How to Find Matt and Co. at Blizzcon

These just got in yesterday. They look freakin’ awesome! A giant big thank you to our sponsors from Byte Me Gaming!

Check ‘em out!

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All three of us will be sporting these during the convention. I suspect people will get Lodur confused for me many times while we are there.

Don’t stare too closely at the person sporting the shirt! Legends say that a person who catches the full blast of the shirt may experience some side effects.

Such as instantaneous attraction to the wearer.

Yes, that’s Wyn in the bottom shot.

I think it’s about time we all updated our profile shots on the bottom…

Priest Guide: Part 2 – How to Build Holy

Priest Guide: Part 2 – How to Build Holy

Building-your-spec

So now that you know what each talent is, does, and have a basic idea of when it’s most effective, let’s take a look at how to build a spec:

Step 1:14-mandatory-points

To start, plug in those mandatory 14 points:

  • Twin Disciplines – 5
  • Improved Inner Fire – 3
  • Improved Power Word: Fortitude – 2* **
  • Meditation – 3
  • Inner Focus – 1

*PvEers: If you are 100% certain that another Priest in your raid will have Imp:Fort, and not mind buffing, and you REALLY feel the need for threat reduction, you can move these two points into Silent Resolve. I don’t think it’s worth it, but it is an option.

**PvPers: Choose Martyrdom rather than Imp:Fort.

Step 2:

Decide whether this is a Holy build, or a Discipline build. For this example, I’ll walk you through my Holy spec, my reasons for each point, and where you could easily change it to suit yourself – and which changes wouldn’t be as helpful.

Step 3:

Build it!

CritFor Tier 1, take a look at your crit on your character screen. The idea here is that you want enough crit to get the mana saving goodness that is Surge of Light and Holy Concentration with reasonable reliability. Since Holy is largely a raid-healing spec, your three major raid-healing spells are Circle of Healing, Prayer of Mending, and Prayer of Healilng. CoH hits 5 people (6 if glyphed), ProM hits 5 (6 with 2-piece T7, assuming full duration),  and ProH hits 5. If you have 2-piece T8, ProH gets 10% extra chance to crit.

Why does this matter?

Because in the first tier, Holy Specialization allows you a tremendous amount of control over the crit chance of your heals. Having around 20% crit unbuffed (25% fully raid buffed) gives you a 1-in-5 crit chance for each 5-target raid heal, with the raid buffs allowing some insurance. As with everything heal-related, you want to react as quickly as possible, and KNOWING that you will get a free, instant Flash Heal after every AoE allows you to plan ahead. If you have enough crit on your gear to get you to that threshold, you can start subtracting points from Holy Specialization. Personally, I like having the freedom to stack a bit more Spell Haste on my gear, so I choose to max out Holy Specialization so that my crit isn’t lacking.

Wynthea-holy-spec-tier-1

Next, take a look at a Recount, WWS, WoWmeter, or other combat log parse. How much do you Renew? A  lot? A little? For more research, check out the uploaded combat logs for a guild that’s farming the content your guild is learning. Do those Holy Priests use Renew? Often, if there’s a huge discrepancy between a very successful guild, and a guild that’s having trouble, a small strategy change can make a big difference for those new to the content. (I’m probably going to catch some flack for that – yes, the idea is that all Priests are individuals, and your spec should reflect that. My argument is that when evaluating the effectiveness of a particular spell, look ahead and see how effective it is for successful people in content that you plan to clear. Don’t be so attached to your personal status quo that it prevents you from achieving your goals.)

If Renew is something you use, or plan to use, a lot, pick up the three points in Improved Renew.

Healing Focus – for this talent, consider the content your guild is working on. Are you having trouble keeping yourself and your assignment alive during Mimiron? This could be a great option. Aside from that, there just aren’t many fights where the pushback will kill you, and you’ll be too far away from a Paladin that could use Concentration Aura – or another healer that can help you until the danger has passed.

 

Wynthea-holy-spec-tier-2Tier 2 gives you even more wiggle room. Spell Warding will help you if you tend to die to spell damage. If you’re building a spec specifically for Mimiron or Mimiron hard mode, this will help protect you from his Rapid Burst ability. However, it’s five points that help NO ONE except you.

Divine Fury  – points in this are a must if you still use Greater Heal a lot – more than can be helped by Serendipity, or if you also use your raid spec to solo quest grind. If neither of those are true, and you took points in Healing Focus, feel free to only put in two points. If you skipped healing focus, you have to put at least three points here to move forward. (Two will get you to tier 3, but you’ll need 3 for tier 4 if you take Desperate Prayer, and 4 if you don’t.)

Since I do all of my dailies in my Holy-raiding spec, I go ahead and max this out. It only costs me one extra point, which I steal from Improved Healing.

 

 

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Tier 3 includes an easy decision: Max out Inspiration. Even though this is a raid-healing build, it’s a guarantee that some of your AoE will land on the tank. Spreading the love around won’t hurt the rest of the raid, either – if anything, it’ll make your job easier.

Blessed Recovery won’t help you in a raiding scenario, so skip it. (If you’re getting critical melee hits regularly enough to take this, get yourself a new tank.)

Desperate Prayer is completely up to you, but I find it very useful. It’s cheap, instant, has a short cooldown, can crit, and is a GREAT “Oh Sh–!!” button, especially now that pots are only once-per-fight.

 

In tier 4, since this is a healing build, forget about Searing Light.

To move forward, you’ll need 5 points between Holy Reach and Improved Healing, or 4 if you also maxed out Divine Fury. Since Improved Healing only affects Greater Heal (which I use rarely these days) and Divine Hymn (Which I always Inner Focus), I give Holy Reach both points, and stick just 2 in Improved Healing for filler.  (You could also completely bypass Improved Healing by putting these two points in Healing Focus.) In my opinion, that 5% savings on a heal I don’t use often is less efficient than the extra radius on my AoE heals. (And I’m more comfortable putting that point into Divine Fury, where on the rare occassions I do need Greater Heal, it will be fast enough to be effective.) Although you’ll run into many people who are perfectly comfortable with 1 point in Holy Reach, you will rarely see Holy builds that skip it entirely – you want CoH and ProH to have the chance to hit as many people as possible. If you skipped Healing Focus, you’ll notice only 1 point in Improved Healing is needed to move forward. You can easily plug that point into Lightwell, Blessed Resilience, or Test of Faith later in the tree.

Wynthea-holy-spec-tier-6Once you reach Tier 5, maxing out Spiritual Guidance is a no-brainer, since it’s a flat-out increase to your spell power. Similarly, don’t skip Spirit of Redemption, since one point here buys you an extra 5% spirit. (Which, obviously, also increases your spell power in addition to your regen. It’s also nice to not ever have to inform your raid leader when you need a battle-rez, since it will be glaringly obvious.) Your other choice in this layer is Healing Prayers, and since Prayer of Healing and Prayer of Mending each benefit from set bonuses, and the AoE damage in Ulduar encounters makes Prayer of Healing your work-horse spell, skipping Healing Prayers is mana-suicide. Max it out.

In tier 6, Spiritual Healing is a misnomer, since it has nothing to do with spirit, however, it’s a straight up increase to the amount healed by all of your healing spells; max it out. Surge of Light is another talent where theorycrafters disagree: is one point sufficient, or are two required? Because I count on these procs, I max it out to ensure that I get them as often as possible. (And, really, why wouldn’t you want more mana-free, castable-on-the-move heals that stack Serendipity and take advantage of Twin Disciplines? More to the point, where could that one point buy you more benefit?)

By now, you’ve got more than enough points in Holy to get you to Tier 8, but this part of the tree is thick with awesome points. Still in tier 7, Holy Concentration is one of the best talents we have to increase our mana-regen, and you’ll find yourself gasping for water on longer fights without it. Combined with Surge of Light, this is one of the main reasons that crit is important for Priests these days. Take all 3 points. Lightwell, on the other hand, is a polarizing point. There are enough points in this particular spec that you can take it if you have trained your raid to use it properly, just either drop Divine Fury down to 4 points or Improved Healing down to two. Both of these will impact your Greater Heal (the former will nerf your cast time by .1 seconds, the latter will increase its mana cost by 5%.) Personally, I skip lightwell altogether.

