What is missing from the Arthas fight?

What is missing from the Arthas fight?

First before I begin I would like to say congrats to Matticus on his 10 man Arthas kill!

Now onto the matter at hand. My guild is plugging away at the Lich King 25 man encounter, our 10 man team is just about to take him down as well. There is a certain sense of accomplishment when you get to the end of not only the content, but let’s be honest in this case the entire point of the expansion! This entire expansion has geared us up for this fight. Egging us on, pushing us to greater heights and taunting us at every turn. The Lich King has been found in so many quests, instances and cinematic events it is impossible to not want to kill him.

When Trial of the Crusader was released, I’ll be honest I was not impressed. In fact I down right hated ToC. I’m an old school raider, I like instances with trash and having to work at getting TO the boss. I mean in every book I’ve read the hero and the villain don’t just run into each other randomly and just go to town. The hero normally goes through various trials and or henchman before they get to the big bad. In James Bond movies, he has to go through the henchman before making his way to the final bad guy for the show down. To me that is what trash is in an instance, it is a warm up but it’s also story fodder. These are the creatures the various bosses thought good enough to guard them from US. So when I walked into ICC for the first time you can bet I was over-joyed at the amount of trash that lay before us. One of my fondest memories as of late was when we were first heading into the Plagueworks, I was flying solo leading the raid that night and we were coming up on Stinky and Precious. I didn’t warn the raid about them at all, instead as we pulled I laughed maniacally at the frantic screams of “HOLY SHIT WHAT THE HELL IS GLUTH DOING HERE?” as the raid wiped. Everyone laughed about it afterward  and I felt happy that there was trash that was actually DANGEROUS if you weren’t prepared.

My guild has fought our way through all the bosses up to Arthas and there is a sense of accomplishment there. The fight itself is amazing fun, if for no other reason than because there is so much going on. So, why then am I feeling slightly ripped off with this fight?

Arthas is one of those lore characters that has shaped this game. Warcraft 3 was a game I played to death and out of it what I got was the setup for World of Warcraft. It was heart-wrenching when Arthas slew his father and you saw the darkness in complete control, it was epic when Illidan and Arthas fought. The story, even though it was an RTS, was colorful and rewarding.

So last night Unpossible was working on Arthas and I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong with the fight, that something was missing. After the raid I thought back to burning crusade and Black Temple. The Illidan fight felt epic. The scene opened up with Akama going to face Illidan and speak his peace, followed by him running off to hold off reinforcements and give the group time to deal with Illidan. Partway through the fight, a fed up Warden Maiev Shadowsong bursts in to help try and take down the demon prince. He had wronged her so much that she had to have her revenge. In short the fight felt epic. It felt like great payoff to all the work of getting there. I attribute this to a well designed encounter, but a lot of that had to do with NPC interaction.

When you reach Arthas there is a small back and forth between the fallen prince of Lordaeron and Tirion Fordring. To be honest the back and forth is a little weak, and Tirion is one of those characters I could do without. I mean, of all the people Arthas has pissed-off and messed with over the years they picked Tirion to be the one to confront him. I mean I guess I expected him to be there from the beginning, after all he is the bearer of Ashbringer, but I expected someone faction specific to be there along side him as well. I know Jaina and Sylvanas made an appearance in the 5 mans, but this is the big show, the big payoff. Personally I expected them to be there, or rather someone who Arthas has wronged on a deep personal level to be there.

Before you say anything yes I know the history of what happened between Arthas and Tirion and the subsequent exile. My point though is as fun as the fight is (it IS an amazingly designed encounter), it just doesn’t feel as epic as I think it should.

We have airships right? After we’ve taken down the Frost wing, why not have the ship fly up to assault Arthas only to have him blow it out of the sky? How about King Varian Wrynn or Thrall gets to deliver the epic speech debasing Arthas and spurring us to victory. Instead we get Tirion running forward, and getting hunter trapped.

I still love the encounter don’t get me wrong. I love the fact that there are a thousand things you have to watch for and so many ways you can die. I like having fights that have consequence and Defile is the greatest thing EVER created (no sarcasm on that). I guess in the end I just wish there was a little more NPC interaction at the end to help lend the cinematic / literary climactic feel that the encounter truly deserves.

What do you think about the encounter?

So with that I bid you all a good day, hopefully next week I’ll be writing you as King Slayer Lodur. Until next time, Happy healing and may all your heals be swift and your mana plentiful!

A Realistic Look at Level 80 Raid Healing

A Realistic Look at Level 80 Raid Healing

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I’ve kept myself mum on this topic for quite a while. You’re aware of Wyn’s thoughts and no doubt others have expressed their opinion around the community. It’s my turn to tell you what how I feel about being a Holy Priest and healing.

