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4.2: Return to Fotm…er Form; oh, and T12!

May 18, 2011 Leave a comment

Some potentially sexy buffs are coming elemental shaman’s way:

May 10 4.2 PTR notes:

– Lava Flows now grants a 30/60/90% haste buff when a Flame Shock effect is dispelled, up from 10/20/30%.

– Thunderstorm now reduces the movement speed of players it knocks back by 40% for 5 seconds.

– Unleash Elements is now in the Nature school, and thus can no longer be used if a shaman’s Nature school has been locked out.

– The 4-piece Elemental shaman PvP set bonus (Gladiator’s Thunderfist set) has been redesigned. It now causes Lightning Shield to generate an extra charge, rather than consuming one, when it is triggered by receiving damage, up to a maximum of 3 (9 with the Rolling Thunder talent).

– Lightning Shield and Water Shield can no longer be dispelled.

– Glyph of Unleashed Lightning (new Prime glyph) allows Lightning Bolt to be cast while moving.

The main concern amongst the pvp community now is our mana (in)efficiency, which may or may not be resolved by the Unleashed Lightning glyph, since it will allow us to cast more lightning bolts. There’s also the manner of a defensive cd; yes, we can glyph EM, but what other class would have to use their dps cooldown in order to reduce damage they are taking? Only idea I can scrape off the top of my head at the moment would be to re-introduce Astral Shift, but have it be an ele-only defensive cd of some flavor.

As OP as some of these changes look on paper…well, they’re needed. Ele is extremely vulnerable in pvp due to the fact that 90% of our damage occurs when we plant our feet and turret spells into enemies…which happens for all of 1 second tops against half decent pvpers. Any time my friends and I encounter an ele shaman, I’m yelling at them to simply tunnel the shaman, which results in said shaman being dead fairly quickly.

Amongst the raiding community, there seems to be a large amount of “meh” regarding these changes, namely the new glyph. I’m honestly surprised at the lack of enthusiasm about a solution to one of our biggest weaknesses (damage while moving). Oh, boo hoo, we have to debate over which glyph to swap at this point…and on that note, who’s to say they don’t simply make our current LB glyph do exactly what this new one does, then bake in the 4% damage increase by default, or if we’re incredibly lucky, they bake it in as a 5-6% increase. I don’t expect this to happen, but all of this is on PTR, and things there are subject to change, such as the new legendary staff, as shown here.

Needless to say, I’m hoping these changes make it through PTR intact (at the very least) and to live. Speaking of PTR, our T12 has made it’s debut, and I’ll go ahead and say we are 12 for 12 in terms of having reasonably decent looking tier sets:

Shaman T12 on males

Shaman T12 on females

Preview video courtesy of MMO-Champion:

Derp.

April 7, 2011 Leave a comment

Been a while since I could take the time to even touch this page. Fair amount of activity, but just a lack of time to get anything meaningful posted:

12/12 in normal content, FINALLY: Nearly 2 months (from around the time of my last post until now) ago we started on Nefarian. Not a difficult encounter, although for 90% of our attempts, I was resto due to a dearth of healers. Finally, last week we had enough healers I was able to dps, and equipped with my Reverberation talent I alone could lock down one of the P2 adds, thus allowing our other dpsers to go all out on their targets without worrying with interrupts (thus proving that dps shaman are king for this instance of interrupts). Up until last week, our attempts were constantly marred by disconnect after disconnect…and it wasn’t always the same people. Even folks with amazingly good hardware (myself included) would randomly get dropped out, only to come back dead (or worse, alive just before Onyxia respawned, resulting in more dead people if said person couldn’t take a dive in the lava fast enough). Last week, though, we finally overcame all of the garbage disconnects, excuses, and whatnot and made a corpse of Nefarian (again). Video of our first kill can be found here. Shadow priest POV. Also for whatever reason, Al’akir seems 100x easier on 10 man compared to 25.