Blessed Resilience used to be a strictly PvP talent. Then they re-worked it to “increase the effectiveness of your heals by 1% per rank.” Which makes it viable for PvE, theoretically. Frequent plus heal poster Sindaga posted the math over on the Elitist Jerks Priest Compendium that shows how this works:

“Empowered Healing vs. Blessed Resilience (yes, the PvP talent)

Taking two examples for empowered healing (Flash Heal & Binding Heal); this is due to the very low amount of greater heal casting, personally, done in Ulduar 25 and 10-man. Each heal will be looked at with empowered healing or with blessed resilience. Calculations will be done with 3000 spell power (a very attainable goal with even just a couple ulduar upgrades). The formula used will be as follows:

Spell = [Average + (Spellpower * coefficient)]*(talent modifiers)

i) Calculations with Empowered Healing (w/ spiritual healing modifier)
Flash Heal = [2049.5 + (3000 * 0.9668)]*1.1
Flash Heal = 5445 healing average
Binding Heal = [2237.5 + (3000 *0.9668)]*1.1
Binding Heal = 5652 healing average
Greater Heal = [4300.5 + (3000 * 2.2256)]*1.1
Greater Heal = 12075 healing average

ii) Calculations with Blessed Resilience (w/ spiritual healing modifier)
Flash Heal = [2049.5 + (3000 * 0.8057)]*1.13
Flash Heal = 5047 healing average
Binding Heal = [2237.5 + (3000 *0.8057)]*1.13
Binding Heal = 4969 healing average
Greater Heal = [4300.5 + (3000 * 1.6111)]*1.13
Greater Heal = 10321 healing average

iii) Calculations with Blessed Resilience & Test of Faith (w/ spiritual healing modifier) – I found something interesting testing with Renew. If the spell is cast below 50%, the ticks (even if the health goes higher than 50%) stay with the 12% increased effectiveness.
Flash Heal = [2049.5 + (3000 * 0.8057)]*1.25
Flash Heal = 5583 healing average
Binding Heal = [2237.5 + (3000 *0.8057)]*1.25
Binding Heal = 5818 healing average
Greater Heal = [4300.5 + (3000 * 1.6111)]*1.25
Greater Heal = 11417 healing average

So those are some pretty plain numbers. If you find yourself casting greater heal more than once in a blue moon, perhaps stick with Empowered Healing. If you regularly find yourself not casting it at all during fights then a spec for better output would first put the 5 points from empowered healing to 3/3 blessed resilience and then 2/3 Test of Faith.

Justification for taking test of faith is it provides more healing to those targets who need more health.” — Sindaga

The bottom line here is that putting 3 points in Blessed Resilience along with 2 in Test of Faith increases the amount healed on targets below 50% by a significant amount. If you’re looking to take advantage of Test of Faith in the next layer of the tree, it’s a good idea to pair it with Blessed Resilience – and you can easily take the points from Empowered Healing to make that happen. It’s entirely a play-style dependent call, and I personally prefer the constant levels of healing provided by Empowered Healing to the low-health dependent benefits of Test of Faith.

Wynthea-holy-spec-tier-9 Moving into tier 8, you’ll find some of your decisions have already been made, due to the preceding math. If you decided to put Sindaga’s 3 points into Blessed Resilience, you have already decided to skip Empowered Healing. If you decided against the BR/ToF combo, you’ll max it out instead. The other talents in this layer are Serendipity and Body and Soul. Although I’ve read some arguments that the self-poison cleanse is useful on the more poison-heavy encounters in Ulduar, if your Shamans, Druids, and Paladins are doing their jobs, you won’t need Body and Soul. Serendipity, on the other hand, plays a major role in making Holy a more synergistic healing spec. Layering spell haste for your bigger heals is a huge part of the raid-healing strategies for fights like Ignis, Deconstructor, Freya, and Mimiron. My typical heal pattern takes careful advantage of this: Inner Focus-Prayer of Healing -> Surge of Light-Flash Heal -> Binding Heal -> Circle of Healing -> Surge of Light-Flash Heal -> Serendipitous- Prayer of Healing -> Surge of Light-Flash Heal…. into infinity, peppered with Prayer of Mendings and Renews as much as possible, both of which provide extra Surge of Light procs, and, therefore, free layers of Serendipity to haste my next Prayer of Healing. Make sure you take maximum advantage of Serendipity.

Like tier 8, you’ve already made quite a few decisions regarding tier 9, without realizing it: If you picked up Improved Renew in tier 1, you would shortchange yourself to skip Empowered Renew. When you decided to build Holy, you decided to take Circle of Healing,  (I know there was a lot of noise about avoiding it when they added the 6 second cool down, but with its coefficient balanced to reflect the cooldown, the glyph to increase it to 6 targets, and its ability to proc Surge of Light, skipping Circle of Healing would be foolish.) And when you decided between Empowered Healing and Blessed Resilience, you decided whether you would take Test of Faith as part of the Blessed Resilience package. If you’re following my build, take all three in Empowered Renew, Circle of Healing, and skip Test of Faith.

For tiers 10 & 11, you’ll notice you have exactly 6 points left. Finish out your spec by finishing out the tree with 5 points in Divine Providence, and the last into Guardian Spirit.

This is my completed spec – and I fully expect as many detractors as I do compliments. Lightwell may work for you and your raid, or perhaps you think I’m foolish to finish out Divine Fury rather than taking Healing Focus. I’d love to hear about tweaks that you make (and how they work for you), but for me this is my perfect spec – Renew-heavy, allowing me to stack haste, and with Desperate Prayer the only concession to keeping myself alive rather than focusing on my raid. Wynthea-holy-spec-final

Next Post: How to Build Disc

Luv,
Wyn

Healing Priest Guide: Part 1 – Talents

Healing Priest Guide: Part 1 – Talents

Banner---Trees

In 3.1, PvE Priests are in a good place. We have two distinct and raid-viable healing specs, and enough good places to put our talents that you can make arguments for several “cookie-cutter” builds.

When I first started rooting around in the WoW-blogosphere, I came upon a post over at Dwarfpriest that laid out each talent and what it did – and it helped me understand so much about my class mechanics that I thought I’d borrow a page from her grimoire and go over the trees as they stand now. (However, while she included our shadowy brethren, I won’t. Sorry guys, it’s not that I don’t love your replenishment you, it’s just that I’m not going to claim to be knowledgeable about that strange tree of yours.)

After introducing each talent, I’ll spend some time showing how to actually make a build – by walking you through mine, as well as other examples.

Discipline

A quick note on our beloved Disc tree: If you Google Priest Specs, you’ll likely find a lot of people talking about how Priests have “14 mandatory talent points.” (Sometimes they say 13.) What they really mean is that there are some talents in the Disc tree that are so universally outstanding that every Priest should take advantage of them – PvE, PvP, Holy, Disc, or Shadow. These talents are Twin Disciplines, Improved Inner Fire, and Meditation.  It takes 10 points in Discipline to get to Meditation and 3 to max it out. The 14th point is Inner Focus, which I agree should be considered mandatory. You can fool around a little in the 2nd tier with Improved Fort, Martyrdom, and Silent Resolve, but skipping those others will handicap any spec you try to put together.

Tier 1:

Unbreakable-Will Unbreakable Will: Reduces the duration of Stun, Fear, and Silence effects done to you by %6 per rank

Outstanding for PvP, but no longer the premiere choice for the first tier of a PvE build.

Twin-Disciplines Twin Disciplines: Increases the damage and healing done by your instant spells by 5% per rank.

