Tuesday, 25 August 2009

You heard it here first!

Finally blizz have fulfilled my dream to play a gnome priest! Whether i actually have the patience to level another character is yet to be seen, but i will try!

Do blizz read my site? Hell No, but none the less, my dreams have finally come true!


Friday, 7 August 2009

Where are we now?

Its been almost 3 months since I last posted, but given my track record with this blog you shouldn’t be too surprised at that. I don’t do farewell posts, simply because they would contribute to over 50% of my post count.

Anyway, I just thought it was about time I did a bit of an update of where we are since May.

So as you may remember the situation was that Ulduar had just landed and it was causing major problems for our guild. We’ve never been a "large" guild and our lack of numbers was halting our raid progression. A number, I estimate around 3 of our regular raiders left the guild for pastures new, and this rocked the guild. There was a snowball effect, which resulted in around 8-10 members moving on.

It took until the end of June for everything to really sink in and get back to "normal" In the meantime, I, along with another long standing member of the guild were promoted to officers and went about the task of rebuilding the guild.

We are now at a point where we are progressing through Ulduar nicely on 10man, and have started doing joint 25man runs with a guild in a similar position to ours. Whilst these are going sloooowwwwllly, we are progressing and learning each others personalities and abilities along the way.

But the most important, and in fact noticeable thing over the last 3 months is the spirit! Since June everyone has been amazing. I think we are now at a place where we have again, a like-minded set of people who have similar goals in wow. There is no doubting that we all want to progress and see new content, but we’re doing it at our pace. Those that don’t raid are not being talked about (which has happened in the past) and everyone is left to get on with there own thing. In fact the guild is pretty self sufficient now, so much so that I don’t really do anything in my role as officer!

Where do we go from here?

Who knows! The current bug where XT is stuck in hard-mode has really affected our plans for this week. The aim was to extended the raid lock-out and clear ulduar over the next two weeks, with a view to starting the new content the following week.

I would still really like to clear ulduar, but we need to consider what the rest of the guild would like, although tbh there are still a number of people in the guild that would like to raid, but cant get their gear levels up to the required levels, mainly because we don’t run naxx anymore.

So there we are. Valerius is fighting fit, and long may they continue. If I was a betting man, I wouldn’t bet against Valerius getting back on the 25man radar before Christmas!!!


Tuesday, 19 May 2009

The 3 P's

Practice! Practice! Practice!

Most of my wow time consists of completing dailies and raiding, that’s essentially all I have the time or patience for at the moment. However this weekend I took the opportunity to do a few heroics for some rep and shards.

What I came to realise is that ive become a really lazy healer, whether its because you have that extra support in raids, or just because mana isn’t generally an issue when raiding, but I found heroics, whilst not earth shatteringly impossible, sufficiently challenging.

With Misty getting closer to 80 Im going to make it a target of mine that we do more heroics together, which will also give me the opportunity to stay sharp, either with healing hands or the dps stick “pew pew”.

What doesnt kill you, can only make you stronger

This was put best by our new/current GM. Essentially we have shaken the tree and some stuff has fallen out.

At the moment valerius is struggling as a guild, the spirit and core of the guild remains, but we are leaking raiders each day. This was a result of the increasing frequency of cancelled raids, which as frustrated and upset people.

Firstly, I do not blame those people that have left, nor those in the guild that simply don’t raid. We are not a “hardcore” guild and I believe that individuals are free to play the game in whichever way suits them.

It is important for the guild that people who are not happy and not achieving personal goals, should reflect upon their role in the guild. If they do not see the guild progressing at the same speed they want, it is better they leave than resent those they have come to call friends.

I am a true believer that sometimes it is necessary to take a step back in order to take two forward, and that is certainly true here. For whatever reason valerius has hit a wall, but it is only (imo) temporary and we will break through that wall.

A solid raid group does not come easily and we have been fortunate that many of those that raid with valarius have been doing so for a number of years. It is reasonable that with recruitment drive comes inconsistency.

For valerius, now is a time to regroup, and rebuild, make new friends and understand our strengths and weaknesses as a collective. With time we will becoming a force again and I strongly believe we will come out of this a bigger, stronger, and happier guild than before.

Friday, 8 May 2009

commenting problems

It has just been brought to my attention by Tobold that embedded comments do not seem to be working... Ive tested a number of work arounds, but for some reason it just doesnt want to work.

For now i have revereted back to the pop-up comments page, so please feel free to comment as you see fit.

p.s. i am going to continue to delude myself that the problem with blogger is why i have not received a comment in over a month!


What do you call a raid without a healing coordinator?


Since wrath we have always had two healers with an outstanding commitment to knowing a fight inside out and the pressures each encounter puts on the healers. However one of those people has now quit wow, and who knows if or when he may return. That leaves one! Despite the fact he has fantastic raid attendance, sometimes people just cant make a raid, and last night, he couldn’t.

So, where did this leave us? Right up shit creek tbh.. we had 7 healers all asking the same question…. What do we do? Ive only really been in Ulduar once, and so im not an expert on the encounters, and so in the end we all chipped in, trying to work out the best assignments for each of the healers. Leading a raid, group, or healers is never an easy task, and one I don’t really welcome, but I think im going to take it upon myself to be more aware of the encounters, what happens, where damage spikes occur etc… with a view to fill in the void if ever required again. Its also important that you know what each of your team excels at, be it group healing or MT/OT. For further information on leadership, i refer you to Lodur.

Has anyone else had experience in leading a raid? How did you find it? If you don’t, what would you do to change the way healing is assigned in your guild?

Burn Out!