Flirting with “FOTM”: If you’re looking for yours truly in the above video…look closer to the ground. That’s right, I was a goblin in that video. Feeling a bit bored, I checked out goblin animations and racials and decided to give it a go. Couple of days later, I started noticing a racial I was missing that was really starting to annoy me: Hardiness. Doesn’t sound like much, but I found myself in at least half a dozen instances of “if that stun wore off half a second sooner I could’ve gotten a heal off…” in the 3 days I was a good ol’ gobbie. That, plus I simply flat out started missing being an orc, heh. In fact, the experience has convinced me I should probably convert some of my alts to what I dub “the supreme Horde race”…but that’s an expensive endeavor. Cheaper than a weekend out on the town, I suppose, heh. I refer to goblin as FOTM because nearly half the Horde shaman on my server have race changed to goblin…and the whole feeling of “jumping on the bandwagon” had my skin crawling.

Elemental PVP, oh how I hate thee…: I’ve been moonlighting as resto for PVP for a fair amount of Cata so far. Elemental feels so pathetic for pvp right now that it’s simply frustrating to play. Quit my 2’s team in a fit of rage after losing several games in a row where I felt I could literally do nothing. Despite how frustrating ele PVP is, running around as resto right now reminds me of how god mode it once was late in BC (only surpassed by resto druids, but what didn’t they surpass then?). Rejoined the team, took some chill pills (simply a figure of speech; no drugs were taken during the queueing of arena) and just deal with it for now. Yes, I’m playing ele in 2s…fortunately my friend is a shadow priest, who has a fair amount of CC and peeling capability, which an ele MUST have if they want to do anything in arena now. The one game I went resto with my friend, we won…but it was a 20 minute ordeal vs an affliction lock/resto druid team. We’re not exactly patient with arena; we want games done in 5 mins or less, heh.

ARGH SO CLOSE: In the past 2 months I would slave away on weekends for various Call To Arms for BGs I needed achievements from, and now I stand 1 achievement away from the Battlemaster title I’ve coveted ever since seeing it in game: Arathi Basin Perfection. The infuriating part is I have this achievement on 2 of my alts, and I’m over 150 recorded AB victories on my shaman without a perfect win. I still say it’s a matter of when, not if…but damn, it’s irritating. Repeated efforts to form an organized group for it have fallen through due to folks not being online. Even without Battlemaster, I’ve managed to eek over the 12k achievement point mark, which felt pretty cool. Not sure if I’ll get to 13k, though! 😛

All for now…I’ll try to be a bit more prompt with updating this in the future, though, perhaps my once-a-week-or-two shenanigans, which I think is fair.

4.0.6 Elemental Shaman cliff notes

February 2, 2011 Leave a comment

Tremor Totem: Basically becomes a 6 second aoe fear ward on a 1 min CD.
Purge: Effectively cut in half.
Spiritwalker’s Grace: 50% duration increase, from 10 to 15 seconds
Lava Burst: 10% damage increase
Earthquake: 10% damage increase on top of benefitting from Clearcasting
Rolling Thunder: Charges are now generated by Lightning Overload procced LBs and CLs.
Hex: PVP duration down to 8 seconds, glyph reduces CD by 10 seconds instead of 15

Several pvp-oriented nerfs that were more aimed at our other specs, but still hurt nonetheless. The buffs we’re getting are fairly nice, but my main concern at this point is mobile dps. I find myself moving around quite a bit on most of these encounters, and being the turret casters that we are, it hurts dps fairly bad.

From a pvp perspective, the most annoying thing I run into is going OOM…and that’s without doing any off healing or using earthquake (which is borderline useless, but I like it for knocking people down in smoke bombs). Couple of arena games I was in last night had me hitting lava burst or LB keys and nothing happened…looked up and was like “wtf, I’m OOM”. I thought I read somewhere that Blizzard didn’t care to have caster DPS worrying about going OOM and that it’s more for healers to worry with.

It’s ok, though, because I’ll be able to see my Elementium Stormshield on my back and I’ll no longer look like I’m the ball sack of my mount whenever I use my Volcanic Stone Drake. O.o

Fire totems: Oh how I love (to hate) thee. Initial raiding impressions

January 10, 2011 Leave a comment

The dust from the holiday shenanigans has settled down, playoff football is upon us, and many guilds such as mine are now kicking off raiding in Cataclysm. I’ve been splitting raiding time between resto and elemental, which doesn’t bother me whatsoever; If my switching to resto for a day means we start a raid on time, then I’m all for it, because I hate wasting time.