This is your bread and butter for any PvE build. Renew, Circle of Healing, Prayer of Mending, Desperate Prayer, Holy Nova, PW:Shield, SW:Pain, SW:Death, Devouring Plague, Flash Heal and Smite (when made instant by Surge of Light), and the Glyph effects for both PW:Shield and Dispel Magic all benefit from this. You could make a strong argument for this in PvP as well.

Tier 2:

Silent-ResolveSilent Resolve: Reduces the threat generated by your Holy and Discipline Spells by 7% per rank (capped at 20%) and reduces the chance your helpful spells and damage over time effects will be dispelled by 10% per rank.

For PvE, the threat reduction can be helpful when running 5-mans with pugs, or on fights like Auriaya or Ignis where there’s a lot of raid healing and random adds popping up. For PvP, this keeps your DoTs ticking, and your Renews and PW:Shields where they belong.

Improved-Inner-Fire Improved Inner Fire: Increases the effect of your Inner Fire spell by 15% per rank, and increases the total number of charges by 4 per rank.

This will increase the Spell Power gained from 120 to 174, and the charges from 20 to 32. For PvP or PvE, you want this talent.

Improved-PWFort Improved Power Word: Fortitude: Increases the effect of you PW:Fort and Prayer of Fortitude spells by 15% per rank and increases your total stamina by 2% per rank.

As long as one Priest in the raid has this talent, the others could technically do without it, but you’ve got to put two points into something in this tier to get to the next level. For PvE, it should either be Silent Resolve or this. For PvP, Martyrdom would probably be a better choice; the 4% total gain to personal stamina is nice in PvP, but it’s not going to make or break you.

MartyrdomMartyrdom: Gives you a 50% chance per rank to gain the Focused Casting effect that lasts for 6 seconds after being the victim of a melee or ranged critical strike. The Focused Casting effect reduces the pushback suffered from damaging attacks while casting spells and decreases the duration of Interrupt effects by 10% per rank.

Brilliant for PvP (and in my opinion, more useful than Imp:Fort), but next-to-useless for PvE.

Tier 3:

MeditationMeditation: Allows ~17% per rank (50% at max) of your mana regeneration to continue while casting.

Disc, Holy, PvE, PvP, Shadow…. Take this talent, and max it out.

Inner-FocusInner Focus: When activated, reduces the mana cost of your next spell by 100%, and increases its critical effect chance by 25% if it is capable of a critical effect.

Priests argue whether this one is actually mandatory. To an extent, it’s a function of playstyle – I always use this for either Prayer of Healing or Divine Hymn since they are the most expensive. Because of that, I use this every time it’s off cooldown. The added crit also means an almost guaranteed Surge of Light and Serendipity proc. It’s also a nice last-ditch effort when you’ve run out of mana. Really, I just can’t figure out where you’d get more benefit from spending a single point.

Improved-PWShieldImproved Power Word: Shield:
Increases the damage absorbed by your PW:Shield by 5% per rank.

Brilliant for PvE or PvP disc builds. You also must max this out to access Soul Warding.

Tier 4:

AbsolutionAbsolution: Reduces the mana cost of your Dispel Magic, cure Disease, Abolish Disease, and Mass Dispel spells by 5% per rank.

For PvE-Disc, this can save you a TON of mana over the course of a fight like Hodir or Yogg-Saron. For PvP, don’t leave home without this – remember that you’re not only dispelling and curing your teammates, but offensively dispelling your opponents.

Mental-AgilityMental Agility:Reduces the mana cost of your instant cast spells by ~3% per rank. (Caps at 10%)

If you’re this deep in the Disc tree, you’re not going to be getting Surge of Light procs, but this still impacts Renew, Prayer of Mending, Desperate Prayer (if you took it), Holy Nova, PW:Shield, SW:Pain, SW:Death, Devouring Plague,and the Glyph effects for both PW:Shield and Dispel Magic. Not a bad place to put points to get you to the next tier.

Improved-Mana-BurnImproved Mana Burn: Reduces
the casting time of your Mana Burn spell by .5 seconds per rank.

Utterly useless for PvE. Absolutely essential for PvP.

Tier 5:

Reflective-ShieldReflective Shield:  Causes 22% or 45% of the damage your absorb with PW:Shield to reflect back at the attacker. This damage causes no threat.

Originally designed to work no matter who you had shielded, the code proved too complex. For now, this only works when the shield is on you. Pro for PvP, this has basically zero application in PvE.

Mental-StrengthMental Strength: Increases your total Intellect by 3% per rank

I think if this were lower in the Disc tree, it would become another “mandatory” talent. For raiding, Int. scales your replenishment and increases your crit. The total mana regen formula is also largely dependent on int. If that wasn’t enough, you also have to max this out to access Power Infusion.

Soul-WardingSoul Warding: Reduces the cooldown of your Power Word:Shield ability by 4 seconds, and reduces the mana cost of PW:Shield by 15%.

If you’re this deep into Disc, you already know that Shield is one of your most-cast spells. This removes the cooldown (why does it have that, anyway?), and makes it cheaper. You’ll get a lot of mileage out of this one point, especially PvE-ers with the 4-piece Tier 8 bonus. (+250 Spell Power after casting PW:S.) You have to max out Improved PW:S to take this.

Tier 6:

Focused-PowerFocused Power: Increases damage and healing done by your spells by 2% per rank. In addition, your Mass Dispel cast time is reduced by .5 seconds per rank.

PvE-ers will want the increase to spell power, and appreciate the cast-reduction on fights where Mass-dispel is needed. PvP-ers will want both effects. Highly Recommended.

Enlightenment Enlightenment: Increases your total Spirit and Spell Haste by 2% per rank.

Spirit will increase your mana return, and Spell Haste is becoming more and more important. You could argue about this talent, but it’s a very solid choice for PvE or PvP.

Tier 7:

Focused-WillFocused Will: At max rank, this increases your spell critical effect chance by 3%, and after taking a critical hit you gain the Focused Will effect, reducing all damage taken by 4% and increasing healing effects on you by 5%. Stacks up to 3 times, lasts 8 seconds.

In PvE, you can make a good argument for 3% crit. In PvP, this will increase your survivability tremendously. An interesting detail is that even when you’re wearing resilience gear, this talent will work if you WOULD have been crit, but a crit is prevented by your gear. Nice.

Power-InfusionPower Infusion: Infuses the target with power, increasing spell casting speed by 20% and reducing the mana cost of all spells by 20%. Lasts 15 sec.

This is one of the defining spells of a Discipline spec. Requires 5 points in Mental Strength. You can cast this on yourself, or make best-buddy friends with a mage.

Improved-Flash-HealImproved Flash Heal: Reduces the mana cost of your Flash Heal by 5% per rank, and increases the critical effect chance of your Flash Heal by 3% per rank (10% at max) on targets below 50% health.

 You’ll be Flash Healing whenever penance is on cooldown – even if you didn’t need these 3 points to get to the next tier, this talent would be a major part of the mana-efficiency that makes Discipline such a strong spec.

Tier 8:

Renewed-HopeRenewed Hope: Increases the critical effect chance of your Flash Heal, Greater Heal, and Penance (Heal) spells by 4% on targets afflicted by the Weakened Soul effect, and you have a 100% chance to reduce all damage taken by 3% for 20 seconds to all friendly party and raid targets when you cast PW:Shield.

So, when you shield someone, your major heals heal for more on them. You also reduce the total amount of damage they take, period, in addition to what is absorbed by the shield itself. This talent is amazing for either PvE or PvP.

RaptureRapture: At max rank, when your PW:S is completely absorbed or dispelled, you are instantly energized with 2.5% of your total mana, and you have a 100% chance to energize your shielded target with 2% total mana, 8 rage, 16 energy, or 32 runic power. This effect can only occur once every 12 seconds.

Getting mana back is a Very Good Thing, whether you’re killing bosses or player-opponents. Helping your team or raidmates have more resources is also a Very Good Thing. This talent is awesome for PvE, and due to the Dispel mechanic, equally so for PvP. Maybe more so.