Those two little words. They are familiar to almost every wow player and due to the nature of the game will always exist. Today I wanted to talk a little about burn out, but for once, not my own personal feeling, but the overwhelming trend in the wow community at the moment.

Whether it be a guildy, or just another toon on the server, burn out affects us all, its that feeling of boredom or exhaustion grips us like a deathknight, and normally follows a long and meaningful grind of something, be it rep, pets, mounts or similar. For most wow players it means a break of some form from the game, sometimes a day or week, in others a month or two, and for some they simply never return.

I’ve suffered this burnout many times, and as you can see from some of my longer blog breaks I always come back with a new found energy and enthusiasm for the game.

At the moment though, burn out seems to be more prominent than ever in wow. Within our guild it seems to be affecting raiding more than anything, but I notice all over the blogsphere that people are taking a step back from wow! But why?

In many cases personal lives are more important and I completely accept that, changes in circumstances or family loss can affect your outlook on life and your priorities, but what about every one else that’s absent at the moment. Personally I think it’s a lot to do with the expansion, whether it be burnout from the grind, or the lack, absence, or disappointment of end game raiding.

The cynic in me says that people aren’t playing at the moment because end game has gotten to difficult for them, and that they’re waiting until Ulduar is nerfed or their guild has it on farm.

What ever the reasons may be, burnout is affecting players everywhere and is becoming an ever more worrying trend within wow.

I guess the reason for this post is more to do with my personal views than I had intended, whilst we don’t appear to have specific burnout issues in the guild we are struggling to put together a 25man raid each week, and the last 3 raid nights have been cancelled because of this. Its fair to say the last week was full of bank holidays across Europe which did not help our cause, but there is a more worrying picture emerging, and unless things change, we may be forced to postpone 25 man raiding indefinitely.


wow that was a poorly constructed post, I completely lost track of what I wanted to say, but hopefully I got across a few points:

a) there’s an increasing number of players suffering from burnout
b) this is having an effect on my and in fact everyone’s ability to raid

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

The Nerf Stick: Friend or Foe?

Whilst I was writing my thoughts down on the 10 vs 25man argument I noted a post pop up in my reader from wow insider! Before I even read on I knew what they’re about to say!

That’s right, yet another nerf (hotfix) for Ulduar. Through reading some of the changes it appears on the face of things that Ulduar is getting easier and easier by the day. Of course until these changes actually go Live im just speculating on their impact, however I will be expecting a much easier ride in Ulduar once they have hit the servers.

Maybe im overreacting in my opposition to these “fixes” and maybe the encounters are currently “not as blizzard had intended” but I just wish they’d stop making everything easier. Instead of kills feeling like an achievement, they’re going to be meaningless urple farming once again!

On the bright side we will still have the “hard” mode to compete with, until of course they’re “fixed” aswell!

Ive made my feeling on Ulduar perfectly plain for all to see, but what do you think? Is Ulduar to hard, Is it a Guild breaker, or is it merely to much effort for people to put in?

10 vs 25: The Conundrum

Its fair to say that I have quite an open view on raiding, raid difficultly and whinny little bitches! And usually I would say that if you are struggling with content then its probably been pitched at just the right level (despite public opinion, raiding isn’t supposed to be a cake walk). However the more and more I look at the 25man content for Ulduar, the more and more I think there is a need to do some 10man content first.

From a healing perspective I am fairly confident in what I am doing and fairly confident that collectively we are not struggling to heal through the 25man content. However it is obvious to me that we are struggling to dps the things down! On every encounter thus far we have hit the enrage timer on multiple occasions. It is arguable that we are refining strategies and this will impact upon the time taken to kill something, but we are more often then not 20% away from killing stuff when It enrages!

As a guild we have decided that we are going to focus on the 25man content (for now), although 10man groups are going on each week, and to my knowledge are proving more successful. Given this, I would have thought it more sensible to focus on doing 2x10man raids on the allotted (official) raid nights! More to the point, how many raiding guilds did 10man Naxx first? I know we did! So why is Ulduar different, why do we think we can step straight into 25mans.

To argue this I have looked at the 10man content, and more importantly the rewards (gear) acquired, and I have to say, im not all that impressed! There were maybe one or two items I would currently consider to be upgrades, and I mean maybe! It’s debatable. If we applied that rule across the entire guild you would expect that we have a good level of healing/tanking/dps! So why is it that we struggle so much?

My guess is that we just not quite there yet…. And that a few weeks of further strategy refining is required (hopefully). With Thursday comes another fresh Instance for us to tackle, and hopefully some further progression will be achieved.

So, Ulduar was a (fairly) big jump from Naxx etc… How has you guild faired so far? Did you jump right in to the 25man content or have you been refining your strategies in the 10man (easy) mode?

Monday, 27 April 2009

The List

Practically anyone that knows me will tell you im lazy, flaky and crap at planning things out, and they’d all be wrong, I plan things plenty, I just don’t write anything down. Again, that’s probably not completely accurate, in fact every night with out fail I go home with at least two post-it-notes attached to my wallet. The information on these varies from "cook dinner" to titles of potential blog posts, but the one thing they all have in common is that they get lost. Before they hide from me though I usually get a chance to cross 1 or 2 of the jobs up, but needless to say, I completely forget the other 10,000 things I want/need/should be doing.

So, ive decided to come up with a list. A list of things that I still want to obtain or achieve in wow. This doesn’t including raiding as that’s just part of the working week, but instead smaller things that I can work on/through at my own pace.

