Posts tagged ‘Shaman’

In which I share Amber’s pain.

Me too, Amber.  Me too.

You call this a belt?

The Blue Belt of Chaos — which is actually more of an Iron Gray Scrap, come to think of it — has the same texture as my Conqueror’s Worldbreaker Tunic, but certainly doesn’t match it.

And while I’m not likely to win any Best Dressed awards anytime soon …

Liluye

… I would be absolutely mortified if I showed up in the Don’t! pages of Dalaran Today.  ;.;

*  *  *

On a small side note, I will most likely be /afk for the next week or so.  My pet tank is coming down for a visit!  We may catch a raid or two while he’s here, but I rather doubt we’ll be blogging about it.  ;)

July 17, 2009 at 10:41 am 3 comments

WTT: 530 Emblems of Conquest for an Ulduar-geared restoration shaman, PST.

Crop CirclesThanks to the immiment Emblem of Conquest change (details and reactions here, here, here and here.  Oh, and some more here and here, too!), it’s only a matter of time before the How To Gear Your Raiding… Without Raiding! guides start appearing on the Internether like crop circles in an Iowa cornfield. 

This isn’t one of them.

… Not because such guides don’t have value, but because I really don’t want the responsibility of maintaining one!  (I’m pretty sure that’s what Matticus is paying Lodur for, anyway.)

Still.  I was curious as to what an Emblem-geared resto shaman could look like post-3.2, so I did what any good (soon-to-be unemployed) financial analyst would do in the same situation:

That’s right!  I made a spreadsheet.

And since spreadsheets can be a little, tiny bit intimidating for the uninitiated — not to mention boring to refer to in a blogpost, and difficult to anthropomorphize — I decided to give mine a face.  And a name.  

Introducing: Ishkaar

So, meet Ishkaar: the level one Spacegoat shaman I rolled one lazy Saturday afternoon on a far-flung server called Garona.  (… What?  I needed to know how to boil an egg and my mom wasn’t answering her phone!  I thought Andrew might be able to help, but — alas — he wasn’t online.)

To the best of my knowledge, Ishkaar is still languishing in Azuremyst Isle, surrounded by the charred remains of her shuttle and some very angry flowers.  But!, if I were ever to bite the bullet and actually level her, she could forward to a respectable

878 stamina
769 intellect
1,682 spellpower
374 crit
341 haste and
208 mp5

from Heroic drops and Emblem of Conquest alone.

If this doesn’t sound particularly impressive, keep in mind that these are unbuffed stats that do not take into account item enhancements or any on-use or on-proc effects.  They also ignore the effect of the two-piece T8 bonus, which can be difficult to quantify. 

Thanks to those crazy bronze dragons, little Ishkaar was able to meet her Future Self, who shared her shopping list:

Head: Conqueror’s Worldbreaker Headpiece (ilevel 226).  58 EoC.
Neck: Frozen Tear of Elune (ilevel 226). 19 EoC.
Shoulders: Valorous Earthshatter Spaulders (ilevel 213). 60 EoV.
Back: Cloak of Kaa Feathers (ilevel 213). 25 EoV.
Chest: Conqueror’s Worldbreaker Tunic (ilevel 226). 58 EoC.
Wrist: Pigmented Clan Bindings (ilevel 213). 60 EoV.
Hands: Gloves of Augury (ilevel 226). 28 EoC.
Waist: Windchill Binding (ilevel 226). 28 EoC.
Legs: Leggings of the Weary Mystic (ilevel 226). 28 EoC.
Feet: Treads of Coastal Wandering (ilevel 213). 40 EoV.
Ring: Renewal of Life (ilevel 213). 25 EoV.
Ring: Annhylde’s Ring (ilevel 200). Heroic Utkarde Keep.
Trinket: Egg of Mortal Essence (ilevel 200) 40 EoH.
Trinket: Soul Preserver. Heroic Culling of Stratholme.
Main Hand: War Mace of Unrequited Love. Heroic Nexus.
Off Hand: Protective Barricade of the Light (ilevel 200). 35 EoH.