I actually find playing resto fun and enjoyable currently. It’s as if shaman have tools for healing any and all situations right now. The new “healing model” for Cataclysm has taken little adjusting to on my end, since my playstyle when healing already fit the framework Blizzard had planned for Cata healing. As far back as BC, I would always load up on MP5 (now spirit) on as many items as possible, for I am always afraid of going OOM. I preferred to gear for long fights, such as heroic LK during WotLK (a fight that could take upwards of 15 minutes for a kill). The resto shaman mastery, Deep Healing, works nicely in my opinion. It’s basically a form of crit that isn’t a chance; it’s somewhat more reliable, although I don’t know how exactly the game determines how much benefit your heals get on a target (something I may research on a slow work day, heh). I won’t advocate stacking mastery, mind you, but if you get some here and there on your gear, it’s not the end of the universe; worst case, you can reforge some mastery into haste/crit/spirit.

From an elemental standpoint, it hasn’t been too bad. In our 25 man runs, when I’ve been dps, I’m usually in the middle of the pack, leaning toward the top. In most cases, I’m within 10-15% of the top dps, which I find acceptable, since part of that can be attributed to level of play, aka me slacking. In non-gimmick fights, I’ve been averaging 15-16k. I suspect this number will go up in weeks to come due to not only acquiring gear, but better dps uptime due to knowing the mechanics of the fights.

One thing as elemental that’s been both a blessing and curse is our fire totems. It is a blessing that we are no longer relegated to having to be a “Totem of Wrath bot”, as I’ve seen it called (albeit with more suggestive language, heh). Now that we can consistently use dps totems instead of a buff totem, it’s pretty sweet…when the totems aren’t retarded. Searing Totem makes me want to strangle kittens at times. On many occasions when there is a target switch (aka one trash mob dead, on to the next one that’s right beside it), the totem won’t acquire the second target. I quickly learned to recall/redrop ST on the Omitron fight, because it’s insistence on hitting a shielded target caused us to wipe.

Then there’s our beloved Fire Elemental Totem. It’s a massive dps increase when compared to Searing Totem, but it would need to be since it’s a 5/10 minute cooldown (depending on whether it’s glyphed or not). FE, though, like it’s searing kin, has a mind of it’s own at times and will attack whatever it fancies, regardless of what mob has my flame shock on it. It also has a leash back in the event a mob gets too far away; this isn’t a big deal for searing totem, since it can simply be placed again. Not the case for FE, since it has a cooldown. FE also has a tendency to get insta-gibbed due to raid damage/mechanics, such as what happened to mine during Twin Dragons attempts in Bastion last night. I’m not sure what exactly gibbed it; there’s a pretty good possibility I plunked it down in a bad spot, or at a bad time, or both.

There’s an ongoing discussion of the fire totem matter in this Totemspot thread. There are a couple of ideas posted there that I find interesting, such as letting Unleash Flame, a spell seldom used as elemental, refresh or extend our flame shock’s DoT duration. A simple yet radical idea floating about is letting elemental shaman use the elemental totems (earth and fire) as permanent pets. The way I envision it, searing totem could be scrapped, thus relegating us to using Flametongue for the spell damage increase, then having the elemental function as a mobile searing totem. One downside is that it would lose it’s aoe DPS, but that spell could work akin to a mage’s blast wave, only without any knockback/daze (if they still have that). Otherwise the elemental turrets flame bolts at our target. The earth ele could simply function as a “tank” pet, which is pretty much what it does now.

Keep in mind the ideas posted here are 1. most likely not original, and 2. purely wishlisting, if you want to call it that. I’m not wishing for these things; if they are added, great, if not, no big deal. I honestly would never expect to have either of our elementals as permanent pets, even for just the elemental spec, since we would be treading dangerously toward being a warlock or hunter. I don’t see any harm in generating ideas, be they practical or ridiculous; any kind of idea could provide fuel for the proverbial fire that is the Blizzard think tank that conjures up the changes that DO take place.

Overall, I’m satisfied with my shaman experience in Cata, but that isn’t to say that it is perfect and is in need of no improvement. I’m seeing things, such as issues mentioned here, that could use some attention, but they aren’t game breaking issues at this point.