Anyway, enough rambling, here we go!
  • White polar bear!
  • Complete all icecrown quests
  • Exalted with with argent crusade
  • Exalted with knights of ebon blade
  • Exalted with timbermaw
  • Investigate the argent tournament
  • Try out the new fishing dailies
  • Obtain 100 cooking tokens (you know what they’re for :P)
  • Level Tayend to 80 (warrior)
  • Level Masahashi to 80 (hunter)
  • Level my Mage and Warlock to 80 (this may take a while as they are 13 and 35 respectively)
  • Solo some BC instances
  • Exalted with netherwing
  • Exalted with skyguard
  • Obtain 100 mounts
  • Obtain 75 companions
  • Complete some fishing achievements

That’s quite a comprehensive list of things id like to do over the coming months, however obviously completing the Wrath goals is my first priority and the rest will follow as and when I have a spare 5 years!

Seeing as at the moment I have only been logging in an hour before raids, which is just enough time to do 2 or 3 dailies, this list could take some time to complete. I’ll keep you posted on my progress


Thursday, 23 April 2009

Well it was St.Georges Day

So yea it was St Georges day yesterday and what better way to celebrate the patron saint of England then to slay a dragon in his name, and you know what, that’s exactly what we did.

It was another long and hard night in Ulduar last nigh, although to be fair the time did seem to fly by. Flame Leviathan was fairly straight forward. For last nights attempt we still had some new-commers and so played it safe and took down all the towers, however next week I think we are going to leave one up!

Onwards to Razorscale we went. Having spent the best part of a raid night on him last week we were fairly confident with our strategy for this fight. Although we wiped 3 or 4 times it was far more promising than previous attempts, and we were consistently getting him down to 20%.

Finally we wiped ourselves down, got back up and had another go. This time we were successful, and in the process I actually managed to pocket [Shackles of the Odalisque]

There was more action to report from Ulduar last night, but I think I’ll leave it at that for now!


A week ago

So it’s a week after returning to wow, and how do I feel? Well suffice to say at the moment I think everything is going pretty well. I have managed to slot back into the raid calendar quite nicely and whilst im not logging in on a daily basis, im still managing to integrate into the social side of the guild.

I have quite a few goals still left to achieve in wow, but im not in any urgent rush to accomplish them. If I have half a day to play one weekend then I will, but im not devoting anywhere near as much time as I once was, and for the most part im not sat wishing I was playing wow, which in itself is quite refreshing.

I didn’t mention at the time, but Sunday’s raid itself wasn’t all that successful. In fact we just couldn’t take down Raz? No matter how hard we tried. It wasn’t through lack of trying though, and im pretty confident that we have nailed down a sound strategy. However 3 hours of rinse and repeat wiping is very tiring, and may well have had an affect on Monday nights raid sign-ups. Come kick-off we only had 22 raid members, which just wasn’t going to cut it for Ulduar, so instead another wipefest occurred in VoA when up against Emalon.

So with it being a Thursday today the obligatory raid is scheduled and numbers permitting we will have another crack at Ulduar, and maybe even kill some stuff!

I would be interested to hear from people on there raid make up though. How many healers are you taking to Ulduar in these early days and are you finding DPS more of an issue than healing?

Wednesday, 22 April 2009


Originally this post was going to be very positive for me, I was going to comment on my personal feeling of success since the February re-launch of the blog!, but then on reviewing my initial goal I realised that I haven’t really achieved anything.

I vowed that this time around I would do things properly, and I would aim to be a more vocal presence in the blogsphere and make sure I was up to date on all the latest news. I vowed I would post once a week (minimum) to keep myself writing… failed there to!

So what is there to be proud about? Well, I did a redesign of the blog, which was very satisfying on different levels, and prompted me to set some other cogs in motion, such as hooking up to sitemeter.

The latter upgrade was introduced both in order to inflate my ego, but more importantly to give me a better idea of where my readers were coming from and how. Site referral is a funny old tool, and it gives me a good indication about what people are searching for when they find me….

In terms of ego inflation I hadn’t really set targets in terms of site visit numbers, but I was excited to learn today that I am creeping ever nearer towards 1000 visits, which I find almost mind blowing. In the grand scheme of things it doesn’t seem like a lot, but to little old me, it’s a massive number, that I hadn’t even really imagined in my wildest dreams.

All this aside, im still not satisfied! I haven’t kept to my original targets for this year and that’s something im going to work on over the coming weeks, along with my articles which aren’t quite as thought provoking as I had hoped! Maybe bloging is going to turn out to be one of those things that you can never be 100% satisfied with, but we’ll see.


Tuesday, 21 April 2009

When the Going Gets Tough

I for one have been supremely satisfied with the new raid content that has landed with 3.1. Since wrath launched all those months ago everyone within the warcraft community has been waiting for some new, exciting, and most importantly, challenging raid content, and that is most certainly what we have received.

For those people that are bemoaning the content as over-buffed, pull your thumbs out of your arse and do some fricking work!

Before this patch was launched, we were blessed (if you want to call it that) with some real cake walk content, which has had a significant effect on how we now approach raiding, and not for the better.

We (collectively) have become arrogant, lazy and impatient, and rather than becoming excited by every kill, we criticise every wipe.

I recall a time not so long ago, where every kill was an achievement, a badge of honor you could wear proudly amongst you piers, and its about time those times returned.

For the record, by guild have only managed to clear the first encounter in Ulduar thus far, but we are not down heartened and we are not calling for the content to be nerfed! We are calling for a time where you gave 110% on every encounter, wasted every pot and every cooldown you had to ensure the raid success.