Before I do that, I want to make one thing clear:

I AM NOT A THEORYCRAFTER

Got that? Good. The opinions and thoughts I’m about to tell you are my honest, unbiased feelings about the subject. I’m not going to hide behind math or spellpower theory because I don’t know much about it all. If I were to list my one weakness, it’s the lack of mathematical Matticus power. I can’t begin to tell you the coefficients relative to the modifiers based on the exponential percentage of the sum off of this spell which is affected by the Earth’s tangent to the Sun (I don’t think that last sentence made any kind of sense).

I can’t theorycraft to save my life, but I just creamed a bunch of bosses in Naxx with 2 other healers and a group that’s sporting the same level of gear as I am. No ounce of theorying would’ve helped.

But in this case, it’s a good thing.matt-priest-com-1

Because I just knocked out 7 bosses in Naxxramus in one night on my Holy Priest in PvP gear without knowing anything about what I was getting in to.

There’s a point I’m trying to make here. I participated in a successful raid with less than optimal gear in a class that’s supposed to be rendered extinct due to poor design choices by the class designers.

My fellow clerics, let me reassure you that not all is lost. We lose our unique racials, yes. We lose the ability to downrank, yes. We get slapped left and right, back and forth with the giant nerf bat with no end in sight, yes.

Yet we still heal. It’s our duty. Don’t lose sight of that. They remove our powers and abilities and empower us with new ones. Raiding mechanics have changed. The entire gamescape has changed. This isn’t World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade. This is Wrath. The encounters are being tuned to suit what we can do and open up the number of options we have in terms of classes.

What changes?

What has changed exactly? I said it before, and I’m going to say it again. And this time I really mean it. Whatever you learned before Wrath, throw it out of the window. It’s no longer relevant or important.

Biggest change thus far?

I’ve cast Flash Heal more times than Greater Heal which goes against every Priest handbook in the game. Let me paint you the circumstances. My Flash Heal lands for 4500. The typical tank will have approximately 28000 health or higher. Greater Heal will do over well 9000 (and this isn’t just a cheesy Dragon Ball Z reference). Tanks are taking damage between 2000 – 5000. Instead of simply spamming downranked Greater Heals, I have to actually pay attention and Flash or Greater accordingly.

I guess this is going to cut into my hockey time.

Let me bust your objections so I can save you some time from voicing them.

It’s not the gear guys

Everyone’s on equal footing because I’m doing this on the Murmur Beta server (say hi to Miyone!). The vast majority of players are playing on premade characters relying on PvP blues and a few PvP epics. I have more mana regen right now on my level 70 T6 Priest then I do on my level 80 PvP T0.5 set sporting Priest.

Can’t be the group either

I worked alongside a Resto Shaman and a Holy Paladin. Weren’t people complaining that all the healing classes were getting nerfed? So by that logic, if all the healer classes get nerfed, then aren’t we all then at the same level? Are they going to bring in Rogues and Hunters to heal for us now? Healers will always be in high demand. It’s not like our raid size got nuked from 40 to 25 again.

I’m not as skilled!

Let’s not go there. I am not the best Priest in this game. There are other way better Priests than I and one of them happens to also contribute to this blog (and this is the ONLY time I’ll ever admit that ;)). So what makes me so special? I’m always present at raid times. I read up on strategy ahead of time. I do whatever I can to make my character the best it can possibly be in terms of augments (enchants, gems, and now glyphs) and consumables. I’m ruthlessly efficient and don’t like to waste time. I understand and follow directions like a 6 year old dying to go to a bathroom. That’s what makes me so special.

Would I consider my class expendable? You could make that argument. I wouldn’t know how to argue against it anyway because I’m not a theorycrafter. I’m a valuable asset not because of my class. I’m a valuable asset because of who I am as a player not because of what my class can do. If you’re working hard right now in BC raiding, there is no reason for you to feel threatened in Wrath.

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Everyone is going to have to relearn how to play their class. Your skill is going to be affected by how openly you embrace and learn what needs to be learned in the expansion.

Naxx is EZMODE

I’m using a flawed instance as an example because it’s way too entry level. You’re right, I am because it’s all I’ve done so far. Right now, we stack Shamans and CoH Priests for Sunwell because it helps ease the burden we have doing it. There’s no sense in thinking too far ahead in Wrath and being worried about actual end end game healing. Go with what we have now and have faith that we can do what we need to do as we progress up the ladder.

I’m thankful I don’t have to learn about how to use HoTs, AoE Heal, or other forms of specialized target healing. I didn’t get a lot of new toys to play with this year from Santa? Good. Less of a learning curve for me and I can spend more time on important things such as learning how to heal raids in post Wrath.

Still don’t buy it?

If you think I’m full of crap, by all means I understand. Either a) You know a lot more than I do in theory or b) You’re a really pessimistic player whose looking for an excuse to quit the game. But before you start ripping into me about theory, proofs, and other technical stuff, all I ask is that you run a level 80 raid first. Because that’s what I’m basing my experience, my opinions, and my thoughts on Priest healing from.

And honestly? It’s not that bad.

Image credits: just4you

PS, expect to see some Naxx healer guides really shortly.