Monthly Archives: July 2009

Less healing means more pew pew

Okay, so for as long as I can remember, I’ve healed in raids. In 40-man raids, and the 25-man Burning Crusade raids, we needed a TON of healers. You could heal 25-mans with like 8 or 9 healers. Now, the difficult encounters are pretty much all DPS races (especially hard modes), where you shouldn’t have more than 5 healers in some of them. However, the number of healers you need is also somewhat variable, leaving room for some people to change specs for some nights.

So, with my interest in having both a resto and a moonkin spec, I’ve worked on trying to keep up my moonkin set. In Ulduar with our loot system, I was pretty much stuck taking what people didn’t want for my moonkin set (which has always been fine with me – I won’t take off-set loot over people who need it). My focus was on my resto set, and I had to “greed” anything I wanted for my second off set (which I only pay half points for). For a while, my moonkin set was okay, but not great – a mix of Naxx 10-man DPS gear, and Ulduar healing gear.

However, in the last two weeks, I’ve seen a lot of caster DPS loot (and even set piece tokens) from the 25-man Ulduar hit “greed” status. So, I bought up 2 set pieces and a new staff on Tuesday. Even before my big push for gear upgrades, my DPS had already started going up on raid nights, due to me getting to have more practice as DPS on the boss fights, along with minor upgrades. The only fight I healed this week was Mimiron, which is still a relatively new one for us with slightly higher healing requirements than our scaled-down team could handle.

So, I got my Intensity staff, and my set helm and chest piece. Then, I went to a testing dummy in Darnassus, and tried out my rotation a few times. To my surprise, my DPS was actually lower with my new set pieces than it was with my original gear, because my crit rating was so low that I just wasn’t proc’ing Eclipse fast enough with all the haste on my set pieces.

So, I went to Graymatter’s Moonkin Best in Slot list, and then realized that my easiest upgrade was to pick up the Sundial of the Exiled trinket (yay crit!), instead of my healing spellpower one.

Then, I downloaded Rawr and tweaked the sets I had to try and maximize the stat options I had. At this point, I have an assortment of pieces I picked up for my moonkin set, pieces for my healing set, and old pieces that I outgrew, along with being able to switch out anything with a piece requiring badges of any type (then again, I was trying to save all those badges for gems in 3.2!). Up until now, I haven’t really needed Rawr, since I had a small enough assortment of gear that I really had obvious choices just to maintain being hit-capped. If you aren’t familiar with Rawr, it’s really a tool that any DPS druid should have (for feral or moonkin). It also works for healing, but it’s really much less necessary for healers, as upgrades should be a lot more straightforward when you don’t also have to worry about things like being hit capped. Between Graylo’s loot list and Rawr, I’ve been able to work out a set of gear that is vastly increasing my damage potential, without having to put much effort into going out and finding more gear.

The final product is a set that looks more like a moonkin put it together, rather than a set that looks like a healer’s off-set (except for my healing shoulders). Of course, I’ve spent so many points this week on upgrading things that I’m pretty much at the bottom of the priority list at this point for any major upgrades, even for my main healing set, which is fine for me. Trying to DPS in raids is actually more work for me than healing, since resto has so much more mobility than balance does, and Eclipse just about always procs at the wrong times, but I’m getting better at it and my DPS overall is starting to climb up to a more reasonable place (though I’m greatly looking forward to 3.2 boosting my damage potential).

Why are healers (on the WoW forums) so afraid of being replaced? The WoW healing forums are pretty much always lit up with healers who are afraid that someone else will steal their healing spot. On the other hand, I’m more than happy to get a chance to try my hand at moonkin. I mean, would a guild rather keep the players they already have, and just let people with dual specs change to a different spec? Or, would they rather re-recruit new players and have their healers get locked out from raiding? With the dual spec system, and “hybrids” being encouraged to pick up gear for more than one role, being a flexible “restokin” ensures that it’s better to have me switch to moonkin than it is to completely replace me. I’m also not the first healer to go DPS in my guild, since my guild really has an overabundance of healers the vast majority of the time. I’m also expecting to go back to primary healing in Coliseum, or when other healers go on vacation, and at this point, I’m asking “do you want me heal or pew pew?” when we hit every boss fight, just to make sure. Either way, I’m raiding and I’m happy.

Posted in Druid - General, Moonkin Balance DPS

Getting epic gems – the hard way or the easy way?

Okay, so as a jewelcrafter, I’m excited about the new epic gems coming out in patch 3.2.

gems_on_whiteI’ve been preparing for a while for getting the jewelcrafting tokens to buy the patterns that I will need to cut the epic gems. I gave up doing the daily quest for a while, so I only have 13 Jewelcrafter Tokens on me (though I need to spend 2 of them on jewelcrafter-only gems for the new gear I got for my moonkin set last night).

I have been doing loops around storm peaks and Icecrown before raids, trying to find titanium ore to prospect for the gems. I also have a 450 alchemist (my shaman). So, I’ve been hoarding not only titanium (I have a couple stacks of ore), but also blue-quality gems & the eternals I need for transmuting them into epic gems.

I was all proud at my 3 stacks of titanium until my boyfriend pointed out something to me. It’s not a 100% drop rate from titanium. With a stack of titanium currently selling for between 180 and 250 gold for 20 ore… I’m not sure that even prospecting the titanium I farmed will actually be a worthwhile endeavor.