Warcraft is not all about easy kills and new gear! For some it is the excitement of seeing new content and knowing that they worked hard to achieve new goals! This is why I still play, it might also be why I came back, but the exhilaration of succeeding in an new encounter for the first time outweighs any ingame cost to you or your guild!

So next time your raid wipes, don’t be disheartend! Release, Rez, and try Again! And when you succeed! Celebrate!!! That first kill only comes around once!!


Friday, 17 April 2009

A month is a long time in wow

I made this very same comment in yesterdays post, but it wasn’t until last night that I fully understood its meaning.

Having logged on to wow last night I came to realise that whilst some things always remain the same in wow, as in real life, trends, economies and allegiance’s all change.

There was unfamiliarity about wow last night, about dalaran, about the people I have come to call friends. I’ll grant you it was a raid night and people were busy, but it seemed quiet, It did not feel like a living, breathing MMO, but a stale, dark, RPG.

The reason I return to wow is not because I have an abundance of spare time, in the same way I don’t write this blog just because there is nothing better to do. I play wow for the enjoyment it has given me, for the friends I have made, and the things I have, and still want to accomplish.

I have been secretly building up to last night for a week or so, planning my return to the game that has given me so many good memories, and maybe my expectations were to grand, maybe it was just a bad time to return with all that’s going on, maybe im looking for something that doesn’t exist anymore.

Im hoping to get involved in a raid this weekend, hoping that it will spark off that comradery that you only feel in the middle of battle. Maybe I’ll spend an hour or two before hand setting myself some real targets…. I do like achievements.

Anyway, the little posting I have done of late has all been quite dark and depressing, so, to the few people that may be reading this (and yes I know you’re still out there even if you’re embarrassed to admit it), here’s a few posts around the blogsphere to keep you occupied (and informed)….

Matts Guide to Healing Flame Leviathan
The Dueg’s First Impressions of Ulduar
What did Kestrel Think?

Keep up the good work guys


Thursday, 16 April 2009

Baby Steps

So its that time of year where everything you know and trust is different, everything you rely upon is broken, and every server you visit crashes!

Yes ladies and gentleman it patch time!

Ive only been away for a month, but I soon remembered a month is along time in wow, things change, people change, allegiances change! This is even more evident on patch day, and im comfortable in admitting im feeling incredibly lost.

On a plus side having read my guild forums I was pleasantly surprised to find for one reason or another some old comrades have returned to wow… These are people I grew up with in wow and im really happy to have them back again! Shlub, Abrams… Welcome Back!!

So anyway, I prepared a check sheet in advance of logging on tonight, although typically I expect to get sidetracked my aims are:

* Update and test addons and UI
* Re'spec for healing (im not bothered with my dual spec right now)
* Check out the Argent Tournament thing
* Do some old dailies
* Test out new spec
* Inspect the new achievements and compile list of my forthcoming goals
* Inspect new gear and compile my Ulduar Wish list
* Check out profession changes
* DO some AH trading
* Relax and fish!

That’s actually a pretty hefty task so I’ll see how It goes

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

More a "cya" than a "Goodbye!"

I always considered myself to be a bit of a writer, always thought I had something to say and that it would be a worth while contribution to the throw into the ring. Having started this blog and reading a great number of stories across the blogsphere, I started to realise I didn’t have that much to say. What I thought were original theories and view points, were not!

On my third stab at the blog I gave it a real go. I redesigned the blog from the bottom up, to a point that I was really impressed and proud with what I had done, yet as impressive as it was to me, the content I was publishing remained stale, unoriginal and essentially pretty lame.

At the moment I am taking a (what I originally envisaged permanent) break from warcraft. I’ve never been very good with prioritising things, and over the last month or so I realised some of my personal actions had been misguided at best. I made promises to myself, but more importantly to the people I love, and I let them down.

Have I missed wow over the last month, have I missed blogging, or spending every waking moment reading someone elses blog? Surprisingly not.

While I sit here writing this, I do so with fond memories of the game, and the people that became friends, and I sigh. For my personality does not understand the word casual, only obsessive.

So, what does the future hold for warcraft and I? To that question I have no answer, I’d like to think I was mature enough to only play casually, but in my heart of hearts im just not sure that I am.
The new content around the corner will entice me, but for now im going to say my good bye’s and good luck’s and hope you all continue to enjoy the game we all love!

Thursday, 26 February 2009

who said raiding was boring?

oh right, that was me wasnt it.

Well maybe i was a tad hastey in my comments on stale content.

Blue posts today confirm that after 3.1 goes live we wont be able to get the rewards from the
“Glory of the Raider” and “Heroic: Glory of the Raider” achievements. This means that all and sundry will be trying to complete the meta achievements as soon as possible.... Its a shame to see them go, but like the amani war bear the rewards were indended to be obtained for completing something particularly difficult at that level.... After that they becoming less meaningful...

rest in peace plagued and black proto drakes!!!

The evolution of WoW

okay, so i was reading a popular UK computer magazine this afternoon and i came across an interesting link to a video about the world of warcraft sequal...

Im not sure if this is old news, but it certainly made me chuckle!


Variety is the spice of life

In todays post I wanted to talk a little bit about how you prioritise your play time. Like many people out there I certainly don’t have time, and nor would I want to play all day every day, so the time I do spend in wow is at times limited. To combat this I set myself objectives and prioritise what I want to achieve, although if im honest these seem to change daily.

The last couple of weeks I have been on a bit of an achievement drive, which has taken me back to Azeroth and grinding some reputations. I have found this really enjoyable, even if at times it doesn’t feel like ive done much for an evenings work. The problem with focussing on doing achievements on Cav is that it leaves my other toons somewhat neglected.

