Putting The RP in MMORPG

Putting The RP in MMORPG

dice_phixr

So, recently I’ve been talking more and more about the story and lore of gaming. The games that create a rich background and intricate story for you to be a part of. As such I’ve been talking with a lot of RPers lately. I’ve been reading very interesting RP posts, and fan fiction stories, and have even begun writing my own for Lodur’s background. It can be a lot of fun to think about where your character has been and where they are going and how they might interact with their fellow raiders. This side of the game does appeal to me as I’m an old school D&D Role playing geek. It is however something I haven’t fully explored in game yet.

Blizzard has set aside entire servers for people to Role Play with each other, and no I’m not talking about the seedy dirty stuff, but honest interaction between players acting out their characters. There are a few different types of Role Playing you’ll come across in the game.

Spontaneous RP

This is a spontaneous act between two or more players who play out a short scenario on the spot. These players typically do not have background stories that cross paths and have a low likelihood of interacting again in a role-playing context. This is coming across someone randomly while questing or bump into in one of the major cities. These RP sessions can sometimes lead to further contact later on and might develop into character friendships later one.

Deliberate / Planned RP

Some role players will set aside specific times to be online to interact with others. This can be in a raid, a group that quests together as a party or simply a meeting in the local inn to throw back a pint or twelve. Many interesting interactions happen here. Friendships are made and lost, sometimes characters pair off in the way of couples, and sometimes they break up and throw bottles at each other. I have a group of friends I talk to on a regular basis that do set aside specific time to role play during the week, and I always enjoy hearing about what happened afterward.
Out of Game RP

Probably one of the more important things to mention here. Out of game RP happens in emails, forums and blog posts. This exists between spontaneous and deliberate RP events and honestly has no true end point. These can serve to flesh out backgrounds for your character, can help turn spontaneous RP encounters into full on character relationships and can really give some creative license to tell a very intricate story. I’ve seen posts that filled in the gaps of a raid, and some rather humorous explanations for why the group wiped on a particular boss fight. The forum posts I’ve run across or have been linked to are often the result of people working together in emails to get the story together before it’s posted. People have even created twitter accounts for their toons so they can RP with other characters through that media as well. The results are almost always a very very fun story to read. It’s like being an actor in a movie and really getting into your role, or playing out a scene in your favorite books. You get to be a part of a story of your making.

The community surrounding MMO’s has always interested me, it’s one of the most important reasons I got into MMOs in the first place. We make friends as we play the game (or enemies) and we get to share our triumphs and defeats. There’s something very gratifying about working with 24 friends and downing a big nasty boss. The community that has sprung up from the Role Playing elements of Warcraft is very strong as well. The people that RP have most definitely set up a community for themselves (and their characters) within the game. You can sit on twitter and see just how deep the interactions go. To them there is more to the game then the grinding of levels or the end game content. Now it’s not to say that all they do is interact in character, many times the OOC (Out Of Character) chat channels are hillarious with the Real Life interactions. It’s refreshing sometimes to take a step back and look at the other side of the fence.

Does this mean you’ll see posts here about role playing in game? Possibly, depends on how deep down the rabbit hole I go. (or how far @justanna from toomanyannas.com can drag me =P)

So, what about you? Have you tried RPing? Have you ever written a fan fiction about your character? Have you thought about it? What would your characters background be?

That’s it for now, I’ll have more for you later this week. Until then, Happy healing!

Sig

Image courtesy of madbrewlabs.com

Of Heroes and Villains part 1

Of Heroes and Villains part 1

BatmanSpiderman2

Unless you’ve been under a rock for the last few weeks you’ve likely heard about Blizzard obtaining and copyrighting domains and trademarks surround the name Cataclysm. wow.com has been doing a great job keeping up on it .
The registering of the domain and copyrighting the name has sprung all sorts of speculation in the community. Some are calling it the name of the next expansion and a reference to the Maelstrom, the aftermath of the Well of Eternity exploding. Others speculate that it is the name of the next MMO that Blizzard has been working on (I have my own theories on what that one is, but that’s another post). All the buzz has produced one important truth. With Ulduar here and Yoggy being trampled, and with the tournament around the corner we are definitely getting ready for the announcement of the next expansion. Regardless of where the expansion takes us, one of the most talked about things has been what the next hero class will be. Today I’d like to talk about hero classes for a bit, this is the first in a series of three posts.

Back in the days of Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos many of us were marveling at our new hero units. Some of us lucky enough to be in beta got to experience them before they were level capped (A lvl 14 mountain king > scourge fyi). It added a new depth of strategy to the game we all loved. This solidified even more as we got into The Frozen Throne and saw the story unfold.

