Tuesday, 24 January 2012

I ain't dead

I mean, I'm not more dead than an undead's dead. Try and say that quickly out loud without sounding like you're quacking, it's not possible.

It's good to see a bunch of you guys are still going strong and I've been enjoying catching up with your escapades over the past couple of days. I must offer my heartiest gzs to Saga who completed her Project Ten personal achievement recently, something I'm working on myself (slowly. Very slowly. Painfully slowly). Gz!

Fact of the matter is being self-employed means that, despite my efforts to keep to 'normal office hours', I end up working long days, and at weird times. Things took off quicker than expected, which is obviously awesome and great but did impact personal projects like CtL and, you know, the playing of games.

As those of you who read a while back will know, I'm pretty big on end-game and raiding, and I would still say that most of my best WoW experiences have been during raids. However, a combination of my erratic schedule and the guild blasting through DS and then getting bored and going off to Skyrim or SW:ToR means that I've never even set foot in that place. However, despite my fling with Skyrim, I've surprised myself by how much enjoyment I can get out of levelling and doing HCs at my own pace, especially now it's not restricted to the ZA/ZG grind, which has led to my own Project Ten going from two to four level 85s.

Reala, Holy Priest, main, loves her Sinisster Squashling
Jackall, Affliction Warlock, hopeless DPS but fun to play
Hollow, Blood Death Knight, undead female melee animations ftw
Zincs, Holy Paladin, goes from 0 to Cooking Mama in one tabard

So there you have it, I still play at least a little most days, there are the new 85s to prove it, and hopefully I'll be posting again soon.


Friday, 2 September 2011

Unfriendly Fire

What happens when you put an out of practice Holy Priest with ilvl359 gear, who has experience up to and NOT INCLUDING Nefarian in to 10-man Ragnaros? Click the Lightwell went in to find out!

Let me put it this way, I'm still patting the fire out on my robes, the embroidery is ruined.

Raid: Firelands 10 man Normal
Boss: Ragnaros

Comp: Tanks x2, Healers x3, DPS x5

Now I can't speak for those who have got to this stage normally, i.e. DOING ANY OTHER BOSS IN THE RAID EVER. So this is less raid analysis and more a hilarious (and painful) anecdote, and an interesting experience.

It's worth mentioning that:

In fact I was enjoying Deus Ex, which as you all know is effing superb (What? You don't? Go educate yourself.) when MiniMorvel kindly invited me to heal a 'bloggers Zulroic'. It was only when I got there and saw who else was in the group that I realised it was a group made almost entirely of the alts of healers. I'd tell you what happens when you fill a group with healers but what happens in Zul'Aman stays in Zul'Aman.

So, Raggy, it's worth mentioning that I was the only one in the group who hadn't been before. I was initially completely fail at avoiding the waves of lava caused by Sulfuras Smash. This surprised me as I rarely have an issue with slow-moving get Out Of The Way mechanics. I'm only playing WoW on and off at the moment though, much less raiding, much less raiding several bosses above my station. The result of which was severe tunnel-vision on my UI, in the end my raid leader (also a healer) suggested I pay more attention to the tactics for now and he'd pick up the slack. This was good advice, everyone else knew what to do so I had a little room to be slower on heals and quicker on getting out of the way of various forms of creatively entitled fire.

After a couple of wipes I was avoiding them completely and had P1-2 tactics pretty much down, between DBM and my raid leader's well-timed calls, wasn't missing a trick all the way in to phase 3. However, our set up and composition meant that losing any DPS made phase 3 a real struggle, in the end we didn't down him that night. Living Meteor gave me a hell of a run the one time it targeted me and I realised I had no instant offensive spell readily available to me, so I ran around screaming for a bit with my spellbook open all over my UI and slammed Shadow Word: Death. It was too late though. Lesson learned, SW:D is in one of my action bars.

The ability that really kept catching me out though was Engulfing Flames and this frustrated me. Maybe I was just too tired by this point but I could not react fast enough when I know that's not normally a problem. I'd like to see how I handle this on a second run through, hopefully it was just fluke spaziness.

The last point to mention is that I was surprised at how well my mana was holding up since this is still normally an issue in raids (not at all in HCs). We had two healing priests and a Shadow priest, so 3 Hymn of Hope potentials plus other class cooldowns at our disposal, but I found I could go for a good while without using it (I was popping Shadowfiend early though, around 70% mana).

I felt pretty guilty about the wipes that could be attributed, at least in part, to me but on the other hand I'm totally out of practice and the encounter is far above my gear level. I still managed to have a great time with good friends and guildies though, epic win.


Friday, 3 June 2011

Recent Raids Revisited

Thought I'd chime in on what it's like to revisit bosses after a short break from raiding. We did Maloriak and Atramedes, everyone was better geared and many of us have downed these two at least three or four times now.