This in itself is not necessarily a bad thing. For now Tay (warrior) and my death knight are solely reserved for playing with my girlfriend, we go our own little adventures and work through the content together. However it has left Masa (hunter) and my various other lowbie alts to mull around SW aimlessly.

Im torn between wanting to complete everything (and I mean literally everything) on Cav, or levelling all my other characters!! There are a lot of other classes ive always wanted to try and never had the chance, maybe that’s where my time would be better spent.

For now I will continue to focus in on cav! But at some point I really wanna tank some stuff… and maybe even take my hunter for some [yawn!] dps!!

How do you prioritise your game time, do you split it over your toons, focus on your main, or do you just play sporadically without defined objectives?

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Missing Content from 3.1

Instead of another post about whats in the current version of 3.1, which by the way, will change before it goes live, so please don’t get to excited or irate if you see game making / breaking changes in the initial notes!! Instead I want to talk about something close to my heart that once again blizz has excluded from their latest patch….

That’s right, whilst many players will be excited with the proposed changes to wow, and others all in a fuss because “blizz have broken >>insert class here<< ”!! I sat and read the notes, nervously scouring for the one change I was begging, wishing, praying for! but alas, blizz failed me again.

[how long can I leave you all in suspense, I guess we’ll see]

To many this change [addition] will seem inconsequential, to others illogical, and to a small minority [lore nerds] it will be insulting, but to me, it is the most inexcusable exclusion from the game… I am of course talking about….

Gnome priests!

that is all.....

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Split personality

Ive talked about dual specs before, and im sure as the info comes flying in from the PTR I will mention it again. So far we know that they are coming, and we know how they will work (i.e. how we switch), but up until today we knew nothing about the cost of dual spec’ing.

What will you pay?

On the current build, it is going to set you back 1000g to learn how to dual spec.In my experience, by the time you hit 80, you will probably have acquired in excess of this cash requirement, however I guess the more pertinent question is, is it enough?

For example, flying mounts. At the time, the newest cash sink was the ability to fly, for most the initial flying skill did not cause cash flow problems, however to be privileged enough to be able to get an epic mount would have required a fare amount of grinding.

For me blizz had set the bar about right… “lets make sure everyone can use the new ability, but give it two levels”, kind of like economy and first class.

Clearly there probably isn’t the flexibility for a similar arrangement here, and whilst I can’t argue with the current low cost of dual spec’s, I can’t help but wonder if it is right?

Given that a gigantic bag set you back 1200g in TBC, and the amount of cash people are accumulating at the moment, should a game changing ability only cost 1000g, and if you are setting it low so that everyone can get it anyway, why charge at all?

1000g seems like a nice round number, but I would still envisage blizz rescaling the amount at some point, and it leads me to my question for the community…

What would you pay for dual-specs and what will blizz set the price on the live realms?

Monday, 23 February 2009

when raiding becomes stale.....

The fundamental problem with current end game content is the lack of end game content! and moreover, original raiding content.

From a guild point of view, i think its fair to say we are a middle of the road sort of guild. We arent particularly bad in any areas, but nor are we the best guild on the server. Although we only officially raid 3 nights a week for 25man content, we also do the 10 man equivalent on days off, and to be fair, we clear the current content in around 2 days give or take an hour or so to finish up. I guess my point is, we arent "hardcore", but we take it seriously none the less.

Given this, and although it should be something to be proud of, im quite disapointed to be able to say that i have, excluding Sath 3D cleared all current end game content. This from a guild that never made it to BT!!

Whilst the current content holds its own challenges, its not even close to the difficulty of vanilla or TBC content for difficulty, in fact its childs play in comparison.

Achievements have added replay value, even after the whole guild is kitted out, but really blizz... rescaling a vanilla instance and 3 single boss encounters..... really not good enough for launch end game content.

The next patch is scheduled to include all new content in the form of Ulduar, and to be frank, it cant come a moment to soon!

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

p...p....p......pick up a pengu!

its the little things that make it all worth while.... isnt he wonderful.......


Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Lady Luck was on my side

Okay, so i just wanted to write a quick gloat post regarding my amazing luck tonight.

I have been writing a list of things i want to achieve in wow over the coming months. One of which was to finally get my argent dawn rep up to exalted. In doing so, i saw no harm in also grinding for barons mount. I never really expected it to drop, i dont have a huge deal of luck usually when it comes to things like that.

So i did 3 quick runs tonight before getting an invi
te to a heroic CoS. At this point we were still a man down so i went back into strat:undead for another run, the group was assembled and ready to go just as i got to Ramstein. I quickly got past him to the baron as the summon came through... downed him quickly, checked my loot box!!! and no fricking way.....

Most of the guild were obviously happy, although there are a few that i know have been trying for the mount for sometime now, and i did feel a very small amount of sorrow for them....

so... 6 runs into my adventure i have obtained the not so holy grail! i am a very happy healer right now

Dual spec'ing across the universe!

Annoyingly ive just noticed an article go up on wowinsider from matt regarding dual specs, however i dont have time to read it until tonight. Hopefully i wont repeat to much of what he has said, but heres something i wrote last night

What do dual specs mean to you?

For me, it’s the pleasure I will get out of soloing old content that I have missed, or grinding in places for rewards I was unable to get. Not only this, but the ease in which I can finally complete the quests in northrend. Ive missed whole zones at the moment, whether it be due to time or difficulty.

For some it will be pvp, and the chance to spec in such a way to improve the pvp healing, dmg, or just survivability.

But for the small minority of purists, it will be an opportunity to have to dual healing specs, or, as I will more affectionately refer to it, "situational healing specs".