When World of Warcraft came out there were many of us that were disappointed to not see hero classes present in the game (hell, we had to wait until patch 0.6 to be able to play Druids!), but we did ok and trudged along. When the announcement for The Burning Crusade came, the community was full of speculation and hopeful murmurs that hero classes would be in the game finally! Again we were let down, but we sucked it up and kept trucking. Then came the announcement for Wrath of the Lich King, and with it the announcement of our first hero class, the Death Knight. I’ll be honest I was giddy and eagerly followed their development. When I got to play around in the beta I was not disappointed. The way they were packaged and presented to us was amazing and it had a way to immerse you into the story line. The way your character broke out from under Arthas and went back to their faction was great. The entire story surrounding them was amazing and most importantly, their arrival signified two things. Hero classes were indeed real, and their arrival has changed the story of the world we play in.

Now that we are looking for the next hero class, lets take a quick gander at the actual list of Hero units from WC3.

Alliance

Horde

Scourge

Night Elf

Neutral

Quite a few of them right? Some of these are already in the game in the shape of NPC’s or bosses, and a few are already playable. Looking at the list above you can figure some of them out see Paladin’s are already a playable character, as is Death Knight. Archmage abilities can be found on regular mages now (with mass teleport being replaced by portals in a way). Lots of the Shadow Hunter abilities found their way over to Shaman, and various others are represented by NPC’s strewn about the dungeons and cities of Warcraft. Take a look around and see who is where.

So what do you think the next hero class will be? Do you think it’s one of the ones on the list? What do you think of hero classes in general?

Be sure to check back for part 2 of Heroes and Villains,

Until next time

Sig

Image courtesy of www.comicbookmovie.com

Shamanism

Shamanism

totem-pole_88_phixr

Shamanism will be a regular (as I can make it) posting comparing real world Shamanism and Shamanistic ideas to the Warcraft universe and will also point out how Shaman’s throughout the history of the Warcraft universe have been key players in many of the events that have unfolded. This will be a journey into the lore that brings us to our present class.

Shamanism has always been something that has fascinated me in real life. A shaman’s role in society was always varied and always important. They operated as Mediators, Healers, Leaders, Diviners, Warders of Spirits, agents of fertility among many other roles. We covered Shamanism in real life a little bit in the last post. I’ll recap them real quick.

From Wikipedia:

  • Spirits exist and they play important roles both in individual lives and in human society.
  • The shaman can communicate with the spirit world.
  • Spirits can be good or evil.
  • The shaman can treat sickness caused by evil spirits.
  • The shaman can employ trance inducing techniques to incite visionary ecstasy and go on “vision quests”.
  • The shaman’s spirit can leave the body to enter the supernatural world to search for answers.
  • The shaman evokes animal images as spirit guides, omens, and message-bearers.
  • The shaman can tell the future, scry, throw bones/runes, and perform other varied forms of divination

Shamanism is based on the premise that the visible world is pervaded by invisible forces or spirits which affect the lives of the living. In contrast to organized religions like animism or animatism which are led by priests and which all members of a society practice, shamanism requires individualized knowledge and special abilities. Shaman operate outside established religions, and, traditionally, they operate alone, although some take on an apprentice.

Well with that in mind, lets take a look at how blizzard blended this into Warcraft. Let’s first cast our gaze on the Orc race. We were introduced to the Horde way back in the days of Orc Vs. Human or the First War. They were a slovenly bunch of blood thirsty mongrels, but before that they were a nomadic shamanistic people who worshiped their ancestors and the spirits of nature. Lets take a look at the first major Shaman we are introduced to, Ner’zhul.

Here’s an excerpt from wow wiki:

Ner’zhul was the chieftain and elder shaman of the Shadowmoon clan and one of the most popular figures in orcish society. He was admired, respected and venerated by all for his deep connection to the spirits, and was the closest thing the orcish race had to a single leader prior to the foundation of the Horde. However, deep within, Ner’zhul craved a power he did not have…

One day, Ner’zhul was contacted by the spirit of his dead mate, Rulkan (with whom he had a regular correspondence), who warned him about the menace of the draenei, who were plotting to destroy the Orcs. After several moons, she introduced him to Kil’jaeden, the “Great One”, who began to instruct him in the ways of warlock magic and the treachery of the draenei. Though Ner’zhul was elated that he was saving his people (and finally getting the power and respect he deserved), he was puzzled why the ancestors would no longer speak to him, and why the spirits grew more distant.

Ner’zhul managed to get the rest of the clans to begin attacks on draenei settlements, supposedly by order of the ancestors, but, as he saw more and more of the draenei, he gradually became puzzled; apart from his horns, clothes, and skin tone, Kil’jaeden bore an odd resemblance to the draenei and possessed a hatred of Velen unbecoming of a divine being. Seeking answers, he attempted to commune with the ancestors in Oshu’gun, the “Mountain of the Spirits.” He was horrified when the ancestors greeted him as a monster, and the real Rulkan revealed the truth: Kil’jaeden had been lying all along.