Happy Holidays :)

December 23, 2010 Leave a comment

May be another 2 weeks or so before I get back around to posting, being that the Christmas and New Year’s holidays are upon us now. That said, it’s a dreadfully slow day at work, so I thought I’d drop some more observations and thoughts here.

I haven’t done much of anything in terms of raiding since my last post here. That said, based on experiences in heroics, I’m looking forward to raiding, whether it’s as elemental or resto (and now that most of our healing core is at 85 and farming heroics with the rest of us, I’ll most likely be back to my old elemental self).

Elemental DPS seems like it will be fine, least to me. One thing I have started to notice as my gear has improved, though, is that Lava Burst isn’t the “burst” that it used to be. Lightning Bolt crits are now hitting almost as hard as my LvB crits, but I think there’s several factors in play; for one, LB will be getting the majority of Clearcasting charges, which on top of cooldowns amplify it a lot. Also, we have to remember that in most cases LvB is guaranteed to be a crit, whereas LB may crit 20-25% of the time. To think “omg LvB barely crits harder than LB so it sucks” would be ridiculous, since LvB gives us the benefit of consistently having CC charges up. This is especially critical since mana usage has gone up significantly; I have had some points where I ran OOM. That brings me to another point…

What meta gem should we be using? Well, once I crafted my engineering goggles, I immediately dropped a chaotic shadowspirit in the meta slot, and gemmed accordingly. Int/spirit or int/hit (depending on how the gem market was at the time) gems in red, blue sockets with mastery/hit, and yellows with just haste. However, after getting pretty much all the gemmable gear I would need going into raiding (barring BoE epics I’m 1-2 items away from being BiS pre-raiding), I swapped my meta to the Int/+2% mana meta, and went back to our old way of gemming: Int in red, int/spi in blue, int/haste in yellow. I do not have conclusive evidence that my DPS has increased, but going by seat-of-the-pants feel, it seems like I’m doing more dps now. Added benefits include a mana pool that increased by almost 8k…this may not seem like a big deal, but I noticed I went from having mana trouble in long fights to cruising through fights retaining most all of my mana barring occasions I had to use Earthquake (which is going to destroy the mana pool no matter what, heh). The meta swap also lets my eng goggles double dip, and by that I mean that I get to use them in my resto set now.

On the resto front, I’ve been throughly enjoying the challenge that we call the new healing model. Hopefully healing won’t return to where it was in late WotLK, where (for heroics at least) I could basically /afk my way through heroics, or if I was feeling really risky I would queue as a healer and instead be in full elemental gear/spec and would DPS…and if I REALLY wanted to be snarky, I would ask the group why the healer was top dps, heh. I only pulled that snarky card if someone in the group was being a douche, though. Now, for the new healing model, I find that I’m mostly using Riptide and Healing Wave, since they are by far the most mana efficient of our spells. Greater Healing Wave comes into play if someone’s trickling down low on health, and combined with our mastery, it provides a considerable chunk of health restored in most cases; nowhere near the levels of throughput we had in WotLK, but we’re not supposed to have such throughput. Healing Surge has taken the place of Chain Heal as our “Oh S***” button, namely when a DPS’s health spikes down, or if the tank starts to take a dive on HP. As for CH…it’s nowhere near the super power it once was. This is probably the biggest change I’ve had to cope with, because like many shaman I had engrained in my brain that “when in doubt, chain heal”. This doesn’t work well anymore, because in a couple of cases I had that thought occur to me, cast a CH, then someone would die. However…couple CH with our new Healing Rain and we’re capable of some absurd amounts of multi-target healing. Again, it’s nothing like what we had before where a CH would basically heal up 3-4 people virtually all their HP, but it’s still a potent combination. HR allows us to smooth out damage done on a group of folks (such as the melee + tank clump on most all boss fights) while healing other targets…it’s a shaman form of Beacon of Light, I suppose.