Average ilevel = 212.3

Total cost?  530 Emblems of Conquest!

Note that Emblems of Conquest (which will trade down to Emblems of Valor and Heroism at a 1:1 ratio) cannot currently purchase a main-hand or more than one unique-equipped ring or trinket.   To fill these last three spots, Ishkaar prayed to (David Brin’s) Ifni and was dutifully rewarded with Heroic drops.  They aren’t her only options, of course — she could opt for a crafted Titansteel Guardian over That Damned Mace from Heroic Nexus®, for example — but they’re solid choices … and we’re really just looking to make a comparison anyway.

Properly gemmed and enchanted, Ishkaar’s unbuffed stats would increase to:

912 stamina
805 intellect
1,945 spellpower
392 crit
364 haste and
222 mp5

For the sake of comparison, a resto shaman with BiS gear from Heroic Ulduar would look something like this:

HeadSteamworker’s Goggles (Flame Leviathan 25, hard)
NeckCharm of Meticulous Timing (XT 25, hard)
Shoulders
Conqueror’s Worldbreaker Spualders (Yogg-Saron 25)
Back: Shroud of Alteration (Ulduar 25, trash)
Chest: Conqueror’s Worldbreaker Tunic (Hodir 25 or 25 EoC)
WristBindings of Winter Gale (Hodir, hard)
Hands: Conqueror’s Worldbreaker Handguards (Mimiron 25)
Waist: Blue Belt of Chaos (crafted)
Legs: Conqueror’s Worldbreaker Legguards (Freya 25)
FeetBoots of Forgotten Depths (General Vezax 25)
Ring: Sanity’s Bond (Yogg Saron 25)
Ring: Pyrite Circle (Ignis 25)
TrinketPandora’s Plea (Mimiron 25)
Trinket: Scale of Fates (Thorim 25)
Main HandGuiding Star (Razorscale 25)
Off Hand: Ice Layered Barrier (Hodir 25, hard)

This BiS set has an average ilevel of 228.2 and (fully gemmed and enchanted, but before socket bonuses — which I forgot to account for >.>) grants:

943 stamina
1,026 intellect
2,110 spellpower
405 crit
535 haste and
224 mp5

Thus, the difference between Ishkaar and an Ulduar 25-geared shaman with BiS everything (except Val’anyr, since it will be significantly harder to come by than Guiding Star) appears to be:

31 stamina
221 intellect
165 spellpower
13 crit
171 haste and
2 mp5

That’s … not a lot of difference, actually. 

Obviously, the Ulduar-geared shaman will get a bigger benefit from scaling talents, totems and buffs, but I see no reason Ishkaar couldn’t step out of Heroic Utkarde Keep and straight into Ulduar, if not the Crusader’s Coliseum.

For this reason, more than any other, my kneejerk reaction to the imminent Emblem of Conquest change resembled Saresa’s.  I liked the tiered Emblem system.  Not only did it reward raiders in proportion to the challenges they overcame, but it also reinforced a linear path of progression that appealed to me as both a guild leader and an obsessive completionist.

Of course, I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t an element of ego in it as well: my guild farmed Naxxramas, the Eye of Eternity and Obsidian Sanctum for months to earn a lower ilevel gear than a newly ding’d level 80 will have access to via heroics alone.  At first blush, that’s just a little hard to swallow.

Still, the more I think about it rationally, the more convinced I become that this is actually a good change. 

What it really comes down to is a single question with a singularly enlightening answer.

The answer: Everyone.

The question:

Besides Ishkaar, who benefits from the Emblem change?