It all begs the question though, where do dual specs end? If we can chose from two specs, why not three, or four or ten?

I think its safe to say, we have reached the limit on multiple specs, any more would be in my opinion, Game Breaking…but that’s not to say that people, at some time or another, will not demand more!

Monday, 16 February 2009

Raid Etiquette – Loot

Raiding has changed considerably over time, from the 40 man raids in vanilla to the 25 man in burning crusade. With the introduction of wrath we went to normal and heroic raids, reportedly to enable even the casual gamer the chance of raid glory.

My concerns however arise over the distribution of loot. I have been running with the same people for years now, ever since two guilds merged in vanilla wow. Its not always been smooth sailing, but we have a mature bunch of players, with an equal respect of each other, and therefore give or take, raids have always been a pleasant experience.

With the recent changes in wow, loot and raid etiquette has changed. No longer is it our fellow class-mates that we are to be considerate of, but in fact most of the raid. There are many examples, but I’ll pick a recent case that I was not directly involved in.

[Hood of Rationality], which drops from malygos.

In my opinion, based on the current version of wow (excluding forthcoming regen changes), this is the best in slot head piece for priests. However in our short sighted excitement at getting said loot, we forget that arguably, this piece is also best in slot for warlocks. See their spellpower mechanics relate directly to their spirit, and given the crit rating and sockets, they too drool over this piece.

Who should get the [Hood of Rationality]?

Being a priest I know where my allegiance lies, but that’s not to say im right, in fact I am most probably wrong. In these cases it comes down to the individuals. We do not have a loot council and I don’t think its something we would even consider, we have a simple dkp system, and for the most part it works, people are considerate, and if something is a bigger upgrade for person x they can usually have it! But there are still cases where someone will be left seething that a warlock has taken the best priest item in game, but trust that the warlock feels exactly the same when you take the same item!!!

There was a much simpler time, when dps took spellpower and priests took healing gear. However, here and now, we are all equal and the chances are in some cases we want exactly the same things! Whether it be today, next week or next month, you will get the gear you want, and I guarantee the less you worry, the more satisfying new loot is.

Raids are about clearing content…. And I guarantee you cant do it alone!

Has it really been four years?

Happy Birthday everyone!

It had been a busy weekend, and it is only now that ive had time to catch up on my reading.

Most of you will remember that lovely little polar bear we all received a few months back to celebrate the 4th anniversary of wow! At the time I thought it was strange, it didn’t seem the right time of year, but I thought no more of it. Today though, everything realigned and made sense, for it was not until the 11th February 2004, that us lucky residents of the EU received the game to end what social lives we had intact.

I am one of these people that have played since the very first launch night…. I remember the queues to get online that first night, but what I didn’t realise was that it was merely 4 years ago that this first started. Had I done the math, im sure I would have realised it was only 4 years, however when I think about wow, the experiences I’ve had, the people I’ve met, I find it hard to imagine it being such a short time.

I want to take this opportunity to thank blizz, all the people I have played with over the years, but most importantly my girlfriend, as if it was not for wow, I would not be the happiest priest in Azeroth!

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Happy Valentines everyone!

Not a full blown post this time, just a nice pictorial display of valentines day fun!

Have a nice day everyone, chow!

Friday, 13 February 2009

Not Just another world event

As you are probably all aware this week "love is in the air", and normally i would choose to rant on how its another feature designed to encourage us to run around like mand men for a week trying to get all the achievements, however today i learnt the real magic of love week.

As of writing this i still dont have all the achievements, but i seem to be collecting bags full of crap i have no use for. It also strikes me that the trade channel is full of people selling rockets, flowers & love fools! and theres money to be made. The economist in me says "sell them 1g below your nearest competitor.... make a mint", but i choose to ignore this voice and instead i keep an eye out for people requesting items....

  • Along come a human warlock, and she requires some rockets...
  • I drop her a quick whisperer saying that if shes makes her way to Ironforge i have 5 rockets she can have for free.
  • 5 minutes later she appears, and offers me a variety of holiday items, none of which i need.
  • I reassure her i dont want anything in return and theyre more use to her.
  • She trades, says goodbye and leaves.
  • I continue to fish for 5 mins and i get a whisper.
  • Said warlock has now completed all the holiday achievements and is a "love fool"
  • She extends her gratitude again and trades me a candy....

Get this, and this is what makes wow worth it every now and again!

the candy reads....... "You're the Best!!"

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Heaven on Earth

Okay, so i dont really know where these thoughts come from, but this one sprouted from nowhere earlier today. You're gonna have to bear with me though cos i havent ironed out of the wrinkles in this one, of which there are quite a few.

Essentially i was thinking about that nifty little shammy talent known as heroism. Now, this is an excellent little buff and 30% increase in cast speed is excellent, however i was thinking about this a little more and thought how cool it would be if there was a similar priest talent which directly increased healing.

There are some huge flaws in such a spell, including how overpowered this plus heroism would be in a single boss encounter, however none the less, it would be pretty epic.

Heaven on Earth
20% of base mana
Causes all party and raid members
to become enlightend, increasing
healing taken by 300 for 30 seconds.

After the completion of this effect, players
will suffer from spiritual revelation for 5 minutes
and unable to benefit from enlightment.

Anyway, maybe if i get Kestrel to put this up we may even see it in the next patch..... heres hoping.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

An Ode to Blizz

Roses are red,
violets are blue,
we love our mana regen,
so why the hell dont you!!!!

In case you havent seen it already, Matt has challenged us all to create a valentines style post.... this is my contribution.

p.s. i have another idea in the pipe line, just need to find some spare time to write it.