Aspiration Aspiration: Reduces the cooldown of your Inner Focus, Power Infusion, Pain Suppression and Penance spells by 10% per rank.

As Disc, these are the spells that more or less make your spec. Allowing you to cast them more will allow you to do your job without always being on cooldown. PvE or PvP, you want this.

Tier 9:

Divine-Aegis Divine Aegis: Critical heals create a protective shield on the target, absorbing 10% per rank of the amount healed. Lasts 12 sec.

This provides an additional shield to Power Word:Shield, that scales with your Spell Power. As Disc, providing preemptive healing is one of your major benefits, especially as you venture further into single-target healing. A must-have for PvE, and a solid choice for PvP.

Pain-Suppression Pain Suppression: Instantly reduces a friendly target’s threat by 5%, reduces all damage taken by 40% and increases resistance to Dispel mechanics by 65% for 8 sec.

In PvE, 5% threat shouldn’t break a tank in a raid scenario – this is an excellent extra cooldown for those fights where the boss hits extra hard on a regular basis. (Think Mimiron Phase 1, or General Vezax). For PvP, the life you save could be your own, and it’ll even help you hang onto your PW:S and Renew.

Grace Grace: Your Flash heal, Greater Heal, and Penance spells have a 50% chance, per rank, to bless the target with Grace, increasing all healing received from you by 3%. This effect will stack up to 3 times. Effect lasts 15 seconds. Grace can only be active on one target at a time.

Maxed out, this gives you a 100% chance to increase your healing on one target by 3%, stacking up to 9%, for 15 seconds. I think you can manage to throw a Flash Heal or Penance every 15 seconds on your MT. Don’t skip this for PvE. For PvP, you’ll see less benefit from this, but in 2v2 or situations where one of your teammates is being focused, it can help a lot.

Tiers 10 & 11:

Borrowed-Time Borrowed Time: Grants 5% per rank spell haste for your next spell after casting Power Word: Shield, and increases the amount absorbed by your Power Word: Shield equal to 8%, per rank, of your spell power.

As if you needed another reason to cast PW:Shield. Maxing out at 25% spell haste after casting a Shield, and an additional 40% of your spell power added to the power of your Shield means more mitigation for raid damage or single-targets, and faster heals from you. A Disc on raid duty will use this for Prayer of Healing. On the Tank, it will help you drop faster Greater Heals (or anything else.) For PvP, this also synergizes well with Reflective Shield, dealing more damage to your attacker.

Pennance Penance: Launches a volley of holy light at the target, causing 375 Holy damage to an enemy, or 1484 to 1676 healing to an ally instantly and every second for 2 seconds.

Penance is a little funky, because of its dual nature. It ticks three times: Immediately, 1 second later, and 1 more second later. Each tick has the chance to crit (and proc Inspiration, Divine Aegis.) Talented, this 10 second cooldown is 8 seconds. You can glyph it down to 6.4, but remember: it has a 2 second channel time – so 2 of those 6 seconds don’t matter anyway. The damage range is 30 yards, the heal is 40. It’ll heal for something like 8-12k, and damage for 2-4k at lvl 80. This spell is AWESOME.

holy

A note on the Holy tree: as a rule of thumb, and especially in 25-man raid content, Discipline Priests will specialize in single-target (tank) healing, and Holy Priests in multi-target (raid) healing. So, Holy Priests will spend the mandatory 14 points in Disc, and Disc Priests will put enough points into Holy to get Inspiration, because of its huge benefits to tank healing. Discipline priests who don’t do this will find themselves at a serious disadvantage when healing tanks. I’m also operating under the assumption that serious PvPers will be spec’ing Disc, since it’s amazing right now, and the PvP applicable talents in the bottom of Holy are largely outshone by their Disc counter-parts. I’ll still point them out when they come up, however.

Tier 1:

Healing-FocusHealing Focus: Reduces the pushback suffered from damaging attacks while casting any healing spell by 35% per rank.

There’s some debate over how effective this talent is, compared to your other options in the holy tree. Basically, the only top-end fight where spell pushback is bad enough to kill you is Mimiron. If you find that you cannot survive this fight due to blasts, by all means take this talent – it, and a Paladin with improved concentration aura, will help your survivability immensely. For all other PvE encounters, there are better places to put the points. For PvP, this just might save your life, or your teammates – take it!

Improved-Renew Improved Renew: Increases the amount healed by your Renew spell by 5% per rank.

Synergizes exceptionally well with Empowered Renew, for those going deep Holy. For Disc builds working towards Inspiration, this is also an excellent choice, since Renew benefits from Mental Agility and Twin Disciplines. It won’t give you the full 5 points you need to get to Tier 2 talents, though. For PvP, I find it helpful to have a bigger spell that’s castable while mobile – and with all the help the Disc tree offers to keep your spells from being dispelled, there’s a high chance it will last long enough to do quite a bit of good.

Holy-Specialization Holy Specialization: Increases the critical effect chance of your Holy spells by 1% per rank.

Another good choice for Disc Priests working toward Inspiration, this is also worth maxing out as you work towards gear caps. Personally, I find that 25-30% Holy Crit (when fully raid buffed) provides a guaranteed Surge of Light proc off either Circle of Healing (especially when glyphed) or Prayer of Healing (especially with 2-piece T8 and/or Inner Focus activated). Once you’ve reached that soft cap, feel free to reduce the points here to take either Healing Focus or max something out further down the tree. For PvP, I personally take 2/2 Healing Focus and 3/3 Improved Renew to get to the next tier – there are talents that will provide more reliability and stamina that are more worth the points.

Tier 2:

Spell-Warding Spell Warding: Reduces all spell damage taken by 2% per rank.

I’ve seen suggestions that Spell Warding also helps on Mimiron, and other AoE-heavy fights in Ulduar. My opinion is that for 5 talent points I can either increase my PW:Shield to protect me from ALL damage, or increase my healing to keep me and the other people that I’m healing (can’t forget about them!) up through the damage. For PvP, however, this can save you against burst damage attacks from pesky mages, and the ongoing drain from warlocks.

Divine-Fury Divine Fury: Reduces the casting time of your Smite, Holy Fire, Heal, and Greater Heal by .1 seconds per rank.

If you find yourself grinding solo a lot, pick this up. If you find yourself using Greater Heal a lot (and check a combat log – don’t THINK you’re using it a lot, know.), pick this up. If you 2v2 or maybe 3v3 and need to be able to dps a little, pick this up. If you need points to get to 3rd tier talents, pick this up. If you need to find talents to put into something you KNOW will be more useful, do that. Most Disc Priests rely on Penance, Shield, and Flash Heal. Most Holy Priests rely on Flash Heal, Renew, and Circle of Healing. (not to mention Prayer of Healing….) This talent affects NONE of those, so you can safely rob points from it without getting anyone killed. You do need it maxed out to access Searing Light, so Holy-DPS builds will want it. (LoL-smite!!)

Tier 3:

Desperate-Prayer Desperate Prayer: Instantly heals you for 263-325. 2 min cooldown.

At lvl 80, this hits me for around 5-6k, and can crit. This point is all about personal playstyle. I have a bad habit of staying too long to get off just.one.more.heal. This helps keep me alive when I finally run away. If you find yourself not having any problems staying alive, feel free to skip it. For PvP, anything insta-cast that helps you is a good idea, so make sure you have this.

Blessed-Recovery Blessed Recovery: After being struck by a melee or ranged critical hit, Blessed Recovery heals you for 5% per rank of the damage taken over 6 seconds. Additional critical hits taken during the effect increase the healing received.

This talent is as mandatory for PvP as it is useless for PvE.

Inspiration Inspiration: Increases your target’s armor by 8% per rank (25% max) for 15 seconds after getting a critical effect from your Flash Heal, Heal, Greater Heal, Binding Heal, Penance, Prayer of Healing, or Circle of Healing.