  • New level 80’s, because it further reduces barriers to entry.  (Matticus describes this as raising the floor.)  WotLK raiding is intended to be accessible — but the more progressed a server is, the less accessible the current content becomes to new entrants to the raiding scene.  Rather than progress from heroics to Naxxramas to Ulduar to the Crusader’s Coliseum, new level 80’s will be able to assemble a respectable starter kit from heroics alone.  This, in turn, will make them more attractive to …
  • Raiding guilds.  The influx of new, Emblem-geared raiders will help prop up those raiding guilds — like mine — that find themselves struggling to fill summer raids. 
  • Casual Raiders.  Players who raid on a more casual timetable (such as the Marksman hunter in my guild, who lives in Australia and can only make one of our three weekly raids) will be able to fill in the inevitable “holes” in their gear, allowing them to remain competitive.  If our Marksman can farm Emblems in Heroics during her own “peak” playtimes — which run opposite the rest of the guild’s — then she can simply buy her T8.5 helm and chest and save PR (DKP, etc.) for the other set pieces.
  • Hardcore Raiders.  Even those of us who are already Ulduar-geared will benefit, via improved performance from our more casual fill-ins and fewer raids cancelled (or scaled back) due to poor summer attendance.
  • Alts, off-specs and rerolls.  You can better believe that my Death Knight tank will be hitting heroics hard in 3.2!  I don’t have time to raid on multiple characters, but I’d love to gear my growing stable of alts.  That way, if my guild loses a tank or healer, we won’t fall behind on progression because we’ll have officers and veterans with raid viable alts, willing and able to sub-in — at least until we recruit a permanent replacement.  (Perhaps one of those new level 80’s, decked out in Emblem gear?)
  • Casual players, including those who have no intention of raiding.  Do they need Ulduar level gear?  No, of course not.  But attaining that gear can be an end in and of itself.  My mom has no desire whatsoever to raid, but she still gushes over each new epic because obtaining it was an achievement in and of itself — no different from becoming a Loremaster or exploring every zone in the game.
  • Anyone who wants to run Heroics or lower-tiers of raid content, like Naxxramas, which will become popular again as players who previously had no reason to return to them start farming Emblems. 

As far as I can tell, everyone benefits from the change — although some more directly than others. 

The only players who might not be affected are those in highly stable, bleeding-edge progression guilds.  These raiders are already geared to the teeth and unlikely to experience high turnover.  They are also likely to spend little time in the game world outside of raids. 

In other words: the Ensidias of the world might not care about Emblems of Conquest.  For the rest of us, they can only be a good thing.

June 26, 2009 at 2:59 pm 11 comments

Also, melee DPS is hard.

Our holy-turned-ret-turned-holy-turned-ret-turned-holy-again-adin (no, really…) ended up DPSing the first half of last night’s Ulduar 25 —  and thoroughly resenting it.

Because, you know, he’s been so adamant about being a full-time raid healer that the suggestion that he break out his moth-eaten dual spec for the first time since the last time we ran anything (including to The Filthy Animal for our pre-raid supply of Code Red: Kungaloosh) came as a complete and unwelcome surprise.

Sarcasm

So, in the interests of compromise, I volunteered to DPS for a few bosses so the paladin could heal.

… Have I mentioned that I am the single-most spatially inept person I have ever met?  I get lost everywhere.  In Karazhan.  In Naxxramas.  In the Dalaran Bank.

I’m not exaggerating: I swivel my camera, and I get lost.

So what happens when I charge into melee range, (attempt to) flit around the boss to DPS from behind like my tank insists that I do, and — /whimper — swivel my camera?

You guessed it: I get lost.  ;.;

Note that that this also happens every time I try to run out of the whirlwind, falling debris or [insert force of nature here] nova.

I just can’t seem to orient myself in melee range — which is fairly ridiculous, given that I’m a female Tauren and often the largest thing in the room next to the boss.

So, for me, melee DPS looks a lot like this:

You are out of range.
You are out of range.
You are out of range.
You are facing the wrong way.
You are facing the wrong way.
You are out of range.
You are still out of range.
Damn it, Elle, what are you doing in Feralas? The boss is in Ulduar!