I also got back into my PVP groove, starting with Tol Barad…and for once I’m going to say “What the fuck, Blizz?” TB is perhaps the biggest PVP blunder they’ve ever introduced in this game, even more so than the countless revamps of AV (should’ve left it alone IMO). For those who have not tried TB, there are 3 bases and 3 towers. The attacking team has to capture all 3 bases in order to win; they can destroy the 3 towers to buy themselves more time if needed. The defending team technically does not have to hold a single base; so long as one of the 3 bases is in the grey and the time expires, the defense wins. This relegates TB to being nothing more than zerg vs. zerg, with the defense being heavily favored. The simplest solution to this would be to require that 2 of the 3 bases be held to win, whether the O or D is holding them. This gives the D more reason to try and defend the towers, and would discourage both sides from running around with one giant zerg. Couple the TB blunder with the MMR/conquest point bugs that cropped up and you have a lot of aggravated PVPers. On top of that, random BG queues are still pretty awful, and it doesn’t help that more often than not I end up in a group that’s…well, bad, to put it nicely. One positive note, though: You can get all of your conquest points for a week by winning 5 arena matches, which when you have next to no rating is pretty easy to accomplish. This is a big saving grace for us Horde here in the US, since we often have to wait 15-20 minutes to get into a random BG. Granted, it’s gonna take about 4 months to get all of my vicious pvp gear at this rate, but it took about that long in BC for my warrior to get full S2 gear, so it’s not that big a deal. Oh, and that time can be reduced simply by increasing one’s rating, whether it’s in arena or in rated BGs.

Also, after juggling several options for a second profession after dropping Leatherworking (since it would cost me a small fortune to buy all the mats I would’ve needed to level it), I opted for Alchemy and became a Potion Master. This has paid off nicely because I can now sell Truegold cooldowns or Living Elements cooldowns. I was aided in this endeavor by my druid alt, who has herbalism and inscription. Put it simply, a tauren druid cannot be beaten when it comes to herbing, period. The tauren Cultivation racial makes the cast time for herb gathering half a second, which has allowed me to snipe herbs from others charging the same herb node as I on many occasions. If I’m not thrilled with Engineering come next content patch, I may very well drop it in favor of picking up herbing on my shaman so that I’m never stuck without a way to level professions unless I bust out an alt. Besides, herbalism now provides a haste CD that maths out to be an average of 80 haste, so it’s pretty baller when compared to mining and skinning. Mining gets on my nerves at this point because everyone, their brother, and their mother is out mining ore. Were I playing in morning times like some of my friends, it probably wouldn’t be so bad, but I’m generally having to play during prime time, so that’s out of the question. Oh, and leveling alchemy from 1-525 cost me about 1/10th the amount it took to get Engineering from 450-525…so for any up and coming raiders undecided on what professions to pick up to help them with raiding, you can always count on herbalism and alchemy to be of solid use, no matter what class/spec you play. Oh, and it can make you some gold, too…that’s always a plus.

Well, it’s approaching the hour I get to leave the office, so happy holidays to those who have read this far, and those who don’t even know this blog exists. 😛

Cataclysm: The First Week

December 14, 2010 Leave a comment

A week ago, mayhem ensued as Cataclysm officially kicked off stateside. I happened to log on that morning before heading to work to do the cooking and fishing dailies in Orgrimmar and for kicks and giggles I opened my guild pane only to see 23 people online…at 6:45AM. We weren’t seeing that many people online in our guild unless it was raid time; usually it would be 8-10 people on when there wasn’t a raid going. I purchased Cata via the online upgrade, and having let the download run overnight, I was able to log in that morning without a hitch. Needless to say I was pleasantly surprised by such.

That evening, I logged on and my priest friend and I headed to Hyjal. We managed to complete all the quests in the zone that evening in a span of 4 hours, despite the insane amount of people crawling all over the zone doing the same quests. Some quests were more painful than others. The “homage to Joust” quest line, bear chucking quest and the finale with Ragnaros are the highlights of the zone, though.