Anyone planning to heal a tank is short-changing themselves if they don’t take this talent. (That should be everyone, even dedicated raid-healers. It proc’s off all your AoE heals, too.) For PvP, any increase in armor is a good thing when you’re wearing a dress.

Tier 4:

Holy-Reach Holy Reach: Increases the range of your Smite and Holy Fire spells and the radius of your Prayer of Healing, Holy Nova, Divine Hymn, and Circle of Healing spells by 10% per rank.

Holy Dpsers will want this for sure. For PvE healers, the current debate is whether 1 point is sufficient – I find that on AoE heavy, yet very spread out, fights like Deconstructer and Hodir, I appreciate any extra range I can get. Disc Priests can feel free to ignore this – If you’re going this far into Holy it’s for the next talent. PvPers will need to check their personal style – but most arenas are so mobile and small, that I doubt you’ll see much benefit.

Improved-Healing Improved Healing: Reduces the mana cost of your Lesser Heal, Heal, Greater Heal, Divine Hymn, and Penance spells by 5% per rank.

Very few Disc Priests will go this far into Holy, including PvPers. Personally, I DO take this talent in my Disc spec, (I steal 1 point from Rapture to do it), since it’s VERY SPECIFIC for General Vezax, and Rapture benefits on that fight are almost negligible. Holy Priests will likely need at least one point here to get to the next tier, but if you’ve looked at your combat log, and found that you don’t cast Greater Heal enough to justify these points, feel free to move them from this into something else.

Searing-Light Searing Light: Increases the damage of your Smite, Holy Fire, Holy Nova, and Penance spells by 5% per rank.

This requires 5 points in Divine Fury to unlock. PvE healers will find it utterly useless. HolyDPSers will love it. Disc PvP builds will have a hard time figuring out which points to steal from survivability viable talents to put into it.

Tier 5:

Healing-Prayers Healing Prayers: Reduces the mana cost of your Prayer of Healing and Prayer of Mending spells by 10% per rank.

With all the AoE damage in Ulduar, the T8 2-piece bonus (adds 10% crit chance to Prayer of Healing), the T7 2-piece bonus (adds an extra bounce to Prayer of Mending), and the fact that Prayer of Healing is now castable on ANY party in your raid…. you’d be mad not to max this out, because you will be spamming these spells.

Spirit-of-Redemption Spirit of Redemption: Increases total Spirit by 5% and, upon death, the Priest becomes the Spirit of Redemption for 15 seconds. The Spirit of Redemption cannot move, attack, be attacked, or targeted by any spells or effects. While in this form, the Priest can cast any healing spell free of cost. When the effect ends, the Priest dies.

This is your angel-form, and the beacon telling the raid that you have died. Again. I’ve been told that this is helpful after you die in PvP, but my opinion is that if you went Disc PVP instead of Holy PVP you’d probably still be alive. The reason all Holy Priests take this talent is for the 5% spirit. Increases your regen, and if you take Spiritual Guidance (why wouldn’t you?), your Spell Power.  You also have to take this if you want Lightwell.

Spiritual-Guidance Spiritual Guidance: Increases spell power by 5% per rank of your total Spirit.

You’re a Priest, so the vast majority of your gear will have a lot of Spirit. It’s likely that all of your blue sockets have either Spirit or Int/Spirit gems. You’ll get a lot of spell power out of this.

Tier 6:

Surge-of-Light Surge of Light: Your spell criticals have a 25% chance per rank to cause your next Smite or Flash Heal spell to be instant cast, cost no mana, but be incapable of a critical hit. This effect lasts 10 seconds.

Holy DPSers will like this one, too. Healers will find the mobility and mana-free benefits to Flash Heal (also great for stacking Serendipity back up after Prayer of Healing, since ProH will likely give you a proc) indispensable. The debate here is whether 2 points are required. Please note that this does not increase your chance TO CRIT, but rather for your crits to CAUSE A PROC. I keep 2 points in, because I like being able to count on this after a large amount of raid damage, and I find a noticeable reduction with only 1 point.

Spiritual-Healing Spiritual Healing: Increases the amount healed by your healing spells by 2% per rank.

Odd in that it increases healing but not damage, this should be considered mandatory for any Holy build.

Tier 7:

Holy-Concentration Holy Concentration: Your mana regeneration from Spirit is increased by ~16% per rank (50% max) for 8 seconds after you critically heal with Flash Heal, Greater Heal, Binding Heal, or Renew.

This talent is a large source of mana regen for any Holy Build. Don’t skip it.

Lightwell Lightwell: Creates a Holy Lightwell. Members of your raid or party can click the Lightwell to restore 4620 health over 6 seconds. Attacks done to you equal to 30% of your total health will cancel the effect. Lightwell lasts 3 minutes or 10 charges.

Most Priests who like this spell REALLY like it, and the rest of us call it LoLwell. If you can train your raid to use it properly, it can be very useful. You must take Spirit of Redemption to unlock it.

Blessed-Resiliance Blessed Resilience: Increases the effectiveness of your healing spells by 1% per rank, and critical hits made against you have a 20% chance, per rank, to prevent you from being critically hit again for 6 sec.

For Priests who insist on PvPing Holy, this is the entire reason you’re this deep in the tree. It is an amazing talent. The question is whether it’s more amazing than everything you give up in the Disc tree to get here, and I don’t think it is. The change to increase the effectiveness of your healing spells DOES add up in PvE, however, and if you’re soft-capped on crit, but don’t Greater Heal much, those points you robbed from Divine Fury and Improved Healing will stretch to this. HOWEVER, the amazing Sindaga did some great math over on the Elitist Jerks forums that suggests you’ll want to max out Test of Faith first. Ghostcrawler, if you’re reading this, I think this talent should be moved much further down in the tree – around where Divine Fury is. (actually, GC, if you’re reading this just make Greater Heal baseline 2.5 seconds and take Divine Fury out all together. Also, I’ll be asking for your autograph at Blizzcon!!)

Tier 8:

Body-and-SoulBody and Soul: When you cast Power Word:Shield, you increase the target’s movement speed by 30% per rank for 4 seconds, and you have a 50% chance, per rank, when you cast Abolish Disease on yourself to also cleanse 1 poison effect in addition to diseases.

Another very solid PvP talent, much too far down in the Holy Tree to do much good. (and since it would synergize so well with several talents in the Disc tree, I really do wonder why it’s located here at all…. GC?) However, aside from the situational use of the self-cleanse for poison, there are better places to spend the points for a PvE healing build.

Empowered-Healing Empowered Healing: Your Greater Heal spell gains an additional 8% per rank and your Flash Heal and Binding Heal gain an additional 4% per rank of your bonus healing effects.

Anything that increases your Flash Heal is huge at this point. Binding Heal (especially) and Greater Heal are just a bonus.

Serendipity Serendipity: When you heal with Binding Heal or Flash Heal, the cast time of your next Greater Heal or Prayer of Healing spell is reduced by 4% per rank. Stacks up to 3 times. Lasts 20 seconds.

With 3 stacks, this reduces the casting time of your Prayer of Healing by over a third. (36%) Mine are about 1.7 seconds, and I have less than 450 haste. While no longer glitched to allow 2 ProH casts, it’s still a huge benefit in fights like Freya and Deconstructor that involve predictable raid damage. With Surge of Light, it’s typical that your next Flash Heal will be instant to aid in re-stacking this. Do not skip this talent.

Tier 9:

Empowered-Renew Empowered Renew: Your Renew spell gains an additional 5% per rank of your bonus healing effects, and your Renew will instantly heal the target for 10% per rank of the total periodic effect.

In addition to adding more to an instant cast spell without a cooldown (great for fights where you’re running a lot – Hodir and Thorim, anyone?) it gives Renew a front-end instant heal like a Druid’s Rejuvenation. With Circle of Healing on a 6-second CD, this gives you a great option for a single player who needs a heal NOW. For you Holy PvPers, this is another heal that can’t be kicked. If you’re in this far anyway, take it along with Circle of Healing.