Monday, 9 February 2009

Out of Mana

Subsequent to my 3.1 information post, another blue post hit the waves. I should warn you now.... this is not pleasant reading!

From 3.1 changes will be introduced to mana regeneration across the board. However it is the regeneration outside the FSR that will hit the hardest. To implement this change blizz will be reducing mana regeneration granted by spirit, which means all you druids and priests out there who have been stacking spirit for the last 2 months better think again. To balance this effect, blizz will be buffing some of our mana regeneration talents, such as meditation and spirit tap, however like me, you are still likely to be taking quite a knock from these changes.

ive copied the full blue post for further details:

  • Regeneration while not casting (outside of the “five second rule”) will be decreased. We think that (1) the ability to cast heal over time spells and then sit back and (2) benefitting from a clearcasting proc that also gets you out of the five second rule both provide too much mana regeneration, even over short time periods.
  • To make this change, we are reducing mana regeneration granted by Spirit across the board. However we are also boosting the effects of talents such as Meditation that increase regeneration while casting. The net result should be that your regeneration while casting will stay about the same, but your not-casting regeneration will be reduced. This change will have little impact on dps casters, since they are basically always casting.
  • The specific talents and abilities being boosted are: Arcane Meditation, Improved Spirit Tap, Intensity, Mage Armor, Meditation, Pyromaniac and Spirit Tap. Yes this makes these “mandatory” talents even more mandatory, if such a thing is possible.
  • Since paladins rely less on Spirit as a mana-regeneration stat, we have to address them in other ways. We don’t want to change Illumination or Replenishment. However, we are going to increase the healing penalty on Divine Plea from 20% to 50%. Divine Plea was originally intended to help Protection and Retribution paladins stay full on mana. It should be a decision for Holy paladins, not something that is automatically used every cooldown.
  • In addition, we are also changing the way Spiritual Attunement works. In situations with a large amount of outgoing raid damage, as well as in PvP, this passive ability was responsible for more mana regeneration than we would like. We want to keep the necessary benefit it grants to tanking Protection paladins, while making it less powerful for Holy paladins in PvP or raid encounters with a lot of group damage.
  • We are also taking a close look at clearcasting procs themselves. One likely outcome is to change them to an Innervate-like surge of mana so that the net benefit is the same, but healers won’t shift to out-of-casting regeneration so often.
  • We balance around the assumption that even 10-player groups have someone offering Replenishment. To make this even easier on players we are likely to offer this ability to additional classes, as well as make sure that existing sources of Replenishment are more equitable.

Once we have a better idea of numbers the theorycrafters will no doubt be able to provide a more formulaic explanation of exactly how noticable these changes are going to be, but in the mean time i am going to start picking up some mp5 gear in anticipation of the bad news....

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Achieve Greatness

Usually at this point post expansion I would have taken two characters through to the level cap, however as it stands I only have one! This is down to two major factors:

Firstly Time! I have committed to raiding regularly which consists of 3 nights a week, 4 hours a night! Then, believe it or not, I like to spend some time with my girlfriend. This essentially leaves me with an hour here and there to just “play” warcraft.

This in itself would not be a problem, however it leads my nicely on to my second point and problem, a fairly new thing to warcraft, simply known as, ACHIEVEMENTS!!!

I want to start by saying im by no means an achievement whore (as they are so affectionately known). Im not interested in spending hours at a time doing the same dungeon for 1 fricking achievement, but there are some that I am enjoying working on.

For example, at the moment I am working towards by chef and salty titles, which involves completing a number of cooking and fishing related objectives, two professions that I find both relaxing and enjoyable.

After which I am planning to work through some of the old world reputations and maybe even the 50 mount achievement. Basically any achievements I get along the way are a nice bonus!

Last night however I did find something quite interesting on a site dedicated to all such achievements. Via this site I discovered that in terms of achievement points I actually rank at 169 on my server!! The server is on high population, so admittedly I found this surprising, especially when you consider I didnt complete any of the outland dungeons at all.

I guess what im getting at, is that whilst achievements have certainly added something extra to the game, it strikes me that many of these so called achievements are less of an achievement and more of an award for perseverance. “congratulations on spending 4months grinding on the same mobs for reputation!!! Heres 10points!!!!”

How do you rate achievements, and do you got out of your way to obtain them?

Thursday, 5 February 2009

3.1 at a glance!

The chances are you have already heard about the expected priest changes [enhancements] in 3.1, and if you haven’t…. where the heck have you been all day. For anyone that’s missed it, heres the highlights:

  • Divine Spirit – this spell is now a core ability available to all priests.
  • Discipline has access to a new talent, Power Word: Barrier. (Think of it as Power Word: Shield for your whole group).
  • Several area of effect (AOE) heal spells have been improved: Prayer of Healing can be cast on any groups in your raid party. Holy Nova’s mana cost has been reduced. Circle of Healing now heals for more.
  • Shadow priest PvP survivability has been improved: Shadow Form now reduces magic as well as physical damage. Dispersion now removes snares.
  • Penance – this spell can now be targeted on the priest.
  • Serendipity – this talent now reduces the cast time of Greater Heal and Prayer of Healing when Binding Heal or Flash Heal are cast.
  • We are also working to give Holy additional PvP utility.

As a hybrid build ive tried to absorb the best talents from both trees. Im sure people will disagree, and in fact I probably do too (I’ll talk about the respe later), however I like my current spec, and it seems to like me just fine too.