Ner’zhul’s shamanistic ways were used against him to trick him into selling his people’s souls to the Blood Lust. His connection to the spiritual world was turned against him. He used his position to unite the Orc Clans and began the foundation work for the first Horde. He believed that he was doing what was best for his people. Without him being Shamanistic, Kil’jaeden would never have had the opportunity to manipulate Ner’zhul like he did, which would have made it much more difficult for him to create the bloodthirsty army that he wished the Orcs to become.

Ner’zhul was also panged by guilt, fueled by his sense of honor and duty to his people that he had ignored for so long. Eventually he decided to rebel against Kil’jaeden, and as a result was stripped of his Warlock powers. When he discovered the plans of the Shadow Council to make the Orc people drink the Blood of Mannoroth, his honor and duty bade him to attempt to save his people, but only one Chieftain would listen, Durotan of the Frostwolf Clan. Ner’zhul’s warning was one of many factors that lead the Chieftan to speak out against the corruption of the warlocks and attempt to bring the Orc people back to their Shamanistic roots. The actions of this leader caused him and his family to be assassinated. The only survivor was his son, who grew to be the figure known as Thrall. One Shaman set so much in motion that affected so much of the Warcraft universe.

Today’s is a brief post, but there will be more to come next time.

Till next time, happy healing!

~Lodur

Matticus Interviewed

It all started with a PM from Blog Azeroth which exploded into a full fledge interview. Had lots of fun answering this one from the WoW Blogger. Go read it!

Most important question asked?

Will the blog still be going? For that matter do you foresee WoW itself still alive in a decade?

The blog itself will be up. I chose this name so that it wouldn’t exactly be limited to just World of Warcraft. It’s World of Matticus and whatever happens to be contained in that world will be up to me. Blizzard’s stories have been compelling in every game they’ve produced. If they keep up story telling and designing the games the way they are now there is no reason to see WoW even remotely slowing down at all.

20 + 3 Myths about Women Who Play WoW

20 + 3 Myths about Women Who Play WoW

unicorn 

So Matt and I were goofing off one day, and in one of those conversations where you’re not quite sure how it got onto that topic… we started talking about some of the myths around being a female gamer. Like all stereotypes, some have a base in reality, some are pretty funny, and some nag at my feminist sensibilities. Here’s 20 myths about female WoW-ers that I’ve encountered:  

  • We don’t exist
  • We’re super-hot asian women
  • We’re all crushingly obese in real life
  • We can’t Tank
  • We can’t Melee
  • We can’t PvP
  • Actually, we can’t play
  • We must want to be your girlfriend (or cyber you)
  • We’re sleeping with our Guild leader/Raid leader and that’s why we get raid invites/gear
  • We only play healing classes
  • We cause 100% of all guild/server drama
  • We get given gold, mats, and items for free
  • or, if not for free, in exchange for non-monetary favors
  • All female ‘toons are really guys trying to cash in on the above myths (especially Elves)
  • We don’t play Horde
  • We’re only playing to spend time with our boyfriend/husband
  • We care more about how gear looks than its stats
  • We only tame cuddly, cute pets
  • We don’t theorycraft (‘cuz math is HARD!)
  • We all hate each other
  • Female GMs are all married to a co-GM and not really leading the guild
  • We fly into hysterics if given negative feedback
  • We aren’t allowed to raid when we’re on our period

Image credits: Sacredart

Thanks Auz & Joveta!!

Summer Fun!

Usually, I’d crank out a full-fledged post to tell you what to do, but I’m too busy having fun! So here’s the official press-release from Blizzard.

They’ve added a lot of fun stuff… so what are you waiting for?? Grab some matches, and GO PLAY!!

Update: There is neat stuff dropping off the new boss in Slave Pens – most notably, a very interesting new enchant: Deathfrost. That and the icy-theme of the gear drops seems to be a preview of things coming in WotLK.

Also, some people collect non-combat pets; I collect holliday outfits. I’m pretty pleased with myself this time around.

I decided not to go for the shoulders – I just don’t like how they look.

Luv,
Wyn

Rez Me First!

….Or at least another Priest.

It could be a Soulstone, a Divine Intervention, a vanished Rogue with a pair of cables, or a clever Druid with a well-timed battle rez taken once the coast is clear. The idea is to save the raid the lengthy corpse-run, and to pick up and move on as quickly as possible.

Wipe Prevention – (n.) – \?w?p\ \pri-?ven(t)-sh?n\ – the concept of having at least one raiding member with the ability to Resurrect other members still alive after all other raiders are dead, and the boss or mobs have reset.