Circle-of-Healing Circle of Healing: Heals up to 5 friendly party or raid members within 15 yards of the target for 958 to 1058. 6 second cooldown.

The spell that changed the face of Holy Priesting. Still a powerhouse, even without being spamable – the range is increased by Holy Reach, the healing output increased by Twin Disciplines and Divine Providence, and it will nearly always proc a Surge of Light, which will then help you stack Serendipity.

Test-of-Faith Test of Faith: Increases healing by 4% per rank on friendly targets at or below 50% health.

This talent is an extension of the use effect of the Crystal Spire of Karabor. Maxed out, and combined with 2 points in Blessed Resilience, it makes for some interesting effects on Flash Heal and Binding heal – at the expense of Greater Heal. If you don’t have all 5 points to spare, you’re better off taking the crit from Holy Specialization, as this is situationally applicable. Unless you’re PvPing, in which case you already have 3 points in Blessed Resilience, which makes this a no-brainer.

Tiers 10 & 11:

Divine-Providence Divine Providence: Increases the amount healed by Circle of Healing, Binding Heal, Holy Nova, Prayer of Healing, Divine Hymn, and Prayer of Mending by 4% per rank, and reduces the cooldown of your Prayer of Mending by 8% per rank.

Circle of Healing, Binding Heal, Prayer of Healing, and Prayer of Mending are all in heavy rotation in Ulduar, and gain tremendous benefit from this talent. Max it out.

Guardian-Spirit Guardian Spirit: Calls upon a guardian spirit to watch over the friendly target. The spirit increases the healing received by the target by 40%, and also prevents the target from dying by sacrificing itself. This sacrifice terminates the effect, but heals the target of 50% of their maximum health. Lasts 10 seconds. 3 minute cooldown.

A talent worthy of capping a tree – this is amazing. You can glyph it to reduce the cooldown to 1 minute if the target doesn’t actually die, which would change it from an emergency button to a very frequently used part of your overall healing rotation. I’ve found that, due to the 40% increase to healing (from ALL healers, not just you), very often, the target doesn’t trigger the sacrifice. I’ve got mine macro’d to whisper the target that it’s on them, so that tanks know not to blow additional cooldowns. (and mages feel loved.)

Next Post: Building your spec

Luv,
Wyn

What’s in a Name, Pt. 2

Who's that rogue?

Some of you who’ve followed the blog for a while (and remember when I posted regularly enough to qualify as earning the spot down there on the footer…..) may remember that my guild transferred from a vewwy, vewwy small server to one that had an actual population. When that happened, there were some…. sour grapes, shall we say, from the #2 guild on our old server. (I’ll make a long story short: to read the longer version, please check out my QQ post.) As a result, I had to use the name “Wynthia.” A small change, to be sure, but given my association with this blog, my twitter account, and my email address….not to mention my VERY IDENTITY, I was upset.

Enter my savior, a WoM reader named Corgii. (Shout out!!!) Corgii let me know that I could ticket a GM, tell them about the never-logged-on lvl 1 bogarting my name, and take it back. This had honestly never occurred to me. Oh, sure, I had the little usurper on my friends list… I even sent them 1 gold in the mail to see if they ever, EVER logged on… (they didn’t. My gold came back twice.) But actually asking Blizz to fix it? Hadn’t crossed my mind.

So I did.

And it worked!!!!

I got a free name-change back to my old self. The GM even stayed on to make sure it all worked properly. (Say what you will about Blizz customer service, I’ve only ever had STELLAR experiences with my GM’s. One even gave me a cookie!)

The only downside? Since UI settings are stored by character name, my UI ‘sploded a little, and took a few minutes to sort out.

But now I have a question: I used to be the only Wynthea on the armory. (There was a lvl 11 druid, but that was one of my alts.) Now there’s a rogue. Troll Female. Where did she come from?

Luv,
Wyn

Blizzcon Bound!

Matticus, Lodur, and Wynthea will all be attending Blizzcon ’09! We’ll be divvying up the con to make sure we get to see and hear everything, so here’s what we need from you:

1. Will you be there? We want to meet you!

2. If you won’t, but you have questions for us to ask on your behalf, we’d love to know!

3. There may be some schwag-related giveaways, so keep your eyes on WoM for upcoming contests!!

See you there!

Luv,
Wyn

Breaking News: Internet Cables cut

Via EnGadget

There are 4 cables that run under the Mediterranean Sea to connect the internet servers in Europe and Asia. 3 of them have been severed – we don’t know how or why, although it’s probably a shipping accident. There are a couple of impacts to this:

  • The three cables involved carry about 75% of telecom traffic to the region. A lot of the traffic between Europe and Asia is being re-routed through the US.

  • This means your guildies playing from New Zealand and Australia may have connection issues until this is resolved, and anyone playing on Asian servers from North America will have similar issues.
  • Heavily loaded US servers may run more slowly

Thought you’d like to know – I’ll update as more information is available.

Luv,
Wyn

Reader Request: Wyn’s Guide to Northrend Reputation

Reader Request: Wyn’s Guide to Northrend Reputation

Rep

Thanks for voting in the Poll. I still can’t believe this won, but since it did, I’ll do my best to give you the best information available.

Once you hit 80, and the xp grind is over, a new grind starts – this time for reputation and gear. There are really only 3 reasons to grind rep: Gear upgrades, Profession needs, and vanity items. The best way to start churning out rep for ANY faction is to start doing quests in the zone where you find the majority of their NPC’s. After that, some factions will allow you to wear their tabbard into heroic dungeons and gain rep for them, regardless of the zone-location of the instance, while for others you’ll have to diligently knock out daily quests. Either way, it takes some planning to know which factions are worth it. I’m not listing EVERYTHING that’s available for each rep-level with each faction. I doubt you, as a healer, care much about non-spellpower shields and 2H axes.

Wyn’s Guide to Northrend Reputation

Horde Expedition

  • The Hand of Vengeance
  • The Sunreavers
  • The Taunka
  • Warsong Offensive

Alliance Vanguard

  • Explorer’s League
  • The Frostborn
  • The Silver Covenant
  • Valiance Expedition

This is a group of factions, and your rep with the umbrella faction will depend directly on your rep within each of the sub-factions. As you do quests for the sub-factions, 1/2 of the rep is also counted toward the main faction – WoWwiki explains it well: “For example, doing a quest for the Valiance Expedition, earning you 250 reputation with the Valiance Expedition, also gives 125 reputation with the Alliance Vanguard. Therefore, you must have two of the four sub-factions at Exalted in order to be exalted with the Alliance Vanguard, or the equivalent amount of reputation spread across all four.” Got it? Additionally, most dungeons will give you Rep for this faction as default when you’re not wearing the tabard of another faction.

For Horde, you can purchase these items from either Gara Skullcrush in Warsong Hold or Sebastian Crane in Vengeance Landing.
Allies, do your shopping with Logistics Officer Silverstone at Valiance Keep or Logistics Officer Brighton at Valgarde.

Revered:

Exalted

Wyn’s Verdict: The truth is, by the time you’re revered with these factions, you’ll probably have had access to better equipment in both slots, either from non-heroics, heroics, or quest-rewards. However, if you PvP, that head glyph* is going to be a MUST. If you are an engineer, you will almost certainly want to be able to make the motorcycles. If you are an engineer that PvP’s, you got lucky – since you don’t have to farm an otherwise useless faction for only one item. *Note: These slot-enchants USED to be called “glyphs” in Classic and BC. To avoid confusion with stuff made via Inscription, they’re now called Arcanums. I’m still calling them Glyphs, because it was going to be confusing either way.

Argent Crusade

The new and improved version of the Argent Dawn, the Crusade has a few bases around Northrend:

  • Argent Vanguard, on the borders of Icecrown and Storm Peaks
  • Dawn’s Reach, in Dragonblight
  • Light’s Breach, in Zul’Drak
  • The Argent Stand, in Zul’Drak

I found quite a few quests for AC rep in Zul’Drak – so that’s probably where you’ll want to start. There are also two daily quests: Slaves to Saronite and Pa’Troll.