Afterwards came Deepholm, and with it I replaced every single piece of gear I had from ICC. It may seem odd to some, but I had no problem replacing some of those former BiS ICC epics with greens and occasional blues. I did keep my armor pieces, though, in the event I feel nostalgic and want to toss on my T10 (not to mention it looked pretty good). There’s a reasonable cohesiveness to all the quests in the zone, in that they all piece together the shard(s) used to restore the World Pillar or whatever it’s called in the Temple of Earth so that Azeroth doesn’t turn into a black hole and collapse upon itself or some nonsense. Some of the dailies here are annoying, such as the Pebble rescue, while some are infuriating, aka Glop, Son of Glop, which requires you to speak to the NPC shaman AND kill Glop. Sounds easy, but it takes the NPC a good 10-15 minutes to reset, and if you are in a group and one person talks to her, only that person gets credit. Even more infuriating is that there is an achievement attached to the quest (do it 10 times); I am hoping that some changes will be made to this quest, such as to retrieve an item that Glop would drop on the ground that is lootable by everyone in vicinity for a minute. Also, Deepholm has to be one of the most aesthetically pleasing cavern/underground areas ever since we first flew down into the Caverns of Time (which is still the crown jewel of “really cool cave/underground areas”).

Next came Uldum. The Harrison Jones questline is fairly entertaining (perhaps moreso for Indiana Jones fanboys/girls), but I can only see watching all those cinematics once; ie any alts I level at this point I would hit escape for all of that stuff. The Gnomebliteration quest is up there with the bear chucking quest in Hyjal as the most hilarious/entertaining quest of Cataclysm thus far.

Hit 85 while working over quests in Twilight Highlands, which for Horde players starts off with a pretty fun quest sequence that has you flying in on airship as part of an aerial assault fleet, only to arrive at Dragonmaw Port to lead a mutiny within the ranks of the Dragonmaw Clan, which leads to them assisting the Horde in the battles against the Twilight’s Hammer.

During the weekend I went back to Vashj’ir and wrapped up Loremaster of Cataclysm by clearing that zone, and the atmosphere of the quest line there is pretty neat with the whole “oh shiz we’re screwed” theme that persists through most of the quest line. The final quest line that leads to the Throne of Tides is also rather entertaining, as you run across the ocean floor amidst a huge ongoing battle.

That’s the 80-85 zones in a nutshell, and I’m very certain I’m forgetting a LOT of details there. So on to how things are at 85…it’s the same, yet different. Despite the fact I retained about the same amount of rating for haste/crit/mastery, it’s very noticable that it takes a truckload more rating to attain similar numbers to what we had in ICC gear at 80; numbers that I don’t believe we’ll ever see again. Currently I’m in mostly ilvl 346 gear, with a couple of 333s, and I’m hovering right over 10% haste, 18% crit, and 25% mastery; far cry from the obscene amounts of that I had at 80 (37% haste, 36% crit, 39% mastery), yet dps has gone up a fair amount due to gaining almost 3k spellpower (from just over 3700 with Flametongue on at 80 to right at 6600 now). Not sure how elemental fares compared to other classes/specs, but I think we will be fine come raiding time.

The economy is a shit storm, to say the least, and a major part of that is how during WotLK many of us went with 2 crafting professions, dropping whatever gathering profession we had at the time to gain an advantage when it comes to character performance. I’m guilty of such, for I dropped skinning to pick up engineering. Yesterday I dropped leatherworking to pick up mining in order to recoup some of the 20k gold I spent leveling engineering to 525 and to craft my goggles. It was a painful decision to make, being that the leatherworking-exclusive bracer emboss/enchant is heads and shoulders more powerful than anything an enchanter can provide for bracers. However, being broke as all hell is every bit as painful, and I never EVER want to have to endure this again. Yes, I’ve heard the “use your alts” argument, but I don’t really care to have my main handicapped to the degree he requires the aid of alts with gathering professions just so he is as raid ready as possible. Couple that with the fact that I don’t care to bother with alts at this time nor in the foreseeable future, and that cemented the deal for me. The combo of skinning + leatherworking may be a higher dps combination, but the utility provided by engineering is too invaluable to me. Unless Jeeves and MOLL-E start having a chance to fail when used, I don’t see me dropping engineering any time soon. There is a slim possibility that I may drop mining and level jewelcrafting, but I don’t know if I’ll want to put up with the headache involved or not. Only time will tell.