Because the entire purpose of wipe-prevention is time-efficiency, it has always frustrated me when the player charged with reviving the raid seems to have no concept of whom to rez first, second, or last. It gets worse when no one else in the raid seems to know what to do, either. After my guild’s last efforts in Sunwell, I decided to write a quick tutorial:

Always resurrect other rezzers first

This is the most crucial point, but even within this simple concept, it makes the most sense to pick some rezzers over others. Three classes have out of combat resurrection spells. Priests have Resurrection, which costs 60% of our base mana. Shamans have Ancestral Spirit which costs 72% of their base mana, and Paladins have Redemption which costs 64% of their base mana. It makes sense to pick up your Priests first, since they will be able to resurrect the most people without having to stop and drink. Remember that HEALER doesn’t necessarily mean REZZER. Druids can obviously not help here, but non-healing Priests, Shamans, and Paladins should. Don’t let them be lazy.

Personally, 60% of my base mana is 1,500. My Shammie brothers-in-arms’ rezzes cost as much as 3,000. I only have to drink to the point where I have 3,000 of my mana back and my regen will allow me to chain-cast rezzes without stopping until the whole raid is up. It makes more sense to pick me up than to pick up an ele shaman with only 250 mp5 and a 9k mana pool.

Resurrect raiders who need to do extra prep second

This means warlocks who need to summon healthstones and demons, Hunters who have to revive their pets, and buff-classes who will need to fill their mana in order to buff. (Mages, Druids)

Last are classes with little prep

Rogues who may need to apply poisons, non-buffing (usually feral) Druids, and Warriors.

Other speed-recovery pointers
  • Once their summoning duties are over, warlocks should drink to replenish their mana, rather than distracting the healers by life-tapping.
  • Group-Buffs should be done as soon as a given party is fully rezzed.
  • If one raider is doing the bulk of the rezzing, another member of their class should take over their buff-assignment (where possible), so they can drink and be ready to go with the rest of the raid.
  • All raiders who are NOT rez classes should eat their buff food and replenish their own mana as soon as they have been revived – this is not the time to take a bio-break or grab a snack.
  • One of the macros I posted in my UI series is my Rez macro. It casts rez, whispers the recipient, and plants a message in my guild’s healer channel to let them know my target. This avoids wasting time while two or three people try to rez the same target.

That can sound like a whole bunch of rules, but the underlying principle is very simple: Rez the people who can help get the rest of the raid up as quickly as possible first. Rez the people who need time to get ready second. Rez the people who need the least time last. You can save enough time this way to get in more attempts, avoid re-clearing trash, or keep a night of farm content from drawing out much longer than it should.

Luv,
Wyn

This Is What Happens When Matticus Leaves Wyn In Charge…

This Is What Happens When Matticus Leaves Wyn In Charge…

Matt’s going to kill me for this one, but he’s off studying for mid-terms and left me with the keys. I have a couple of actually informative and opinionated posts in the making, but they’re not yet ready for public consumption – and most people wouldn’t read them on a Saturday, anyway. 

One of the really cool things about WoW is how much time and effort Blizzard put into making our virtual home visually stunning. Most of us probably have at least one screenshot of a sunset or moonrise. Here are a few of my favorite non-landscapes from over the years. If you decide to link to your own in the comments, or click on a link provided, please use caution.

 

I took my dog fishing with me. He’s good company

 

We nearly forgot to loot him!

We all got naked for the Illidan pics – There was a lot of reshuffling and “Can you hold this for me? My bags are full!!”

Very artistic, for a duel, don’t you think?

We Love You Mom

It was one of the other girls’ ideas….. The surprise was that the raid went along with it.

Azeroth from the Spire

That big moon you can see from places in Black Temple is actually Azeroth. You can see the Maelstrom in the middle, there. This is on Illidan’s spire.

 Contemplating Nagrand

Still one of my favorite shots – my human wasn’t 70 yet, and I was puttering around in Nagrand. Yes, I farmed the rep for a real Darnassus tiger.

Tree vs. Spaceman Spiff

There’s a better action shot of this duel… But the speech bubble makes the joke.

Epic PvP

Some back-story here: I met Tras while I was leveling through STV. He’s one of those 70’s that likes to gank all day. When I didn’t see him for a while, I got a little worried about him (I know, carebear.), so I asked a friend to roll hordeside and send him an in-game mail. We started talking on vent, and became good friends. One day, world defense was spamming about STV, and I thought I knew who it was. I showed up to watch the chaos, and a lowbie (no doubt tired of corpse-running) asked me to DO SOMETHING. Nevermind that a Holy Priest in full PvE gear is no match for a Fire Mage atop a yardarm, I went in swinging. I don’t think the lowbie thought it was very funny…..

So I was walking through Shat one day…. and saw this nonsense going on. Proof that Shamans are powerless under a full moon.

 

I raided with stock UI all the way up to Vashj and Kael. No lie. And this was on a 15” monitor. Yeah, I don’t know how I did it, either.

This appeals to my girly aesthetics.

It's a Wipe

Learning Archi is fun. Thankfully, fire doesn’t damage your armor.

 

And that’s pretty much a round-up. There are more, of course, but most of them are more meaningful to the people and guilds that they feature. If you haven’t done it in a while, I recommend flipping through your screenshots. The nostalgia factor is enough to make it worthwhile, and you just might find yourself some new wallpaper.

