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!