Monthly Archives: April 2011

Did ZA and ZG miss the mark?

One of the things about 5-man content in the time of WotLK is that it was largely accessible to anyone. Any of the 5-man content could easily be PUG’d except for one of the ICC 5-man instances in the last tier of content, and most of them could be finished in somewhere between 20 minutes and an hour at most. A lot of the raiding content was difficult, but people who didn’t want to be doing end-game hard-mode progression still had an option of running new 5-mans during the content release (and they didn’t need raid gear to clear 5-mans).

Right now, with the ZA and ZG heroics, people are reporting that they are spending 2 or 3 hours in the instance trying to clear them, and PUGs are really hit-or-miss in terms of whether you complete it or give up at the first boss. After taking a peak at the content, I’m pretty sure they missed the mark on what ZA & ZG were supposed to be. ZA and ZG should be content where average players are still capable of running it, even if they don’t have full raid gear epics.

I am okay with raid content being hard and somewhat exclusive. I’m perfectly  happy to have raiding content be long and grueling (I spent like 6 hours one day raiding a single instance in LOTRO a couple weeks ago). However, I’m not really okay with 5-man content feeling long and grueling. Even if it’s “hard”, it should be relatively fast to clear. Both ZA & ZG have too much trash, since they also have a lot of bosses. The target should be for people to be able to get done in an hour or less for 5-man dungeons. Any 5-man taking longer than an hour (unless you are wiping repeatedly) is too long for people. A 5-man version of a raid we used to run shouldn’t really feel like running a raid, it should feel like a fun 5-man where you can just calmly hang out with your friends for a quick trip down memory lane.

The new random PUG dungeon finder tool should go along with a set of dungeons that can actually be done by people who PUG 5-mans on limited time schedules because the 5-man content should be end-game content targeted at people who can’t raid. People who don’t raid want to be able to go in and not have to commit a 3 hour time block to clear content. Even people who raid really want short things they can do in the ~hour or two they may have free before/after the raid. Instead, the ZG and ZA instances are huge time-sinks that I haven’t even been able to run due to my schedule not allowing for setting aside 3 or so hours on either a raid night or a non-raid night.

I like my raids long and epic-feeling BUT I like my 5-mans fast and straightforward to give me a fun break from the grueling raiding end-game process. ZA and ZG just don’t feel fun because they’re just so long. :(

Posted in Cataclysm, patch 4.1, Patches

Happy 4.1 patch day!

Okay, so I spent this morning working on getting my healing guide ready for patch day.

The 4.1  updated healing guide can be found here.

Information on talent specs in 4.1:

Major Changes in 4.1:

  • Living seed was unlinked from Efflorsescence, allowing you to move those 3 points wherever you want.
  • Tranquility’s cooldown was reduced through Malfurion’s Gift (so, Tranquility has a 3 min cooldown after talents).
  • Efflorescence’s healing effect got changed so that now it’s a smart heal that scales with haste. It will target the lowest 3 players and heal them for a decent sized chunk of health. This is a much better design and should heal for more overall than the old version. The change to efflorescence is a BUFF, and you should now pick up this talent for ANY resto druid spec.
  • I wrote a more complete set of changes in a previous post you can read here.
  • Rank 4 HT’s blog has another list of resto changes here.

I hope you have a good patch day!

Posted in patch 4.1, Patches, Restoration Healing Trees

Managing your mana while raiding

Welcome to another installment of “voices from the community’. Today’s post was written by Bouridon, a very talented resto druid that heals with Lissanna in our guild Undying Resolution on Elune (US)!

With all of the OOM-related issues healers are having in Cataclysm, I thought it would be good to explain the best ways to conserve/regain your mana efficiently(as a restoration druid)!

Spirit- None of the following will really matter if you don’t have an adequate amount of spirit for passive combat mana regeneration. While you may have to stack some spirit at lower gear levels (346ish iLvl), once you start getting some purple pixels this will become less important as your gear will provide more than enough. (intellect also provides mana regen from talents, so you still want to gem for int).

Side note- Always have your gear gemmed/enchanted for max healing/regeneration. I will not go further into gearing issues at this time.

Overcasting- We all do this at some points (albeit usually by accident) but you really need to be cautious to not overcast(especially HoTs). By this I mean, don’t Wild Growth when only a few people are taking damage and try not to put Rejuvenation on someone if 50% or more of the duration will be over-healed. As for cast time heals:

  • Nourish: Feel free to use this as much as you like as it is our most efficient(and practically free) heal. Try to use this on someone with a HoT already on them.
  • Healing Touch: Primarily, you will be using this much more when assigned to tank healing as opposed to raid healing. There will be times that you need to cast this on a DPS taking a lot of damage, which is fine. However, don’t use HT on someone who can be easily healed with your HoTs/Swiftmend, as it is a waste of mana.
  • Regrowth: I suggest rarely using the current version of Regrowth unless you have an Omen of Clarity proc, as it is very mana intensive(and heals for fairly small amounts). I’ve found using Regrowth on a tank (and sometimes a DPS) may be completely necessary to keep them alive and thus should be done intelligently (don’t spam) and not too often.