Wyn’s UI – Part Four (The Macro Problem)

Wyn’s UI – Part Four (The Macro Problem)

Part four of a series. Part One , Part Two , Part Three.

Hot Keys

One of the add-ons that has the biggest impact on my UI and gameplay is Bartender. As I’ve mentioned before, I navigate and target with my mouse. If I need to move and target or cast at the same time, I use auto run – it’s on my 4th mouse button. Nearly all of my spells and abilities are Hot Keyed to my Keyboard. Here’s how that looks:

This is what my keybinds look like when I’m out running around solo. Most of the icons should look pretty familiar, and you can see that my offensive spells are on the top line. That blank spot is for my Disc buffs when I respec for the weekend. I do not hotkey my consumables, to avoid hitting them when I type. The bottom row is non-sensical, but it’s also not bound… it’s where I throw things when I need them once, then I don’t move them out ’til I need to put something else there. When we get into macros, you’ll see that the single-buff of Fort is redundant… my first row of buttons scrolls away when I have someone Mind Controlled, and I sometimes like to play nice with the allies and toss them a buff. Again, the numbers on the bottom of the icons are from Dr. Damage. One thing about Bartender is that you can use your standard keybinds from the stock bars, but if you want the numerals to show up on the icons you have to use the slots specifically labeled in the menu for Bartender. It’s in the same window, just scroll down.

Dr. Damage also gives you super-nifty Tool Tips on mouseover. Like this:

 Dr Damage ToolTip - Smite  Dr Damage ToolTip - Heal

I think I may have mentioned that I’m an information junkie… this just feeds the problem.

 

offensive with alt

This is still my offensive set-up, but I’m holding down the Alt button. See how the icons change? That’s a product of using macros with the “?” icon. I’ll get to that in a second. Notice, too, that the healing coefficients change on ProH and Nova’s icons.

When I’m raiding, a quick Shift+Scroll Up gives me this:

Greater Heals normal

Holding Alt will make the same changes that happened to the offensive set-up.

My Super-Secret Macros

I may be crazy for deciding to discuss macros. They can be very simple or complicated, and I use a mixture of both. This is not intended to be a macro tutorial. These are simply a few I’ve cooked up, cobbled together, or flat-out stolen. I wanted to show you what those extra buttons on my bars do, and this seemed to be the best way. PLEASE feel free to ask questions about the ones I list, but understand that I probably won’t be able to help you troubleshoot one that you’ve written. If you DO want a how-to, the best one I’ve ever read is over at Priestly Endeavors. A few notes before we begin:

  • I’m Horde. If it’s a macro that sends a whisper, and you’re an Ally, your buddies won’t speak Orcish, so change that to Common.
  • Nearly all of these use the #showtooltip command. That makes the tooltip show up on mouseover, even though it’s a macro.
  • When I’m setting these up, I almost always pick the “?” icon that shows up first. That way, if it’s a button that does more than one thing, the icon on my bars will change when I press the modifier.
  • LINES are very important to a macro. If you keep typing without hitting [enter] it will read all as one line. New commands MUST be started on a new line, so make sure they match up to the line-breaks here if you copy/paste.

 

Since none of my offensive spells involve macros, I’m going to assume you’re looking at the raiding picture with all the G-heals. I’ll go from left to right.

Gheal macroStopcasting saves lives. Even after 2.3, being able to stop a heal on one target, change targets, and instantly start casting your new heal is an excellent skill if someone is spiking. Also, you can keep hitting this when targeting the MT, and just let it land when they actually need a heal. That way, you can drop out of the 5-Second-rule, without abandoning your job. (yes, you could jump or step forward, but jumping wastes time, and so does hitting multiple buttons.)

#showtooltip Greater Heal(Rank 7)
/stopcasting
/cast Greater Heal(Rank 7)

 

 FW Macro Now that all priests have Fear Ward, it’s nice to be able to let your tank know you’ve got their back. This one casts FW on your target, and whispers them.

#showtooltip
/cast fear ward
/script SendChatMessage(“Fear Ward on YOU”, “WHISPER”, “Orcish”, UnitName(“target”));

 

Prayer Macro AltThese three all do pretty much the same thing, and I just wrote it as another space-saver. Hit the macro, and it’ll cast Prayer of (whatever) on your target and their party. Hold Shift, hit the  macro, and it’ll cast a single-buff on your target. Hold Alt, hit the macro, and it’ll cast a single buff on you. Neat, huh? (You can tell it’s not a raid night because of how few candles I have on me….)