The fourth or fifth or (I don’t know…) fifteenth time I got iceblocked because I couldn’t figure out how to get where I was supposed to be from where I actually was (“Hey, since when we have to run to the Conservatory of Life to escape Flash Freezes?”), the paladin took pity on me and my 3.2k DPS:

“Hey, Elle.  Why don’t we both heal this one?  I think DPS has it covered.”

Okay.

*   *  *

On a related note,  with competent DPS, you can successfully heal Razorscale 10 as enhancement, even if your disc priest is wearing a fishing pole.  Not that we would know … right, Annah?

May 6, 2009 at 11:25 am 15 comments

Soloing Don Carlos as an Enhancement Shaman

Don Carlos is a mini-boss in Heroic Durholde who has a 100% chance of dropping Don Carlos’ Famous Hat — which makes sense, because he’s very clearly wearing it!  Of course, given the number of raptors running around without eyes, not to mention humans without skulls, I guess we can’t exactly take that kind of logic for granted …

Don Carlos

Anyway, Don Carlos’ hat is an absolute must-have for any self-respecting shaman — not only because it’s pretty damn sexy in its own right, but because the “incorporeal coyote spirit” summoned by its on-use effect looks exactly like our Ghost Wolf form.  I missed the zeppelin the first time it sailed, because Lil started as a lowly alt; by the time she was leveled to 70 and attuned to the Caverns of Time, all of my friends had already farmed Old Hillsbrad dry and were pretty burnt out on it.

Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to solo at level 80.

Here’s how I did it (and believe me, if I can do it, anyone can!):

1.  Spec Enhancement.  I don’t think this is necessary, per se, but it’s fun.  After a long week of healbotting friendly things and boring unfriendly things to death, a girl has to get her Windfury on.

2.  Port to Orgrimmar.

3.  Remember that there’s a portal directly to the Caverns to Time in the Dalaran’s Violet Citadel.

4.  /sigh.

5.  Astral Recall to Dalaran.

6.  Wonder if anyone’s started a QQ thread about Shamans being cheated in 3.1 by a 30 minute Hearthstone cooldown …

7.  Be amazed to find that cooler heads do occasionally prevail!

(What were we doing again?  Oh, right…)

8.  Port to the Caverns of Time.

9.  Run a couple of laps around the central cavern, trying to remember which instance is Old Hillsbrad.  (For the record, it’s the one that looks like an Alliance outpost, but not actually an Alliance town.  If there’s a lot of buildings, its Old Stratholme.  If there are only a few buildings, it’s Durnholde.  Trees and swampy things mean you’re on your way to Mount Hyjal or Black Morass.)

10.  Old Hillsbrad is an outdoor instance, so don’t forget to mount up or shift into Ghost Wolf form.  I recommend Ghost Wolf.  You’re doing this for fun!, after all, and nothing says fun! more than romping around naked while scratching yourself and howling.  (Just ask the man in your life.)

11.  NO!  Don’t take the dragon!  He’s all gung-ho to rescue some hapless orcs, or something.  Save that for some sightseeing Children of Wrath; you’re on a mission, here.

12.  Run up the road.  No, the other up!  I mean down.  I mean— …

Why the hell are you asking me for directions?  Did you miss the post in which I confessed to getting lost in the Dalaran bank?  Just … run around, howling and scratching, until you stumble across Don Carlos and his faithful Coyote Spirit.  That’s what I did, and it didn’t take long.

13.  Scamper ahead of the dashing don, and drop some totems.  I went with Windfury, Mana Stream, Earth Elemental and Magma Totem.

13.  CHAIN LIGHTNING!

14.  … Remember belatedly — and vaguely, from doing this on your level 70 ‘lock — that Don Carlos is ranged, so you while you definitely succeeded in making him angry, he’s still dancing out of range, shooting you with arrows, and (insult to injury!) his pet puppy is chewing on your furry Tauren tail ass.  (Almost forgot; Old Hillsbrad makes you human.  /shudder)

15.  Panic.

16.  Heal yourself.  (Ah, familiar ground!  Flash of Lesser Healing Light works well here, because you will be getting pushback.  Just don’t do what I did, and waste precious seconds troubleshooting your Riptide keybind.  You specced out of it, dummy.)