I apparently wasn’t paying quite enough attention to all the patch 3.2 stuff, and mmo-champion posted a reminder about how you can get epic gems:

  • Prospect titanium: 25% chance for random color drop
  • 1 from alchemy transmute every 20 hours
  • Emblems of heroism (either 10 or 20, depending on the gem)
  • PvP honor: 10,000

Yes, that’s right. I forgot about being able to spend emblems of heroism & PvP honor on the epic gems. So, why prospect expensive titanium for a chance that they’ll drop when I can just dump all the emblems I don’t need anymore on the gems?  Instead of looking for rare titanium spawns, I should just be running Naxxramas Pugs. You can turn other emblems (valor & conqueror) into heroisms, so you can pretty much dump all your extra badges into epic gems. That really just feels out of proportion in a way. I wouldn’t spend my precious triumph badges on things, but I know there are people sitting around with a hundred or two spare gems that would just otherwise go to waste.

Then again, I’m also sitting around with over 50,000 honor points I haven’t spent on anything, so there’s 5 “free” epic gems for me. Looks like I won’t need any of that titanium in the first place… Why prospect 250 gold worth of titanium, if I’m just going to risk getting 10 gold in rewards, when there are easier ways of getting the epic gems? I may as well just sell my titanium now, before the price of titanium ore really takes a nose-dive after people flood the epic gem market with all their emblem & honor-obtained epic gems.

Posted in Patch 3.2 WotLK

Barking down memory lane

Being an “old school” druid without many alts I’ve leveled up very far, I sometimes like to take trips down memory lane. Since the latest Blog Azeroth shared topic is about memories of the olden days, I felt that I should share some of those old memories with you.

First, it actually took me a while to level up to 60. I also didn’t do it solo most of the time, so almost all my early screen shots are of me in a group. Back then, the easiest way to level was to run behind people and heal them. Fortunately, I had a  great group of friends & guild members to level with (some of which I knew outside of the game, and some I met in the game).  Soloing was possible, but it was also painful, and long. Especially if you primarily picked up loot with caster/healing stats on it. I didn’t see what hurricane looked like until long after I started playing the game. Being a “feral” druid meant that you had feral charge (an 11 point talent). It took about 4 or 5 months for me to level up to 60, though I started playing the game about a week after it first came out. Even at 60, there wasn’t much to do besides healing instances… which I used to do all the time (then again, that’s not so much different from what I do now, lol).

After I hit 60, I started raiding. Back then, druids could only raid as restoration, and the druid community actually asked for STR & AGI to be taken off of our tier sets so that we could heal better. Oh, and raids back then had 40 people! Your tank was pretty much always a warrior. Also, back then, “hybrid” meant “healer”, as all of our paladins & druids couldn’t do much besides healing. My first MC run was actually me getting picked up as a PUG. It was a bit of a PUG raid for quite a while, and having to leave my leveling guild to join the big, harsh raiding guild was actually a really difficult decision.

Back then, Ragnaros was actually hard. It wasn’t all just about killing bosses, but you actually had to WORK for it. Looking at the screenshot of our Ragnaros wipe, we also used to have mid-boss disconnections, even back then. Apparently, lag and DC’s in raids aren’t new by any means. In fact, with more people in the raid instance, and even older server hardware, it’s probably actually a lot better in the 25-mans than it was back then.  Also, “tanking” as bear was what you did after everyone else in your raid was pretty much dead… I added our wipe picture just to help me remember how epic and hard those bosses seemed back then.

Were things back then so much better than they are now? For druids, not really. The “old school” druid days weren’t really all that great, unless you really loved being a healer with an extremely limited set of tools (downranked healing touch). While I do have fond memories of those days (and I miss all the friends that I used to play with back then on my first server), I like playing a druid so much more now than I did back then. Being able to switch between 2 specs, both of which are viable for raiding? If you asked me in 2005 if that would be possible today, I wouldn’t have believed you. Blizzard has actually done a lot to improve the druid class over time, even for healing druids. It’s good to remember sometimes how much better the class is now, compared to what it was like back when I had to walk uphill both ways in the lava.

Edit: counting is hard. Re-edited to say “60” everywhere I accidentally said “80”…. I guess it was so long ago that I can’t even count right, lol.

Posted in Uncategorized

Raiding progress update in 10-man Ulduar

So, I was able to go to my guild’s 10-man Ulduar this week, where we got down three hardmodes: Deconstructor, Thorim, & Iron Council. I got 2 achievements on Ignis: Stoking the furnace & shattered (I missed shattering an add, so then I had to do 2 in one go, and then got us an achievement out of the mess up). We also got Yogg down, which was the first time for me, along with the “drive me crazy” achievement.

Yogg down

Our 10-man group had gotten down Yogg on 10-man before, but I missed those runs due to scheduling conflicts. They let me pew pew as moonkin for some of the bosses on this run, and then I healed when we needed 3 healers (things like Thorim & Iron council hard modes & Vezax). It was a perfect hybrid’s dream (yay dual specs!), even though my DPS was a lot lower than our full-time damage dealers. My moonkin set is definitely missing something (probably lack of set pieces’ DPS bonus). I think the moonkin DPS buffs in 3.2 are also something that I’m looking forward to, so I can better “hold my own” when I’m called on to deal damage. I also think that since I don’t get to DPS very often, my rotations and timing are just not quite as good as the healing that I’m much better practiced at. It’s really hard to be equally good and equally geared for both your main & off-specs.

Achievements

Coming soon: We still probably have a couple weeks before 3.2 comes out. I’m expecting to have an announcement about the timing of arena seasons ending before the patch actually goes live. However, over the next week or two, I’m going to start taking a look at preparing my leveling guide & healing guide for the 3.2 patch. There aren’t a whole lot of changes needed to adjust for the patch, but I can already tell that they’re both starting to get a bit out of date (there’s always more work to do!).

Posted in Achievements

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