For Shadow Protection:
#showtooltip
/cast [modifier:shift] Shadow Protection(Rank 4); [modifier:alt, target=player] Shadow Protection(Rank 4); Prayer of Shadow Protection(Rank 2)

For Fortitude:
#showtooltip
/cast [modifier:shift] Power Word: Fortitude(Rank 7); [modifier:alt, target=player] Power Word: Fortitude(Rank 7); Prayer of Fortitude(Rank 3)

Divine Spirit:
#showtooltip
/cast [modifier:shift] Divine Spirit(Rank 5); [modifier:alt, target=player] Divine Spirit(Rank 5); Prayer of Spirit(Rank 2)

Flash Heal Macro Normal Because my UI set up has either my offensive spells or my Greater Heals visible, but not both, I wanted the option to toss a G.Heal on myself when I’m solo without too much effort. So I made this. Generally, it’s the same as my stopcasting macro for Greater Heal, only for Flash. The difference comes in that if I hold Alt, it’ll interrupt whatever and start a max-ranked G.Heal on me, without changing my target. Handy, right?

#showtooltip
/stopcasting
/cast [modifier:alt, target=player] Greater heal(rank 7); Flash Heal(Rank 9)

 

I would feed my Shadow Fiend cookies if I could. I love the little guy. But sometimes, he gets lazy. This macro will keep him attacking non-cc’d mobs if his current target dies, and toss a scroll on him (if I have one) to boost his mana-return. Just spam it for a second.

#showtooltip
/cast Shadowfiend
/petaggressive
/petattack
/use [target=pet] Scroll of Strength
/use [target=pet] Scroll of Agility

 

Most of us have been in a situation with lots of people rezzing at the same time. Just save time, and have your macro type in your healing channel who your target is. Mine also whispers the person that’s getting a rez.

#showtooltip
/cast Resurrection(Rank 6)
/6 Saving %t the run back, but not the repair bill
/script SendChatMessage(“Rezzing you”, “WHISPER”, “Orcish”,UnitName(“target”))

Focus Macro This is really simple. It just sets my focus to whatever I’ve got targeted. No muss, no fuss.

/focus

There are some really nifty things you can do with focus macros, like this one I stole from Priestly Endeavors

/focus [noexists,target=target][exists,dead,target=target][modifier:alt,target=target]
/stopmacro [modifier:alt]
/cast [target=focus] Shackle Undead

The first line says: [make my current target the focus if I don’t have one] or [make my target my focus if my current focus is dead] but [if I’m holding Alt, make my target my focus no matter what].
The second line says:[if I’m holding Alt to re-set my focus, ignore the rest of the macro]
The third line says: [whatever I’m targeting, cast shackle undead on my focus]

Down-ranking macros are fun! Here’s one for Prayer of Healing. Hold Alt to cast rank 3.

#showtooltip
/cast [modifier:alt] Prayer of Healing(Rank 3); Prayer of Healing(Rank 6)

P4 Random Not a macro, but sometimes in a quest or a fight there’s a random item you need to use regularly. I drag mine over to “J” and just hit it whenever I need it. This is from when I had the daily quest in Nagrand.

Nova NormalNova Alt I always heard it was good to keep Rank 1 Nova on your bars for PvP purposes, but where to put it? On the same button, naturally. Hold Alt to use Rank 1, hold nothing for max-rank.

#showtooltip
/cast [modifier:alt] Holy Nova(Rank 1); Holy Nova(Rank 7)

Lifetap We all know Warlocks Life Tap at the WORST time… this was my solution to train my ‘Locks to know when it was okay. For this one, I didn’t use the “?” icon, since that would just look like a normal Renew. Dr. Damage still catches the heal, though. (True story: one of my Warlocks actually macro’d his LifeTap to whisper me that he was going to do it in response to this macro. I was so proud!)

/script SendChatMessage(“Lifetap if you need to”, “WHISPER”, “Orcish”, UnitName(“target”));
/cast Renew

OhShit Sometimes, you have to keep yourself alive ’til your fellow heal-bots can help you out. EVERYONE must have an “Oh, Shit” button. This one can keep me up through over 20k damage. The [combat] modifiers keep reagents from being used up accidentally.

/target player
/cast [combat] Power Word: Shield
/use Master Healthstone
/cast Prayer of Mending
/use Fel blossom
/use [combat] Super Rejuvenation Potion
/use [combat] Nightmare Seed
/use Battlemaster’s Perseverance
/use Vial of the Sunwell
/cast Renew

Trink 1 Trink These are both really simple, but helpful. No matter what trinkets you have equipped, each of these macros will use one of them. Use the “?” icon, and you can see which trinkets you have equipped at the moment.

#showtooltip
/use 13

#showtooltip
/use 14

P4 Berserking If my heals have to come faster, they may as well come bigger. This trips Berserking, my OP-as-hell Racial, and my +healing trinket at the same time. (Does not trip GCD)
You can macro all kinds of things together – multiple trinkets, other abilities. Go nuts!

#showtooltip
/cast Berserking(Racial)
/use Tome of Diabolic Remedy

 

I wrote this last one just to save space on my bars. It gets out my Puppy and my Nether Drake. If I hold Alt, it gets out my Puppy and my Raptor.