17.  Run up to him, taking the long way because (damn it!) there’s a fence in the way …

18.  Push some buttons.  If they include anything that procs Windfury, you win!  If they don’t, heal yourself and try again.

(Okay, okay.  I’ll try to be helpful.  “Some buttons” actually means Stormstrike, Earth Shock and Lava Lash, in that order.  Every time Maelstrom Weapon stacks to five, use Chain Lightning or Lightning Bolt for DPS or Healing Wave for a clutch self-heal.  Imbue your main-hand weapon with Windfury on your off-hand with Flametongue.  Also, due to some bizarre math thing I don’t quite understand, the Torch of Holy Fire is currently the best enhancement main-hand in the game … so if you’re fortunate enough to have one, don’t bother equipping that level 75 Northrend blue that you’ve been carrying around in your off-spec set.  Just use the pretty healing mace, and you’re g2g.)

19.  Repeat step 18 until Don Carlos dies.  Then do it again to his puppy (which doesn’t despawn, for some reason).

20.  /cheer! — and pose for the camera, of course!

Seeing double?

March 23, 2009 at 8:38 am 7 comments

I’m not ususally one to /pout about loot …

Sad shaman is sad ... and unarmed.

… but awarding Angry Dread to an undergeared rogue on his very first Naxx-25 — when I’ve been scrambling to put together an enhancement set before 3.1, and still have Crimson Cranium Crusher for a Main Hand — may have broken my heart a little bit tonight.  I lost Crimson Steel to him last week too, in that disaster of an alt OS10 PuG.

QQ.

March 17, 2009 at 10:47 pm 7 comments

Moorabi is a jerkface, or “I respecced elemental for this?!”

Zero percent health and he transforms.

Goddamnit.

Moorabi is a jerkface!

Oh well.  Back to resto for tonight’s raid.

shaman-trainer1

Is it just me, or could the shaman trainer use a gear upgrade? I haven’t worn that outfit since I was a naive little calf roaming the Golden Plains of Mulgore …

March 4, 2009 at 8:46 am 2 comments

Resto Rocks! (But am I doing it wrong?)

And by doing it, I mean cutting them.  I am, after all, a Jewelcrafter!

leggings_of_voracious_shadows

Point for point, intellect > *.  I know that.

… But at the time that I won these legs off of the Four Horsemen event in Naxx 25, almost all of my sockets were yellow and gemmed with +16 intellect (Brilliant Autumn’s Glow).  I had a red socket in my Heroes’ Earthshatter Tunic, gemmed with a +27 intellect prismatic (Brilliant Dragon’s Eye) to secure the socket bonus of +2 mp5, and two green sockets in my Sapphire Owl, gemmed with +8 intellect and +3 mp5 (via Dazzling Forest Emeralds) for a second +2 mp5 bonus.  (Not the best choice, perhaps … but the idea of foregoing an mp5 bonus on my mana trinket makes me /twitch, even if the math supports it.  Seriously.  Not twitching in raids = not missing the nanosecond I have to heal after Loatheb’s necrotic aura wanes or a third of our melee simulanteously decide to cast Feign Mage(Rank 1) during Kel’Thuzad.  This alone makes a trade of 16 intellect for 8 mp5 totally worth it … for me.  But I am a unique snowflake.)  

Oh, I also picked up a pair of Eruption Scarred Boots in the same run as the Legguards of  Voracious Shadows, with another blue socket and a +5 spellpower bonus to contend with.

Stupid.  Blue.  Sockets.

In the off-chance that all of the /twitching didn’t give it away, I should probably mention that I am absolutely OCD about matching sockets.  Unless the bonuses are simply awful (as in, spell penetration on PvE gear awful), I try to socket reds with spellpower, yellows with intellect and blues with prismatics.  But here I had three new blue sockets, and one of my three allotted prismatics already invested in my T7 chest.  