There’s a small bug with Pa’Troll that is worth noting: Pa’Troll is a quest that requires you to go to 4 individuals around the zone, and do a quest for each of them, so it’s kind of 5-quests-in-one. The first time you get the quest (when it’s NOT a daily), go to Alchemist Finklestein and complete The Alchemist’s Apprentice. This involves you picking up 4 random things off the shelves in his lab – very easy. Turn in The Alchemist’s Apprentice for an easy 250 rep, and abandon Pa’Troll. Go back to the Argent Stand, re-accept Pa’Troll, and go back to the Alchemist. Lather, rinse, repeat until you’re exalted. I had a few people in my guild grind to exalted in a few hours, just repeating the Alchemist’s Apprentice.

When you’re ready to make your purchases, you’ll find Quartermaster Aliocha Segard at the Argent Vanguard in Icecrown. (Be aware, she’s stuck under a tent, in the back. It’s kind of a pain to find at first.)

Friendly

Honored

Revered

Exalted

Wyn’s Verdict: You’ll probably want to farm Exalted with this one, since that ring is pretty nifty. The gear in the Honored range is really just gravy – I’m sure you can get better from running the dungeons it’ll take you to finish out to Exalted. The JC pattern is a tanking pattern, but the Spellthread is one tailors wil be able to sell for cash. (You won’t use it yourself, since it’s on-par with the trainable tailor-only thread.)

Kirin Tor

The ruling mages of Dalaran. This faction is related to BC’s Violet Eye – but all those Kara runs won’t help you get any of their rewards in this xpac. Most of the rep gains will be from doing quests in Borean Tundra, around Amber Ledge and in Coldarra, and wearing the Tabard. The Daily cooking and dungeon quests also give Kirin Tor rep.

Friendly

Honored

Revered

Exalted

Wyn’s Verdict: You can’t get around needing a helm-enchant. It’s a gotta-do. And if you want the one with Crit, here’s your faction. JC’ers will definitely want the Exalted gem pattern – it’ll be a big money-maker on the AH, and all the casters in your guild will want it. Tailors will have guildies asking them for the spellthread, mostly for PvP gear, but maybe for some Shammies.

Knights of the Ebon Blade

These are your Death-Knights-turned-good-guys. They do have a base in good ol’ EPL, but for Northrend purposes, you’ll first meet them at Ebon Watch in Zul’Drak. Their main quest hub and Quartermaster, Duchess Mynx, are in Icecrown at the Shadow Vault. You cannot access the Quartermaster until you take back the Vault – a phased quest line which starts with It’s All Fun and Games and is available at lvl 77.
Friendly

Honored

Revered

Exalted

Wyn’s Verdict: Again, Jewel Crafters are going to want to farm this, for completion’s sake, and to fill special orders. The gloves at Revered are really quite nice, especially if you prefer questing to instancing. Tailors will want to make the Warlocks in their lives happy, and most casters will be very impressed with that belt (even without any regen.)

The Kalu’ak
These rather loveable Walrus-people have quest hubs on the southern coasts of Borean Tundra, Dragonblight, and Howling Fjord. Each zone has one daily quest for the faction. The quartermaster, Sairuk, is southeast of the inn at Moa’ki Harbor.
Friendly

Honored

Revered

Exalted

Wyn’s Verdict: Ask all of your JC’s VERY NICELY to pick up that gem pattern at Friendly. Buy them cookies, if necessary. Those of us that fish will want the fishing pole – it’s now the best in the game. Those that collect pets will definitely want the penguin- he’s adorable. For raiders, I would say this is a faction that can wait, since you’ll replace the gear from Honored rather quickly, and none of it is essential for boss-killing.
The Sons of Hodir

Based at Dun Niffelem in the Storm Peaks, this is a cool, lore-based faction, tying into a war with Loken and the titans. These ice giants start out aggressive to you, and you have to do a quest chain starting with They Took Our Men! in K3 to be able to talk to them. Once you’ve completed the quest chain, there are only two ways to earn rep: dailys, and turning in rather hard-to-find items called Everfrost Chips. If you don’t find any chips, it’ll take you 8 days from Friendly to Honored, 8 more for Honored to Revered, and 11 from Revered to Exalted. The Quartermaster, Lillehoff, is inside Dun Niffelem. He’s the big ice giant. Heh.
Honored

Revered

Exalted

Wyn’s Verdict: If you’re not a Scribe (Inscriber? Inscriptionist?) farming this to exalted is essential. JCs and Tailors will will want the patterns anyway, and the mounts are a nice money-sink if you swing that way. Also, this faction has some pretty cool dalies – you don’t have to run all over the place like you did with Ogri’la, and killing the Wild Wyrm is really pretty exciting.

The Wyrmrest Accord

Another example of Blizzard using the lore much earlier in the levelling experience, you’ll find the Wyrmrest Temple in Dragonblight. Joined together against Malygos’ perversion of the Blue Dragonflight, the other Dragon-factions have decided to enlist your help. Quests throughout Dragonblight will give you Wyrmrest rep (say that 3x fast), but there are also 3 daily quests and a tabard to wear in heroic dungeons. Rep rewards can be purchased from Cielstrasza, who is on the very top level of the temple, along with the queen.

Friendly

Honored

Revered

Exalted

Wyn’s Verdict: Your other helm-enchant option comes from this faction. Depending on the rest of your gear, you’ll probably want the Mp5 option over the Crit from the Kirin Tor, but that’s pretty much personal preference. Tailors who are enchanters will certainly want the bag, and this is going to be another long slog for JCers. The gear is relatively meh compared to what you’ll pick up in heroics as you grind the rep, but I know a lot of people will want the Mount. And it DOES look pretty cool.

These last two factions are a little different, in that their rep gains are inversely linked. Once you choose one, you’ll be hated by the other. I’ll go over how you choose between them at the bottom – it can be a little confusing.

The Frenzyheart Tribe

These little badger people are not as cuddly as they look, since they tend to ask you to do mean things to The Oracles – who lived in Sholazar basin first. Once you’re affiliated with the Frenzyhearts (see below), you’ll have to do daily quests to farm the rest. The dailies It takes about 8 days to hit Revered from Honored, and 12 or so more for Exalted. Buy your loot from Tanak.

Friendly

Revered

Exalted

Wyn’s Verdict: I’m never really as impressed with the gear from rep factions as I am with the gear from instance-grinding. But, again, if you’re a solo player, there are some solid choices here. Of course, if you’re a solo player, I’ll need to ask you why you’re healy-spec’d. The haste trinket seems pretty useless for casters. A word on the Pet-jar: The one you buy has to ferment for 7 days before it becomes a pet… it’s kind of like letting your fridge marinate long enough to spawn intelligent life. It also has a small chance to give you a reusable Wolvar costume, so once you hit Revered, you can buy one of those suckers every week for your chance.

The Oracles

The Oracles are a sort of super-murloc. I find them rather endearing, what with their naive devotion to the relics of the Titans, quickness to forgive you for fraternizing with the Frenzyheart, and love for “shinies.” Friendly

Revered

Exalted

Wyn’s Verdict: I think this exalted trinket is better for casters than the Frenzyheart one, but that’s not to say it’s a particularly good trinket. If you’re grinding this rep, it’s more than likely for the Egg, which is even MORE special than the jar of ooze. Like the jar, you have to hold onto the egg for 7 days before it will give you a pet. The egg can give you one of FOUR pets, and has a VERY RARE chance to give a Green Proto-Drake mount.