#showtooltip
/use Worg Carrier
/cast [modifier:alt] Swift Blue Raptor
/use Reins of the Azure Netherwing Drake

Add
/equip Riding Crop
as the last line, if you want, but remember to replace your trinkets when you get where you’re going!

To Be Continued. . .

Wyn’s UI – Part Three (Boss in Action)

Part three of a series. Please read Part One & Part Two.

Okay, finally a real action shot like I’ve been promising. Welcome to Mother Shahraz. There’s a LOT going on in this fight, but you do get to stand still for most of it (unless you get Fatal Attraction, but that’s another post altogether.) I picked this shot because it catches a few things – good mana-regen cycle, a solid fight with only one real phase, and me making a pretty big mistake.

Typical Bossfight:

Click to enlarge....as soon as Matt uploads the larger version!

 

BF Focus

1. I set the boss as my focus on this one, so I can more easily watch for what aura she has and which tank she’s targeting. Different fights call for different focii; just set it to whomever you need to babysit. If you’ll look at the bottom row of myBartender you can see an icon that’s an eye with something pointing at it.
I’ve macro’d that button to set my focus just to make it a little faster and easier. I’ll post about the macros I use at the end of this series.


2.HoT Candy keeps track of everyone I’ve Renewed. Right now, it’s just the MT, but that’s because my mana’s about shot. (No worries, my pot CD finished as I took the SS.) Resto-Druids especially take note: HoT Candy is your friend.

RegenFu Bar
3. This is part of RegenFu. I’m just about out of the Five Second Rule, and will hit some serious mana-regen goodness. Fully buffed, my non-casting regen is over 900, but in full shadow resist, it takes a big hit. So I’ll burn Inner Focus before my next big heal, to maximize the mana I get back without stopping casting. I also wait until I’m out of the FSR to burn my Earring of Soulful Meditation. (If you don’t have it, find a way to get it. The Bangle of Endless Blessingsfrom Botanica is a substitute, but only about half as good.) I rarely make it the full 15 seconds without casting something, but at least I get the full benefit at the beginning.

4. Here’s where this shot catches me not paying close attention. Look here on my ElkBuffBar – Clearcasting is just expiring, but you can see at the top of my screen that I didn’t have enough mana to cast the Circle of Healing I was trying to cast. On Grid, you can see that group 3 was taking pretty even damage – I was spam CoH-ing them to patch them up. I should’ve thrown a G.heal on Joe in the middle, there. I’d’ve been finished with the cast by the time I had enough mana to CoH again, and been able to burn Inner Focus more appropriately, or let one of my Shammies top off the rest of the Warlocks while I regenned a little more.

5. On Bartender, you can see which of my cooldowns are available. Mana management is absolutely critical for these kinds of fights. My Pot CD finished as the SS was taking, Fiend is down, Inner Focus is available, and my Earring is down.
Pot CD
Fiend CDEarring CD

As healers, our mana-rotation is as critical as a DPSers spell rotation. Learning to be efficient is one of the best things you can do to become a better healer. For me it looks something like this:

  • Start: 12.5k manaI can haz cookie?
  • First Pot – 9k mana
  • Pop Earring – 9k mana again
  • Inner Focus – When expensive heal is needed
  • Shadowfiend – 6k mana
  • Second Pot – 7k mana
  • Earring again – ASAP

    And so on.

Mana is a lot like gasoline in your car – it’s just as easy to keep the top 1/4 of the tank full as it is the bottom 1/4. And the earlier you pop those cooldowns, the sooner they’ll be available for you to use again. Once you’ve used them all, just rotate through as soon as they’re available. I tend to Inner Focus for Prayer of Healing, but will use it for G.heal or Binding heal, if necessary. A tip for Mother – don’t wait to Fiend. Your mana will drop faster than you’ll believe, and when that CD comes up again, you’ll be very thankful. Also, watch for the auras that increase or reduce shadow damage. You don’t have to wait for the increase-aura to Fiend, although it will help you, but you will want to avoid the one that will nerf your little guy.

BF Quartz Bar
6. Okay, I’m going to highlight that mistake a bit more here. Since I didn’t use my Clearcast to throw a heal on poor Joe, I pasted this copy of my casting bar in from another screenshot so you could at least see where it goes and how it works. You can see from my toon’s posture that I’m not actually casting anything. Quartz tells me what I’m casting, what rank, shows a timer, and who I had targeted when the cast began. I change targets almost constantly, so that’s a very handy feature.

BF Grid All7. This is one of the best shots to show how Grid works; most of the raid is at full health, and it’s obvious who needs heals. If you look at the top-right square, you can see Acalon – our MT for this fight. The Red dot in the upper left of his box means he has aggro. There will be any number of those little dots when there are multiple mobs targeting people. That dot, rather than damage taken, is my cue to take action in most cases. A working knowledge of the mobs involved helps me know if I should start casting a heal, or just shield/renew the people with aggro. The groups are a little jacked right now – my raid leader moves Shammies into the melee group in a rotation for Bloodlust (Heroism) purposes. You can also clearly see who is dead, and who is out of my range.