Where was i… Ah yes! The surprising change for me was the inclusion of divine spirit as a base talent. Undoubtably improved spirit will still be in the discipline tree, but where it sits is yet to be revealed. Personally, if I can afford to spec improved, I will!

Another intresting inclusion to the discipline tree is PowerWord:Barrier, which as I understand it is essentially a raid wide power word shield. Personally at the moment I don’t see there being a great need/use for it, however it may yet prove a useful spell in a priests armory. Moreover, im really excited to play around with it!

Prayer of Healing becoming castable on other groups is potentially massive for those without CoH, although good news for holy spec’d priests!! Following the nerf’ing of COH blizz have seen fit to rebuff the healing output of the spell…. How kind! Whether or not it makes up for the 6 second cast is yet to be seen!

Its fair to say theres some serious healer love in the forthcoming patch, and I cant wait to play around with some alternative specs!

The problem with this blogging business.....

Is getting recognised.

My motivation to post is directly linked to my numbers. At a point where I appear to be getting good numbers I tend to have an inclination to write more. For example today I have darfted 3 or 4 different articles in response to having 80 hits yesterday alone. However, the reality is, these hits are unlikely to be sustainable in the short term, and the majority of these hits will be as a result of kestrel’s shout out on Tuesday.

Im in a catch 22, if I don’t post something innovative or interesting, people have no reason to visit, if people don’t visit I have no reason or inclination to be interesting… im stuffed either way.

Despite this I have a larger underlying concern. Where are all the comments? A blog is a living, breathing entity that is driven not only by its author, but its community. It strikes me that a lack of comments may suggest something about the content I am publishing!
So I Put it too you, the community to have your say.

Tomorrow, Friday 6th February will be known as Freedom Friday here at priestistheword!! This is your opportunity to post whatever you like, there is no censorship or editorial of the comments you leave.

Whether it be a comment about the blog, a comment about priests, healing or otherwise! Share your view and opinions with me and the rest of the community!

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

And another thing!

Along with my new years resolution I think its time for a site redesign…. Hopefully I haven’t bitten off more than I can chew with this one, but I think its time to freshen things up a little….

I’ll have a look at some things tonight possibly, with a view to going live before March….

Stay tuned for further developments!

New Years Resolution Part Deux!

I hold my hands up! I know it, you know, everyone knows it! I have been a crappy blogger for as long as ive been doing this! Its not to say that I don’t have something important to say, or that I cant form sentences… Its that I don’t make the time to pass my opinions on!

However I have set myself a goal. For the time being this is a rather small goal, but the main target is to get into a routine on this stuff. Essentially I am going to aim to write one post a week! Admittedly the quality of the content may vary from time to time, but it’ll at least get me writing again!

Secondly im going to spend 30minutes each day (where possible) to read and comment on other blogs! Due to work constraints I tend to sit in front of google-reader in my lunch break, but this doesn’t allow me to comment as I would like! So, each evening before I boot up wow, im going to take the time to do some reading.

There are many great bloggers out there, and they aren’t all priests! Ive been reading the likes of kestrel and matticus for over a year now, but still Ive probably only commented a handful of times (at best), these are all things that have to change.

Until next time!

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Healing Meters FTL!!!!

I started running Healing meters recently, and was immediately disheartend by the figures it was showing me. I know I don’t do the most healing in the raid, but equally the numbers were depressing. I took solace in the fact that I was not bottom of the metres, however I soon turned them off.

The subject of meters seems to be bouncing around at the moment, so it seems an appropriate time to talk about them.

Past experience of meters tells me that they can lead to too much competition within a raid, and do not give you an accurate representation of a players ability. Is the person at the top of the healing meters the best healer? You could argue either way really, but I tend to tip on the side of no. All this tells you is they did the most healing! For a start its not taking into account their efficiency or their healing assignment. Same goes to DPS. Mage X may be at the top of the meters, but did they do there job to the best of their ability? How do you measure such things!

Before using meters recently I had always measured my success by the guilds success. If we enter a dungeon and clear content we have succeeded. If no one in the raid dies we have succeeded.

So, what do healing meters tell us? They tell us that (it least in our case) that everyone assigned to healing duties is contributing. Sometimes there is a healer who may have done over 25% of the healing, but this doesn’t mean the rest of the team hasn’t contributed.

Despite what ive said, all meters have a purpose and indeed benefit. A bit of extra delving into the data can reveal a lot about how you heal or dps. It can show your strengths and weaknesses, and can help you become a better player.

Meters may have a roll in raids, but they shouldn’t be taken at face value and they shouldn’t be used as a measure of an individual’s ability.

long time no see....

Due to popular demand the blog is back! At least until I forget to maintain it again.

Its been over two months since my last post, and valerius’ first adventure into Northrend raiding, and a lot has happened since then.

Although I do not attend the 10man raids at this time… mainly due to my own personal raid restrictions… I have it on good authority that naxx is well and truly on farm status! This goes pretty much the same for the 25man, although we do have moments of madness, mainly when seeking achievements :P

Sartharion is also on farm in both 10 and 25 man, although that is without drakes!

With drakes it is completely different, and in fact the only real challenge we have yet to conquer.

Malygos, Malygos, Malygos!

Last week the guild successfully downed him in 10man, again I was not present, but it was great news for the guild!

Last night was the 25man version. Essentially it is exactly the same fight, however in my view it is much harder on 25man. You are relying on so many more people to understand the fight than in the 10man, and that’s what makes it tough. The encounter itself is fairly straight forward once you understand it, but you cant afford to have anyone not pull their weight.

A final note on malygos, and actually, this is a healing related comment!

You do not need CoH to heal malygos… we managed fine last night without it, and we will again in the future!