Okay, both the Frenzyheart and the Oracles are located in Sholazar Basin. As you quest through the Nessingwary lines, you’ll eventually meet up with the Frenzyhearts – who will have you do some rather disrespectful things to the Oracles. Eventually, you’ll be given a quest to kill an Oracle caught in a trap… but the only option presented to your character is to talk to the Oracle, and let him go free. This doesn’t sit well with the Frenzyheart, who are watching your every move for signs of disloyalty. You are then forgiven by the Oracles, and start doing quests for them. Eventually, clearing out the zone will lead you to another, seemingly unrelated, chain: A Hero’s Burden. The final quest here has you fighting Artruis the Heartless in a cave – and this nasy piece of work has enslaved both an Oracle and a Frenzyheart. In order to kill him, you must choose which one of them to save, and which to kill. The one you save is the faction you choose, starting you at honored rep – so don’t let it catch you off guard. If you make a mistake, it’s okay – the quest to kill Artruis is a repeatable daily, so you can always go back tomorrow and kill the other one. Now, if you’re a title or achievement collector, you should know that farming to exalted with the Frenzyheart will give you the title Frenzyheart Tribe, while exalted with the Oracles gives you THe Oracles. If you do first one, then the other (the order doesn’t matter), you can also call yourself a Mercenary of Sholazar.

The Bottom Line

The majority of raiding healers will need to farm their Sons of Hodir dailies every day for their shoulder enchants, and will need to pick either the Kirin Tor or Wyrmrest tabards to wear in heroics untill they get their helm-glyph. You’ll also probaby want to toss in Argent Crusade for the ring.

Scribes don’t have to farm Sons of Hodir, since their profession-only shoulder enchants are better. Jewel crafters, tailors, and leatherworkers will have a pleasant boredom-free time in the xpac, since they need revered or exalted with nearly every faction (and sometimes conflicting factions) to complete their pattern-lists.

People who like mounts and pets will want to farm Kalu’ak, Wyrmrest, Sons of Hodir, and both Sholazar Basin factions.

Update as I went to publish: Check out the lovely Seri’s perspective at Snarkcraft.

Luv,
Wyn

What’s In a Name

What’s In a Name

Wynthia copy

 

My guild made the decision to transfer to a larger server – seems like the opposite of the trend right now, what with all the free transfers to small servers, but we’ve found that recruiting and raiding at an end-game level are infinitely more difficult when your ONLY recruiting source is off-server, and you have to do all your own farming due to artificially high AH prices.

A few days ago, our officers told us they had narrowed it down to two servers, and the idea was bandied around that we may want to reserve our names.

“Silly. I’m the only Wynthea on the armory, and have been for years. The level 11 is my alt. No one will have my name.”

I’m sure you can guess where this is going.

Someone – either in my own guild as a joke, or, more likely, from our rival guild on our old server – registered my name.

I am not amused.

(before you ask why I think it might’ve been the other guild, quite a few of our more prominent members’ names were also registered. Uncommon, not found on a cool t.v. show or book names.)

Aside from my identity as associated with World of Matticus, I have an email address, a twitter, and a close affinity with this name. I know many people *cough*Matt*Cough* are perfectly comfortable hitting the “random” button, and wearing whatever comes out of it for the rest of their toon’s life.

I am not. I spend, quite literally, hours naming a character that I plan to play extensively. Hours.

I research the meanings, the language of origin, and imbue the name with a personality before the character selection screen even comes up.

Trivia, for the interested: Wynthea, meaning “healer” is a Welsh-spelling of a Hebrew name. My mother’s family is Welsh, and my own real name is Hebrew. The name holds quite a bit of significance for me.

My character is currently named “Wynthia.” Not a huge distinction, I suppose………. and one that I will remedy as soon as possible. But it bothers me. A lot.

Anyway, if you’re looking for me, I’m currently Wynthia *wince* on Firetree.

Oh, wait, I guess I should make this more than a Rant-post.

If you are considering creating a character, for RP purposes or not, but you want a name that actually carries weight, and means something – “noobpwnerx” I’m looking at you – there are some really great resources on the vast interweb. First, though, you need to have an idea of what you want.

Wyn’s character-naming guide

1. Start thinking about what you want the character to be, and to do. Before I name a character, I come up with an attribute I’d like the name to mean.

For example, if you’re creating a character to PvP, you may think about words like “Victorious” or “War-like”

For a bank alt, you may want something meaning “Wealthy.”

Just think about words that mean something you’d like the character to embody.

Whatever you do, do NOT name your character after something you really liked in a currently-popular book or movie. Old books are fine – for example, Renwein (my Human Priest) is named after a relatively obscure character in Arthurian Literature. It’s also possible it wasn’t even her name, but just a generic word for “maiden.” Bonus points if you go look it up.

2. Pull up a baby-name website.

This one freaked my last boyfriend out when he found it in my internet-history. One of my favorites is Baby Names World, because it allows you to search by meaning, and create lots of fun filters.

It also allows you to filter by gender and language of origin.

3. Google a search like “Names meaning….”

If you don’t like anything on a standard baby-site, just give Google a shot. This is actually how I found Wynthea.

4. Refine your choices.

You need to pick a couple. If you’re creating a Female Human Prot-Warrior, and like Irish names, be aware that “Bridget” (means Strong) will probably already be taken.

Say them out loud a few times. People will be trying this on vent, so don’t spend all this time creating a name just to hear it butchered every day.

See what abbreviations you come up with. Wynthea shortens rather handily to Wyn, which is an awesome nickname. (Full of wyn, for the wyn… it’s an unexpected thing I really love about the name.)  

Make sure it’s relatively easy to type. Elves especially seem to have a hard time with this one. I had a friend named Randirardhon who a) hated to be called Randi, and b) couldn’t figure out why people had such a hard time typing it out.

5. Name your new best friend.

Or alter-ego. However it works for you.

Then get really upset when some Jerk steals your name. (Yes, I know that reaction is probably exactly what they wanted….. )

 

My next post(s) are coming, as promised. I just can’t believe you guys wanna read about REP FACTIONS. That’s not one I had 1/2 prepared. That was “no one will choose this” poll-filler. Argh!

 

Luv,
Wyn

New Poll: Decide Wyn’s Next Topic

You know you want to. I’ll write all of these posts, eventually, but tell me which one I should work on for this week. I’ll have it up over the weekend:

Which site hosting does your guild use?

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The Return of the Gangsta

I always wanted to use that in a relevant context…. my apologies to Coolio, but I hear Outkast in my head….

Hi. How are you?

Yes… I’ve been gone for a few months. I know, I know.

It’s not that I haven’t been thinking about you – I have. It’s just that I work in the finance industry, and things got a little crazy for a while. Then there was the election, the expansion, the Turkey…..

And the whole time, Matt kept quietly hinting that maybe he’d like me to come back and write some content. Maybe the Horde is under-represented… maybe… maybe the world needs a little more Troll to brighten it up.

And it hits me like a ton of Twitter-requested messages:

You have to make time for things that are important to you. Whether it’s WoW in general, working out, your relationships, or blogging. If you wait until inspiration strikes to be productive, you’ll at best limit yourself to spurts of creativity and at worst, end up slowly not doing anything at all.

(See: Inertia)

So, my apologies. To Matt, for not being the disciplined buddy he’s always been to me. (And for not taking the time to put a headline image on this – i figured better to get it posted than to procrastinate further.) To Syd, for recruiting her and then running-running-running away. (Hey! She’s an amazing and therefore intimidating co-blogger!) To all of you, for leaving you in a world devoid of fabulous Red Mohawks. And mostly to myself, for burning out and giving up on my passion for so long.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for writing.

Some things I’ve been working on:

  • My gear upgrade spreadsheet. (it’s as laborious as it sounds. Thanks to DwarfPriest for the starting point.)

  • My rep-faction grind
  • Achievements (Yes, they’re mostly frivolous….but some aren’t.)
  • Professions
  • Updating my UI

Drop me a line in the comments and let me know what you’d like to hear about first, and I’ll make that the subject of my next post. And it will come out by the end of the weekend – I promise. (I’m very good with deadlines.)

Thanks again, to all of you that wrote to say you missed me…. it really did mean a lot.

Luv,

Wyn