BF DBM8.Deadly Boss Mods lets you move where your raid warnings pop up. Back to the concept of reducing eye movement to maximize reaction time, having them right where you can see them helps you know who’s about to need a heal – especially if it’s a fight like Void Reaver or Illidari Council where the boss targets random raid members to take damage.

9. Here’s Recount again. Pray is a shadow priest. He’s beating the Paladins on heals, because they both died early-on. It’s important to note that just like any other statistics, the data is only as valuable as its interpretation. This particular shot tells you very little without knowing the set-up. Por was assigned to heal up those people who get Fatal Attraction. Not very glamorous, and it limits his ability to cross-heal. Wize and I are both on raid-heals, so we’re pretty much neck-and-neck. Eizara is generally assigned to the Tanks, but her mana-efficiency is so excellent that she helps a lot with hotting the raid. She is an absolute BEAST of a resto-druid.

10. Scrolling Combat Text isn’t that important, as far as I’m concerned, for my incoming heals or mana regen – I’m watching bars, so I can see that. The important thing is that it tells you when you gain a buff or debuff. Clearcasting, Diabolic Remedy, Deep Meditation, Band of the Eternal Restorer, Berserking… all that stuff pops up over my head, and keeps me from having to watch my buff list. There are mods that do this, and will personalize it any number of ways, but the stock UI also has this feature now. Unfortunately, I didn’t catch it showing in this ss, and it looked funny ‘shopped in. The “10” is where it would go.

Bossfight Breakdown

These shots were taken during a trash-pull right after Mother. I’m very self-critical, and have found a lot of value in analyzing my own performance after a given boss fight. I wanted to walk you through my personal stats after a fight.

Wynthea's Effective Heal Detail
This is a pretty typical boss-fight mix for me. I’m usually assigned to raid healing, and expected to help out on the tanks when they’re taking extra damage, or their healers are in some way incapacitated. Notice how MANY times particular heals were used: 17 Greater Heals compared with 14 Flash heals. 57 Renews. Clearly, I love me some Circle of Healing. It is my bread-and-butter for raid healing, but be careful not to fall into the trap of spamming it for everything. I have seen priests with upwards of 90% CoH – I cannot stress how inefficient that is. CoH is a great tool, but it is not in any way a substitute for good decision making.

A few examples:

  • My CoH costs approximately 400 mana to heal 5 people for about 1k each. I can patch up a group with roughly 3k damage each for 1200 mana. Not bad, but if that group happens to be my actual group, my ProH heals for about 2.5k per target at a cost of around 900 mana. Time-wise, the 3 second cast is the same as the time it would have taken for me to cast the three CoH’s. It’s actually a faster option, because my GCD won’t be up by the time the ProH is done, so I can move directly on to my next target. ProH also gets cheaper because of how well it lends to burning Inner Focus.
  • CoH is perfect for a situation where a group is taking moderate damage across the board – assuming you throw out about 3 CoH’s on the same group, you just healed 5 people for about 3k each – much better than the time it would have taken to Flash Heal the same people (7.5 seconds) for that amount… but if a single-target is down by even 5k, you’re much better off throwing a rank-5 Greater Heal than spamming 5 CoH’s.

Note: If you are taking damage yourself, and so is the Tank, don’t be afraid to Binding Heal. Once they nerfed the mana cost (it used to be about 1k, and now it’s around 700), it became very viable to heal the two most important targets you have – yourself, and the guy keeping the bad guy from flattening you. It costs about the same as two Flash Heals, and saves you the casting time, and the decision.

This shot is the report for WHO I healed during the same bossfight.

Healed Who

1. Remember, my assignment was to raid-heal, and supplement on the tanks when their assigned healers needed help. (Usually from getting the Fatal Attraction debuff.) Acalon was our MT, and he got the bulk of my raw heals, usually in the form of ProM, Renew, and Greater Heal, with a few Flash Heals thrown in if I got nervous. I forget where I read it, but a good rule to follow is to Flash Heal if your target needs a heal NOW, Greater Heal if you think you have time, and just Renew them if you KNOW you have time. That said, I keep Renew on the MT at all times, and ProM him as much as possible. My #2 target is Omegax – a warlock with a fondness for Life Tap. His heals are mostly Renews. Oneiros and Bull were our OT’s, their mixes look a lot like Acalon’s.

2. This second area of the screen shows a break down of what heals I used on a particular target. Haidi is one of our healadins, and the first example of my typical raid-healing mix. You can see that he didn’t require any special attention. Working through the rest of the raid heals, this is pretty much typical for everyone, maybe with a Flash Heal thrown in.


To Be Continued. . .