Maloriak went down first time without a hitch. It's not surprising how much more you can notice when you're not tunnel-visioned on green bars suddenly dipping (better-geared tanks) or mana bar creeping towards empty (better geared me). From cosmetic things like getting a chance to watch player and boss animations and effects to being able to mitigate far more effectively because you can physically see something about to happen and start casting before the fact. This makes for a much more pleasant healing and raiding experience and fewer panic heals = more mana. Always nice.

Atramedes, never too much of a mana-problem fight due to the relatively heal-quiet air phase, took a few gos, mainly due to silly mistakes (one of which was mine, I made a poor directional decision to avoid a slinky and of course ended up being the one having to kite flame right across the tank, no-one died though) which made me realise how far the balance of tacs to gear was weighted more heavily on the tacs side, which is no bad thing.

I picked up Jar of Ancient Remedies which I haven't had much of a chance to use yet, would be interested to hear from anyone making use of it.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Blog watch: Maei's a Bastard Edition

So when I'm at work working where I work, I don't get a chance to eat nice food. My so-called 'friend' Maei, however, is still a small child who never goes to school and instead taunts me with stories of the delicious noms he has throughout the day. He's posted an (admittedly very funny) video about it that's completely not accurate.

Oh, he has a new WoW blog by the way.


PS. If he offers you a sandwich from under his shirt, avoid eye-contact and politely decline.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Tier 12 armour viewer: How shiny are YOU?

WoWhead has a really neat 3D model viewer for the tier 12 sets - you choose your class, race,gender and even colour of the set. I miss the high level armour sets tool that the official site used to have but this looks like a great alternative.


Click the Flamewell: 4.1 and 4.2 PTR impressions

Having had a bit more of a chance to play without as much danger of a RL sleep debuff wiping my group, I feel that I now can give some proper opinion on the latest live patch.


I like the Guild Finder, but it feels like it should still be on the test realms in it's current state. Not because it's buggy, but because it feels decidedly incomplete. An addition of specific weekday requirements as well as the ability to use it while guilded are, in my opinion, essential - with the addition of guild perks pretty much everyone's alts are guilded too, I had to make a new character to check out the guild finder. I also would make it not possible to leave the 'description' part of guild entries blank - the other information provided is as useful as seeing the guild plate above someone's head. Similarly I would like to be able to call up more information about a guild that looks interesting, such as an introduction and links to websites.

I have benefited from the Dungeon Finder's Call to Arms a couple of times, never with very good loot but nevertheless a good incentive. Queue times have been lightning but I'll be interested to see how they're affected once everyone's settled into the patch.

"A dead player can now be resurrected by targeting them using the Party or Raid Frame even if they have released. No more hunting for corpses." THANK YOU.

I''m thoroughly enjoying endless Chakra. Holy now feels like there's specs within specs as it's less of a Chakra dance, which promoted more swapping between them (or accidentally setting off Sanctuary in 5-mans because you forgot your Chakra was up when casting PoM pre-pull. Not that I ever, ever did that). Similarly the removal of another unnecessary refresh in the form of Inner Fire is welcome. I haven't had a chance to use the new and improved Sanctuary, but it's pretty.

It's good to finally get to run the Zul'Aman and Zul'Gurub instances, I haven't been playing long enough to have done them at  70 so they were an entirely new experience to me. I feel they're a good addition to Heroics both visually and mechanically, but I think we'll see a some similar nerfing down the line. Most bosses are fine but I find the end bosses easier than a few of the others which doesn't feel right.

4.2 PTR

There's only one thing I really want to talk about in this early stage of the next patch's PTR presence: Cauterizing Flames; the healing priest 4-piece set bonus for tier 12.

Lightwell 2? Flamewell? I'm going to need more abusive macros. Lightwell remains a Holy priest's most theoretically effective ability, I'm sure you can guess what the operative word is there. In fairness I've seen more and more lightwell-aware players recently (Lightaware?) but do they need yet another thing to click on? Or will it encourage clicking good stuff ass a matter of course? We shall see.

It's an interesting addition for disc though, which reinforces my impression of disc (which I play as for dailies but not in groups and occasionally in raids) as a heavy utility spec with Inner Focus and Pain Suppression and talents which proc. It's no bad thing, in fact these little tricks are what give disc it's charm, especially now they're (slightly) less of a bubble-bot.


Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Saga's 20 days of WoW challenge: Day 9

I'm back! But still not over the jet-lag. So it's just as well the next installment of Saga's challenge is an easy one! And apt, in fact, as it was to do with the 4.0.6 PTR patch notes.

I intend to give my impressions of the 4.1 patch at some point this week, because I have opinions. However, every time I've played WoW for more than an hour since I got back my head slams the keyboard and makes a loud snoring kind of noise, and I can't heal like that (I'm not a Paladin after all *snigger* *snort*)

Day 09 – Your first post

Click the tooltip to view the post. It was the first boss nerf we'd seen in Cata (after all the spouting about HCs meaning to be hard in Cata) and Holy priests got Chakra for 60 seconds up from 30 - I'm already used to endless Chakra so 60 seconds is laughable and 30 is just sadface.