I’ve dabbled with Archaeology a little as I flew around power leveling mining (1-400 in 2-3 hours of mining isn’t too shabby, btw) and it looks to be even more painful to level than fishing. I didn’t think that such a thing would be possible, but it wouldn’t be the first time I was wrong. The sad thing is I had to google on how exactly surveying worked because no where did I find an indication in game as to how it was supposed to work. It’ll make for a decent time sink, one which I’ll never level on another character barring a main switch, which at this point hell freezing over would be a better bet, heh.

The main draw currently at 85 is heroics…and boy, oh boy, heroics are back to being heroic for a change. Gone are the days of WotLK, and many of us are rejoicing at such, despite the amazing leap in difficulty heroics are over their regular counterparts (and over any WotLK heroics, for that matter). The new healing model + current heroics make for a brutal time, to be honest, and I say this with experience because I’ve spent the majority of my time in heroics as resto, since all of 2-3 of our main spec healers have hit 85 so far (I was the third healing-capable person to hit 85 in our guild iirc). Right now you can’t have enough spirit for mana regen; I’m sitting right under 2400 in combat regen and I’ll go OOM easily if I’m bad with heal selection. Healing Rain, despite it’s obscene mana cost, is an amazing addition to our healing arsenal, and couple with chain heal we’re able to do some massive aoe healing. I don’t see how some bosses are doable without said HR + CH (Rahj in heroic Halls of Origination comes to mind). Despite the at-times frustrating difficulty of some of the heroics, as a whole I find that they are a much needed breath of fresh air, and I honestly hope they are not nerfed, for I think they are all doable currently.

Sunday evening our guild rounded up 10 folks and we gave some of the new raids a try. The Baradin Hold boss (Argaloth, I think?) is basically Brutallus, Round 2; we downed him despite 2 dps being dead and both myself and our druid healer both being OOM at the end. After that we moved over to Blackwing Descent…and the pain began. The trash in raids is no different than that in heroics in that it WILL kick your ass if you are not careful. Aside from that, Magmaw is effin’ brutal; in fact all videos and posts I’ve found seem to indicate the only way that he’s been beaten is due to a bug that lets you hop back on him immediately after he’s out of a pinned down phase. Anecdotal evidence is anecdotal, however, and guilds have downed it already, so I could very well be wrong. Oh, and we were also batshit crazy for trying to 2 heal the fight, heh. A few tries at Omnitron Council (or whatever they’re called) has me believing that it’ll be the first boss encounter we manage to down. We managed to get them to 67ish percent on 2 attempts, and I think given time that fight should become easy to manage.

It’s almost lunch time at this point, and I am hungry, so that’s all on Cata Week 1 for now, but there will be more to come as time goes on.

Hey, that’s not so bad…

November 9, 2010 Leave a comment

Remember what I said about seeing T11 on a proper shaman race?

Orc Shaman T11

Looks reminiscent of T8 in my opinion, but that’s fine by me since I like the shaman T8. I can picture my beautiful virtual orc mug shot in this screenshot and I’m confident if/when I get 5/5 T11, I’ll be looking mighty fine, heh. The shoulders look more like something I would expect of a hunter set, but I don’t mind them.

In other news, I decided to dabble some with my warrior and paladin in terms of DPSing. Paladin feels quite different with the holy power mechanic, which is taking some getting used to. Warrior, however…it’s like a good pair of work gloves that just fit and get the job done. Granted, it cost me a cool 2k gold to regem/reforge/glyph my warrior (thanks to arp gems becoming crit), but wow, was it worth it. I could take my warrior into almost any raid now and compete for top 5 dps. I was dreading the loss of armor penetration as a stat based on how anemic my warrior’s dps was on beta some months ago, but those concerns were addressed and then some.

As much as I loved the “new” Fury, I was rather disappointed with my one try at prot. AoE threat has been severely neutered, and if anyone attacked a mob other than what I was focused on, they would pull it off. This could very well be a scaling issue, too, since dps across the board has skyrocketed since 4.0. Regardless, though, I dropped prot in favor of an arms pvp spec that I’ll eventually use (warrior pvp is in my blood, heh).

Despite the bit of alt-itis, I’m not really bothering with any other alts at this time, other than to manage their mail and inventories. If I am going to have any sort of alt, it will be the warrior, and he’s DPS all the way. This does not change the fact my warrior is now an alt, though; I will be blazing my way through Cata shaman style first and foremost.