The Beta Experience So Far

*Some light Cataclysm spoilers are in the post*

I’ve been spending a lot of time in the beta recently in between raids. A lot of peole ask me “Why? Don’t want you want to enjoy the experience when its all polished and stuff?” Yes and no. I plan to rocket my Priest to 85. That’s a directive I’ve issued to the guild. We’ll begin raiding operations the moment we have the man power to do so. For the most part, everyone’s bought into that idea. I’m taking the time right now in the beta to explore the world and try out different quests and really take in the sights. For me, the game has always started at the end. The levels in between were just a means to it. But with so many changes I noticed when flying around, I’m going to have to level at least 1 alt to see what’s been happening to the world.

Andorhal a three way between Scourge, Undead, and Alliance forces? Hogger in Stockades? Alliance offensive in Southern Barrens? What’s going on here!?

I want to talk about beta testing for a moment.

I think there are different categories of beta testers. Some like to sit in a city, and cast spells over and over to make sure it functionally works.  Others prefer to fly around all over the landscape and note any rocks that don’t seem to fit or waterfalls that disappear into open air. Players like me prefer to actually do stuff in a practical environment where all these skills can be applied. And others like to wipe repeatedly to test out new boss mechanics. Each person has their own specialty and preference. So if you have access to beta, don’t waste it please. There are a large number of people I know that want to get in and want to help prepare the game for launch. Play the game and send in some feedback. It kills me when I find out about people with beta access who only log in once or twice, complain about its incompleteness, then never go back in again.

If anyone has a spare key, I know a certain Priest from wow.com who would love to test numbers while standing in a capital city.

Chakra

I had a few people inquire as to my thoughts regarding on Chakra.

In a word, I like it.

I hope this iteration of it makes it through until release. If you’re not quite sure about it yet, I encourage you to check out Derevka’s post and his video:

Conceptually I understand it. For me right now, the difficulty lies in executing. I’ve been working on getting into 5 mans and attempting to try different specs and cast sequences. More thought on Cataclysm healing will come later though. I’m going to record a few videos myself healing in the beta and provide commentary while doing so.

It’s a definite unique addition to our class and I hope to master it and share the details with you (to at least help ease the transition process).

If you’re curious about the new Holy Word: Chastise and how it interacts with Chakra, I shot a brief video of my own here:

State of healing

Heal, the spell, needs to work. I feel like I’m doing this handicapped.

Still not sold on the whole DPS and heal mechanic. I have enough mental bandwidth to do one or the other really well, but not both. The game needs to slow down a lot before that can happen. This is coming from a guy who’s played his share of RTS’s and FPS’s and has been able to “read” the play and make the appropriate responses to the situations at hand.

The typical situation I’m encountering in a 5 man goes something like this:

Group has taken half damage.
Tank is continually taking damage.
Matt’s mana is less than 30% and will be empty within the next 20 or so seconds at the rate of consumption.
Do I DPS and utilize those mana returning talents? Or do I drop the quick or group wide heals to bring everyone else back to full and sink my mana even further?

For me, the latter will always take priority. I am watching mana a lot closer than usual. I can’t help but think that if Heal were to hit for the appropriate amount, I’d have a different read. I’m still falling back to Flash Heal or Greater Heal as my answers to the time vs efficiency deal.

I can’t say I’ve ever chosen to use my DPS options. Ever. My job in the game right now is to heal. Its what I chose. I like having the option to chip in on DPS once in a while if I can afford to, but I should not have to rely on DPSing in order to carry out my role as a healer.

About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.