/frown

I suppose I could have replaced the red socket in my chest with a Runed Scarlet Ruby and cut three more Brilliant Dragon’s Eyes for those pesky blue sockets — but I’m still buying jewelcrafting patterns with my tokens, and really didn’t want to spend them regemming ilevel 200 gear I’m hoping to upgrade relatively quickly now that my shaman is my declared main.  The other thing to consider was that I was about two weeks away from being able to purchase my Valorous Earthshatter Legguards, at which point the Leggings of Voracious Shadows would be retired to my elemental off-set.

So with all of this in mind, I went ahead and gemmed the Leggings with two Runed Dragon’s Eyes, which I figured would make them a versatile resto/elemental piece (there are currently no prismatics in my sketchy elemental set), and put a Dazzling Forest Emerald in my new boots.  Someone looking at my character sheet on Armory might be left scratching their head in confusion, but it made sense to me at the time based on what I had and could reasonably expect to have in the future. 

It was a “big picture” decision, y’know?

A couple of days later, one of the resto druids in my guild happened to get a look at my Leggings (Silly me, I linked them in /g as part of a playful “I tank in a DRESS!”/”Oh yeah? I heal in PANTS!”/”It’s a WAR KILT!” exchange), and asked … “Two 23’s?  Really?”

<cue sad, Broken-Hearted Newbie Shaman Mewling Noises® here>

(It’s like a /whimper in Ghost Wolf, only infinitely more pathetic.)

I explained my reasoning, briefly, in /guild chat and asked for suggestions … but the druid had just zoned into a battleground (or realized that he had damned near made his GM cry?) and didn’t answer.  Another one of our resto shamans chimed in with the recommendation to gem for intellect until about 20K mana, and then gem for spellpower instead. 

I had over 21K mana, and said so.

*crickets*

My Paladin-turned-Death Knight friend /whispered me and said that it was unusual to see two prismatics in the same item — unusual, but not necessarily wrong. 

My Rogue officer scoffed at the entire situation in /officer chat.  “Did a restoration druid seriously just ask you why you were gemming for spellpower?” he asked.  It’s not like I’d socketed for agility or equipped bullets in my wand or something silly like that.  >.>

And my boyfriend reassured me that my decisions all made perfect logical sense, and not to worry about the Tree’s criticism because it was based on one piece of gear and not my entire set. 

I want to believe him, but … he’s my boyfriend.  And therefore biased.  Not to mention a flea-ridden feral druid who tanks with his face.  So do I really want to trust his critique on healing gems?

No.  No, I don’t.

I am going to break out a calculator when I get home and do shaman maths for the first time … ever.  o.o

February 23, 2009 at 1:56 pm 4 comments

See you in Storm Peaks!

Patch 3.0.8 is live!  

… And while my boyfriend is lamenting the loss of something like 4K armor, I’m /dancing for joy.  Not because warlock DPS was fixed (it wasn’t; clearly, warlocks are intended to be the ret paladins of Northrend), but because of this:

Tapping: All player spells which cause a creature to become aggressive to you will now also immediately cause the creature to be tapped.

 

IT’S ABOUT FREAKIN’ TIME. 

If you think Sons of Hodir dailies suck, try doing them as an Affliction ‘lock.  There’s nothing quite like running up to a Niffelem Forefather, throwing all of your instants on him — and then watching the resto druid drop out of the sky and tap him with a Moonfire before your DoTs tick.  If the druid isn’t a complete jerk, he’ll follow the Moonfire up with something to build threat; if he is, he’ll stand back and watch you pull DoT aggro and tank his mob for him. 

If I had a Soul Shard for every time this happened to me, I could summon the entire Stormstrike battlegroup to Dalaran.  One at a time.  The old way.  Before 3.0.8 and these newfangled “Summoning Pebbles” (as they shall henceforth be known).