Lifebloom- You should always keep a 3stack of Lifebloom rolling on someone (usually a tank). This is because Lifebloom is now the only way to get Omen of Clarity while healing(with talented Malfurion’s Gift).

Clearcasting(OOC)- OOC only lasts 6 seconds now and makes your next cast-time spell free of mana. The only healing spells that will consume the proc are now: Healing Touch, Regrowth, and Swiftmend. Use your best judgement on whether you should use Regrowth or Healing Touch on your target. Never consume an OOC proc with Swiftmend, as it is very low on mana cost.

Innervate- This regenerates mana equal to 20% of the casting druids MAX mana on yourself (or current target) over 10 seconds.

  • For 2+ Restoration druids: I recommend that you each pick up Glyph of Innervate and make a simple macro: /target Bouridon /use Innervate , and set up a chain to get the most out of each innervate. Even if you don’t have 2+ restoration druids in your raid, it is still a good glyph to have incase you need to innervate the OOM Priest/Paladin/Shaman healer(while still getting 50% of the effect).
  • Innervate on yourself: I suggest using it right when you dip below ~80% mana. This will get you another 1 or 2(possibly 3?) innervates depending on the fight. Another thing to keep in mind is that any proc intellect bonuses you get (IE:Power Torrent enchant) will increase the amount of mana you regenerate from this. If you can, wait for an intellect proc and then pop Innervate.

Mana Pots- Always have a stack (or more) of Mythical Mana Potions stocked in your bags before raids as this is a valuable source of mana when you need it! I find myself using them regularly during each raid encounter. I usually use them when I hit about 80% mana after I’ve used my first innervate.

I also recommend that you get some Potion of Concentration for fights where you can take time to regain the mana(IE: Magmaw when he is spiked).

Tree of Life- ToL should be used for 3 purposes(in raid settings):

  1. Solely for increased healing
  2. Low mana/regen + increased healing
  3. LOLWrath Spam

What many druids don’t realize is that ToL should be used to conserve/regenerate mana, as opposed to spamming instant Regrowth and going OOM.

ToL Strategy- If you find yourself needing mana/running low and have Tree of Life off cooldown go ahead and pop it. Now simply sprinkle Lifeblooms across the raid (this will cause a high amount of Omen of Clarity procs). Use Instant Regrowth/Healing Touch on the OOC procs. You will find yourself healing for a lot with relatively no mana cost while still regaining mana through your passive combat regeneration.

Side Note- On a fight like Phase 2 of Chimaeron for example(all healing on everyone reduced by 99%), Tree of Life can be used for boosted 1 sec cast-time Wraths for extra damage on the boss.

If you have any questions leave them in the comments section and I will respond promptly.

Posted in Restoration Healing Trees, Voices From The Community

The ever-growing world of Heirloom Leveling

I wrote a post back in early WotLK about heirlooms for leveling. However, I keep getting more questions about them, and my list was seriously out of date. So, today’s post will talk about the benefit (and drawbacks!) of leveling with heirloom items, and include a more up to date list of feral (cat/bear) and caster (resto/moonkin) heirlooms available to druids.

Benefits of Heirlooms:

Now, the benefit of most heirlooms is that they increase your experience (XP) rate while leveling. If your goal is to level as quickly as possible, then these items definitely do the trick. When you combine heirloom items with the guild perk XP bonuses (and rested XP!), you get increased rates of leveling. Faster leveling means getting your alt to the end-game faster.

You also get increased stat values compared to what most of the greens & blues drop from quests and instances. For melee classes, getting heirloom weapons can really make you feel much more powerful because they have a large impact on your damage at the earliest levels!

Drawbacks of Heirlooms:

The only drawback of using heirloom items is that you may level too fast. By that, I mean that you basically blow through the new Cataclysm content so fast that you miss all the interesting storyline arcs. You may do the first handful of quests in a zone, and then suddenly the quests are all green/gray and it’s time to move to the next zone. Also, you aren’t being challenged if you always out-level and out-gear the mobs you are killing. So, for people who enjoy the process of doing the lower level quests (or for people who like completing all the quests in a zone before moving to the next one), skipping on the heirlooms could be worthwhile to them.

Heirloom Shopping List

Feral (Cat/Bear) PvE heirlooms:

Caster (moonkin/resto) PvE heirlooms:

Other Heirloom Options:

There are also PvP heirlooms you can get from PvP vendors that have resilience on them. So, if you want to PvP level, or don’t mind trading some stats for resilence, these are great options for people who focus primarily on PvP. Cynwise has some PvP heirloom advice here.

Caster druid leveling can also use the cloth ones: Dreadmist Mantle, and Dreadmist Robe. However, I still prefer using leather over cloth if you have the ability to get the leather ones.

Wowpedia has some more advanced info on heirlooms available here.

Also, if you want help with how to enchant your newly acquired heirloom items, you should check out Psynister’s guide.

Happy leveling!

Posted in Druid - General, Feral Bear tanking, Feral DPS Cat, Leveling, Moonkin Balance DPS, Restoration Healing Trees

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