Monthly Archives: January 2010

Introducing… the New face of restokin!

Now introducing…the world first healing moonkin! From switching too much between moonkin and healing in raids, my moonkin has finally sprouted leaves & finally learned how to heal in moonkin form! Well, at least I can dream, right?

Thank you so much to Ginny (@immamoonkin on twitter) for drawing me such an amazing picture of a healing moonkin! I have no art skill at all, but Ginny is just really amazing. You can find more of Ginny’s art on Deviant Art! I commissioned a “restokin” picture, and I’m really amazed at the results. It’s better than I ever could have expected. Lodur at WoM also commissioned something recently from Ginny and wrote a great article featuring the dwarf shaman picture she drew for Lodur! I eventually plan on turning this picture into the banner for my blog (she sent me another file where I can change the background on to make the banner), but I wanted to unveil this for all of you before I had time to get it “banner-shaped”, because I’m just too excited!

Posted in Uncategorized

Rawr for Resto Druids explained

Rawr is a tool that a lot of WoW players use for figuring out optimal gearing for their character. You can download the program free from their website. First, I want to remind you that programs like Rawr are a tool, but that no tool is better than understanding your class mechanics and using your best judgement about what the right gear setup is for you. This uses math & theoretical calculations to come up with their optimization. Even if you customize it perfectly, there is going to be a difference between what it says and reality – just based on factors out of the creators’ control. It is still, however, a really useful tool, since it can help you see what upgrades are available compared to your gear. I spent some time talking to the person who edits the resto druid version of Rawr, and after learning some stuff from him, I wanted to discuss this tool a little.

Rawr is a customizable tool. Here is what the main page looks like for my druid’s template after I’ve finished setting up all my settings. I uploaded my profile from the armory, so it has all my current gear.

To be honest, I use Rawr more often for my DPS set than for my healing set – this is mostly because I struggle a lot more with figuring out how to optimize my DPS set. However, the resto one is also much less “plug and play” than the moonkin one. The resto version of Rawr has a TON of customizable options, and it takes a long time to set up to approximate your particular healing style.

Healers are like unique snowflakes, and Rawr is able to calculate stat values based on what YOU want it to do. Below, I’m just going to cover some of the basics about the customizable features that you should think about setting up before comparing gear items. There are a lot of things I won’t cover. Rawr’s main page has an instructional video you can watch if you want more help for the basics of how the tool works.

You get to decide what gems go in the gear. This applies to any spec you use the tool for, as the default settings may be different than what you actually use. You can edit the gem template & choose what gems you want it to display in the gear. If you don’t like the options they have, you can customize your own gem template. I select it to show 2 gem types (instead of 3). I also only choose all red, or a red/orange/purple template. I don’t like the Seer’s (int/spirit) gems, as I value spell power more.  So, I unselect anything that uses a green or yellow gem in their template. The more spell power, the better! At the very bottom of the menu, you can create your own gem template and insert what gems you usually put in the gear. If you only want it to gem with that template, you can just unselect everything else and only have it use your own personal template.

Choose your own Adventure tabs! The tabs in the middle of your gear aren’t just to display stats. They are there to help you customize your options. The default display shows the stats tab. The talents tab should be filled out based on your armory spec, OR you can manually change it to a different spec. The third is the buffs tab, and the fourth is options. For moonkin, there aren’t a lot of options to choose. However, resto has a LOT of customizable options under the fourth tab.

The third tab is the Buffs tab. You have to select what buffs you want it to assume that you have in the calculations. This picture has a couple of the buffs (ie. imp moonkin form, replenishment sources, etc). All of the buffs in the game are able to be selected and customized. It even lets you choose what kind of flask to use These buffs matter for the calculations, and you have to take the time to set it up. These are not chosen for you by default. Everyone of every spec has to select what buffs they want displayed.

For restoration druids, the options tab has several other tabs: Stats, Sustained Fight, Mana, & Module notes. This is a lot more involved than the moonkin options tab that doesn’t have many customization options in comparison.

On the stats option tab, it lets you select “single Target Maximum Healing Spell Mix” options. There is a huge drop-down menu that lets you pick spells. This is important to select the spell setup you use. There is also a “sustained spell profile” that allows you to select between 4 options: tank healing; tank healing (no lifebloom); Raid healing (only WG/RJ); Raid Healing (RJ/LB/SM/WG/N).

Special effects lets you ignore Nature’s Grace and haste procs from trinkets in the calculations. This will change the value of crit & haste (along with the value of those trinkets). The problem with these items is that it is hard to accurately model them in the calculations. I like being able to have these turned off, but remember that they are still possibly valuable in practice – even if they are hard to model in the software. This is one place where your best judgment is better than what the tool can tell you.

The “sustaned fight” tab has a ton of options. You’ll have to learn this tab just by adjusting options. It does have default settings that you can leave if you aren’t as comfortable with the tool. However, customizing this to your healing will make the calculations more accurate.

Some of the options here include: Maintained heals over time – You can choose how many rejuvs, regrowths, & lifeblooms you “keep active during the fight”. I usually have more maintained rejuvs than regrowth or lifebloom. However, I usually have regrowth & lifebloom on at least one target.

You can choose how you want your lifeblooms to stack: Slow build & bloom; fast build & bloom; rolling no bloom, etc. Cooldown Usage lets you choose how many wild growths & swiftmends you cast in one minute.