Even in this era of “lolock,” Affliction is an insanely good grinding spec, and the new insta-tap mechanic makes it even better.  It may even be too good … but don’t tell Blizzard I said that. >.>

Case in point: doing the Polishing the Helm daily, I will typically DoT-kite my way through the Hiburnal Cave, tossing Curse of Agony, Corruption and Siphon Life on every Viscious Slime and Jormunger I see, occasionally dropping a Howl of Terror to scatter them, followed by a Drain Life to heal myself back up to full.  It don’t have to worry about how many mobs I pull as long as I can stay ahead of them, because with Siphon Life ticking on every one and my Howl of Terror/Drain Life  combo as a safety net (not to mention Death Coil for emergencies), I can tear through the entire Cave without stopping except to loot.  Given that my DoTs can now tap instantly and at range, I really don’t see anyone else being able to compete with me.  Sure, a Druid or a Hunter can insta-tap at range, too, but they have to stand relatively still to DPS.  Like the Energizer Bunny, I just keep going …

On a somewhat related note, I really wish that there was some way we could cancel DoTs — kind of like a Totemic Recall for DoT effects.  So many raid bosses drop aggro between phase changes (I’m looking at you, Hydross!) that I have to “stop DoTs” well before the end of each phase.  That’s 60% of my DPS, gone. 

The fact that Ghostcrawler is actively soliciting feedback on warlock spells gives me hope.  Maybe now that he’s done playing with Death Knights, Druids and Hunters, it will be our turn.  In the meantime, I’m determined to enjoy what we did get with this patch: a brand new tapping mechanic and a 6 second cooldown to Circle of Healing and Wild Growth. 

(You mean I may actually get to raid heal again?  My days of pretending I’m a paladin with these Flashes of Lesser Healing Light could be over?!  Madness.)

January 20, 2009 at 4:33 pm 2 comments

I call the green drake!

I healed a Heroic Occulus run last night for my guild’s paladin tank, since it was the last instance he needed for his Champion of the Frozen Wastes title.  I didn’t volunteer when he asked for a healer in /gchat, because I didn’t think my healing would be up to it; but when he whispered me directly, and expressed more confidence in my abilities than I had, I couldn’t say no.

I wasn’t looking forward to the run, to be honest.  I had just healed 10-man Malygos with a Holy Priest and a Resto Druid — and what a depressing experience that was!  I didn’t expect to be able to keep up with them, since they’re mains and core raiders, and I’m a lowly alt who only comes in for a couple of specific fights and always passes on gear.  I have yet to replace the last of my dungeon blues!  But Malygos was especially bad: between being woefully undergeared compared to the other healers, and unprepared for the pull (I clicked “no” to the /readycheck for a reason!), and not having a spammable instant-cast AoE heal …

Um, yeah.  I might as well have let them two-heal it and gone on my ‘lock.  At least she can continue to DPS through the vortex.  (Finally!  A use for summoning circles other than salvaging my dignity on the Thaddius jump!  “Who fell?  Not me!  I’m up here …”  *glows greenly*) 

Jef, I am very sorry you’re being nerfed in 3.0.8.  But even if Blizz were to turn the bear multiplier upside down and inside out, so it actually decreased bonus armor … the patch STILL couldn’t come soon enough for me.

Insta-tag DoTs and a six second cooldown to Circle of Healing and Wildgrowth?  Yes, please!

(Don’t worry, bear.  I’ll still love you in feathers.)

Anyway, back to Occulus.

I really didn’t want to be online after that Malygos run, let alone on my shaman, but I have a hard time saying no to people who are nice to me, and the paladin tank is definitely that.  He’s one of those rare players who takes such joy in the game that being in a group with him is always better than being in a group without him. 

His enthusiasm is infectious; I can’t be in a bad mood when he’s around.  It just isn’t possible.

