’Aman with four Priests. One of them was Discipline specced with Pain Suppression. Amazingly, he worked out great! On bosses like the Bear where tanks were taking enormous amounts of burst damage, he activated Pain Suppression which made healing much easier. There were a lot of clutch moments. His healing wasn’t terribly gimped either. I encourage more raiding groups to consider the viability of a Discipline priest until we can fully ascertain it’s benefits. But for the most part, it looks good. Real good.

Raiding with an Alt character

I just received clearance from my GM to raid in SSC with Saphfira. I know the last couple of posts had me express disappointment in my class, but that’s not the case. Mallet is my favourite character out of all of them. Let me explain the situation here. It only recently occurred to me that Carnage raids with four active Priests. Three of them are Holy and one is Shadow. I’ve never really played a DPS class at all throughout my WoW career. Even right now, Saphfira is Restoration specced. We only have one Shaman and she’s Enhancement. We’ve been sharding a ridiculous amount of mail healing gear. Last night in SSC, 3 mail healing items dropped (also 5 of 6 SSC bosses dropped within 3 hours which is a big plus in terms of progression).

Luckily, Maeve understood the point I was trying to make so I didn’t have to waste my breath explaining my situation. But here was the argument I was going to make: Three Holy Priests means theres going to be more competition for gear. Having a Resto Shaman would increase the diversity of the raid and not allow healing loot to be wasted. It’s basically another group getting totem buffs. Healing power isn’t going to go down a whole lot. It’s not like I’m requesting to swap Mallet for an Elemental Shaman. So it’s a pound for pound trade of healer for healer.

Is this something I really want? No, because I absolutely love playing my Priest. But having three Holy priests in the raid means its going to take three times as long for us of them to get geared up.

But we spent so much time gearing up Mallet and he’ll be wasted

Well no, it’s not an either/or situation. Mallet is clearly a superior healer in comparison to Saphfira in every respect. I think there may be certain encounters where having a Wrath of Air totem and a Mana Spring might provide some extra punch. It’s not like I’m going to stop raiding with both of them. Healing has always been my calling. Even back when I played Guild Wars, I had a Monk/Elemental (In PvP, I’d make an E/Mo which still cracks me up every time I see it). It’s also not like I’m going to be competing with another Resto Shaman in raids for gear either. There isn’t that much of a loss that’s occurring. It will be a huge benefit for everyone else because then I will be spending my DKP twice as much.

That’s another interesting ethical question that I’ve also had to wrestle with. How do I deal with gear? I’ve always been for progression. There will be mace and shield drops and that there is direct competition against Paladins. I’m fairly certain that I have more DKP then they do. But it wouldn’t be right for me to exercise option and bid. Damn all of these morals and ethics courses they make us take for Criminology.

I’m worried that there might be some contempt or that raiding with Saphfira would raise a few eyebrows here and there. I sincerely hope not. Really though, I’d rather prefer to raid with Mallet if I could. But raiding with four Priests made me think that could I not be utilized better if I brought a Resto Shaman instead.

In any case, it will still take some time before she’s up to SSC status. Here’s the highlights of her gear right now:

  • 3/5 T4 (head, gloves, shoulders)
  • Nightbane’s Healing Staff and Neck
  • 5/5 S2 Gear (Just for the pants)
  • Netherspite’s Mail Chestpiece
  • Gruul’s healing trinket

Saphfira presently sports approximately 1550 +healing. That is nowhere near high enough for Mag+ raids. There are some improvements that can be made:

  • A better mace to go with the Chess Shield (Essence Focuser)
  • Honor Hold head enchant
  • 81 Healing enchant to weapon

That should shoot her + healing to around 1660 and should last against encounters such as Mag, and VR.

Has anyone else had similar cases where they wanted to raid with alts? Did your guild shoot you down or guilt you into not using your alt? I’m lucky to be playing two support classes. I’m also lucky to be in such an awesome Guild where the leadership can understand what it is that I’m offering.

This brings up another question. How do Guilds handle alts for loot? Do they draw from the same character (IE, both Mallet’s and Saphfira’s DKP are cumulative) or are they separate (Both Mallet and Saphfira earn separate DKP and are exclusive from one another).