Healing Spell Usage: how do you spend your time outside of maintaining the HOTs from the first menu selection? A lot of people will likely have rejuv higher, but this would be where you include how much time you spend casting regrowth, LB, & Nourish, too! For nourish, you should estimate how much it’s landing on people with HOTs on them. “Time strategy” allows you to select how much time you would spend not casting. You can also select your estimated living seed effectiveness.

The last tab with customizable options is the mana tab. Here you get to select options for: replenishment, revitalize, & innervate. The last tab is module notes, but it doesn’t have customizable options.

Final thoughts & conclusions: For gear upgrades, item level matters a lot – so Rawr is going to recommend gear that may not fit your personal gearing goals. For example, if your goal is to hit a certain % of haste, Rawr isn’t going to necessarily keep that in mind when it is doing the calculations. If you only want a belt with haste, but Rawr is saying that this crit belt would be better – go with the haste belt.  Also, customizing all these options do matter, but even once you customize it, it’s up to you to decide what is going to work best for you (based on gear availability, and what you see in practice). Some people have commented that it is valuing crit over haste for them. So, this would be one situation where personal decisions matter. Rawr is a great tool to aid you in your gearing decisions, but the final decision is YOURS, and it’s always bad to blindly follow the advice given to you by any tool (including the advice on my blog).I think I’ve said this several times, but it’s important – it is up to you (in the end) to figure out what works best for you.

Posted in Restoration Healing Trees

wow.com is looking for a resto/balance druid writer

WoW.com just finished hiring priest & hunter column writers. However, hidden at the bottom of their welcome post for the new columnists is a note about looking for a resto & balance druid columnist. From following their application posts, here are my thoughts & some info I’ve been able to gather from the post:

It looks like Allison Robert is NOT leaving.  Instead, Allison is going to keep writing about feral (cat & bear) in the Shifting Perspectives column. It looks like what they want someone else with knowledge of restoration AND balance druids to take over writing about the casting-side of druids so that she can specialize a little more.

From my perspective, Allison has done a great job of trying to keep up with all 4 specs, but it’s hard to specialize in 4 different & unique roles – especially in a weekly column. So, having two druid columnists break up the specs means that we can get more quality information more often for each spec (since there would likely be 2 druid columns being posted every week). It would be great to see a druid with knowledge of both restoration & moonkin casting specs being able to focus on a wow.com column just for caster druids, rather than having Allison having to split attention between so many different specs for every article (or going a month without having an article actually apply to your specialized spec).

According to their post, they are also looking for a Holy Paladin columnist, UI columnist, and a Lore columnist.

I think they may be willing to take someone who has more knowledge of one than the other, so if you are more focused on one of the two specs, that shouldn’t stop you from thinking about applying. You can always work on learning more about that second spec to be able to write about it, too (but don’t plan on just writing about one of the two specs all the time & neglecting the other spec completely!). I know that the druid blogging community has a LOT of great people who would be qualified for this position (though you don’t even have to be a blogger to apply!). Whoever takes over this position can still rely on the rest of the druid community for support. You will need to write about both PvE and PvP things, but people who are weaker in one domain can do research for articles in the other domain.

Since my blog speaks to both resto & moonkin druids, I wanted to advertise this position so that all my readers know that it’s available. This is a great opportunity for druids who meet the wow.com application criteria, which you can learn more about here. Good luck to everyone who applies!

Posted in Uncategorized

New ICC wing (Plagueworks) unlocks this week!

So, now that the holidays have finally come to an end (I’m flying back today – Monday the 4th), it is time to focus on Icecrown Citadel raiding again.

With the end of the holidays comes a new set of bosses. The total number of bosses in ICC is being increased by 3, as the Plagueworks wing opens “soon”! MMO-champion has a description of boss abilities, and loot lists for the new wing, with Rotface, Festergut, & Professor Putricide.

There are a couple resto pieces, and a couple moonkin pieces. How do you tell the difference? Well, moonkin pieces have crit, and the resto pieces have haste. However, moonkin may need some haste pieces, and once resto hits the haste cap, they can pick up crit pieces.

Now, if you are a resto druid that is really attached to one-hand weapons, there is a haste 1-hand mace (Lockjaw) that drops from 10-man Rotface…. so stop taking the moonkin crit weapon off Marrowgar! There is also  Trauma, a neat healing weapon with an interesting looking proc (but no crit OR haste), that comes from 25-man Rotface. There are haste pants that drop from Festergut 25-man which are good for resto druids. Rotface 10-man also has a haste necklace for resto druids. Putricide has a haste belt which should be a good upgrade for resto druids. At this point, my resto set is above the haste cap for resto druids, though I could definitely use some spellpower upgrades for some of my weaker pieces.

For moonkin, the leather drops from Rotface are both crit pieces (head & chest), though you would want to keep your T9 or T10 set bonuses if you can. This wing is definitely more exciting for resto than for moonkin – though there may will also be some good cloth +hit pieces that would be worthwhile, too. Moonkin could probably also use Putricide’s haste belt or one of the other haste pieces just to keep at (or above) the 400 haste rating soft-cap. There may also be other goodies that I missed in my scan of the loot lists. Graylo hasn’t yet posted his “best in slot” loot list yet. It’s likely that you’ll still need some stuff off the first wing of bosses still.

My guild had a slow couple weeks because of the holidays, but I’m ready to have some fun conquering content once things get back to normal this week! Good luck everyone!

Posted in Moonkin Balance DPS, Patch 3.3 WotLK, Restoration Healing Trees

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