To make things even better, it was a good group: Prot Paladin, Ret Paladin (yay, replenishment!), Death Knight, Rogue — all guild members, all raid geared, and all skilled at their respective classes.  I was by far the weakest link.  But even with my sub-2K +heals, we breezed through the first three bosses and all of their associated trash with no deaths.

… Unless you count that time I fell off my drake.  I don’t. >.>

I was completely blown away by how little healing the paladin needed compared to … every other tank I have ever run with!  My Earth Shield literally solo-healed him through two of the three-construct pulls; even with my hands completely off the keyboard, his health never dipped below 90%.

The run went so smoothly that we decided to challenge ourselves on the last boss by killing him with five emerald drakes, knocking out the Ruby Void and Amber Void achievements in one “swell foop” (as my friend Christine would say).  The trick is simply to kite Ley-Guardian Eregos in wide circles, keeping the damage debuff and a three-stack of poison spit on him at all times.  Stay ahead of the whelps, fly out when he phase-shifts and heal each other occasionally.  

It takes a while to kill him this way, but it’s remarkably easy once you get the hang of it.  I’m the most spatially challenged person in my guild, and I managed it with no problems.  Then again, I also 2v2 with a resto druid — or did at level 70 — so I’m comfortable with the DoT-kite, drain and outlast concept.  That’s really all this is.

I think we’re going to try for Emerald Void tonight if we have time before our Naxx 10 run.  Now that I’ve sufficiently recovered from my Malygos-inspired bout of CoH-envy, I’m looking forward to it, even though it means I’ll have effectively split the hardest heroic achievements between my two characters.  I’ll never get a red proto-drake at this rate … but I’m enjoying the challenge for its own sake (and am rather fond of my Netherwing drake, Princess, anyway).

Highlight of the night?  /dancing in ghost wolf form with four totems, an Iron Dwarf, a naked zombie and a paladin in a Green Lumberjack Shirt (and only a Green Lumberjack Shirt) on a floating rock above Nexus while we waited for our tank to log back in after a lengthly disconnect.

Completely random fact: if you have the Headless Horseman’s mount, you can mount on dragonback, so you’re riding the horse and the horse is riding the drake.  I wish I’d thought to get a screen shot of that!

January 13, 2009 at 11:31 am Leave a comment

Happy New Year (from HoL)!

I rang in the New Year in a regular Halls of Lightning PuG.  I was healing on my mini-Shaman, now level 78 and still specced Enhancement for fast leveling.  I didn’t bother to respec or re-glyph for the run; I just threw on my old resto gear from ZA and chain healed away.  With the exception of Loken, who took a couple of tries — the tank had never seen the instance before, and had some problems mastering the movement of the fight — it was a breeze.

The Warrior tank was tagged with one of those infamous trade channel zerg guilds that the entire server likes to make fun of, for its admittedly stupid name (redacted to protect the guilty) and slight disconnect between its members’ raiding pretensions and actual progression (by the end of TBC, there were three groups clearing Kara — barely).  Still, I had an open mind: my little brother is in the same guild, and I know from listening in on Vent that his guildmates tend to be friendly and fun-loving, if occasionally immature … in other words, kids.

In spite of the wipes on Loken and my discovery that I am “that shaman” (you know, the one who remembers she forgot to buy ankhs when she dies 90% into the boss fight?), it was a really good time.  Surprisingly, refreshingly, I’m-so-glad-I-accepted-that-ninja-invite good.  Everyone in the PuG was decent at their class, tolerant of mistakes, and generally just fun to be around. 

It turned out that four of us were in Mountain Standard Time, so we wished each other a Happy New Year at  midnight.  At the end of the run, amidst the usual “great group!” ‘s and “thanks for the invite!” ‘s, the Death Knight actually said we made his New Year’s eve.

Much to my surprise, I found myself agreeing.

EDIT:  One resolution for the New Year?  Don’t autorun (autofly?) and alt-tab to blog!  Fatigue = rezz sickness = bad!

January 1, 2009 at 5:56 pm Leave a comment

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