Monthly Archives: April 2012

MOP feedback: Displacer beast

So, I haven’t talked about the movement ability tier yet in  my feedback. Mostly, I had been waiting a few beta patches to see if they would do something about displacer beast. Since they haven’t done anything about it yet, lets take a look at why displacer beast will largely be ignored if it goes live as-is.

Level 15 movement talent tier

The talent tier dedicated to movement/escape has three talents.

  • Feline swiftness increases movement speed by 15% all the time. The other 15% from the original feral talent is baked into cat form baseline. There are plenty of times where a baseline movement speed increase will work great. Since PvE movement tends to involve a lot of small movements that you want control over, just being able to get where you want to go faster will end up increasing your DPS as a moonkin, and is generally helpful to any specialization.
  • Wild Charge is probably the most interesting talent out of all the talents in the tree. This is definitely a winner for PvP most of the time, where you can gain a different ability for each form that you are in: the original feral charge effect for bear and cats, plus some additonal options for humanoid form, moonkin form, or our land/sea travel forms. The short cooldown (15 seconds) makes the ability really quite powerful.
  • Displacer beast is supposed to work like vanish, where it will teleport you away and put you in cat form’s prowl. Lets talk about this ability in more detail.

Displacer Beast versus wild charge.

Displacer beast is on a 3 minute cooldown. When compared to wild charge’s 15 second cooldown, it’s obvious that wild charge wins for the movement portion of the spell, since doing the same thing on a shorter cooldown is always better. For displacer beast to be worthwhile, then, the vanish portion has to be worth giving up the ability to have wild charge or feline swiftness.

Displacer beast versus vanish

However, when the talent hit beta, they forgot to add in something to actually make displacer beast work like vanish. So, how does the rogue vanish work? Well, when the rogue hits the “vanish” button, they can’t be unstealthed by things like DOTs ticking on them for three seconds. Rogues can get a glyph that increases that duration to 5 seconds.

Originally, the druid version was supposed to remove DOTs from us so that the DOTs wouldn’t break the stealth. They removed that portion, and so being shifted into cat form and stealthing basically does nothing because unless you are fighting against a target dummy, you are likely going to be unstealthed pretty much immediately if DOTs are ticking on you. Since displacer beast doesn’t actually work like vanish, it makes the talent really bad – because it’s missing the one thing that makes vanish actually work well.

Displacer beast versus shadowmeld

So, night elf druids already have something vanish-like. It’s called shadowmeld. So, for displacer beast to be worth picking up, at the very least, it has to be better than the shadowmeld button that I already have. Shadowmeld is on a 2 minute cooldown, compared to the 3 minute cooldown of displacer beast. When I’m out solo farming in the world, shadowmeld drops threat on my targets (they stop chasing me). When I try displacer beast, the PvE mobs actually chase after me and keep attacking me again. So, it’s not dropping threat/combat even when you are soloing quest mobs out in the world. I tried it on the lowbie wolves outside of stormwind, so it’s not just that the mobs saw through my stealth, but that they just never dropped aggro (and those same exact mobs dropped agro when I used shadowmeld). Thus, using wild charge followed by shadowmeld actually does more for me than investing in displacer beast.

Displacer beast is bad.

Since displacer beast loses out to both vanish and shadowmeld, my conclusion is that the problem is with displacer beast and not with the other two talents in that tier. Displacer beast needs to actually work like vanish and not just activate prowl. It needs some sort of protection from being automatically broken and at least a PvE threat drop or something to be worthwhile.

Posted in Beta Feedback, Mists of Pandaria, Written By Lissanna

Guest Post: The Art of Doing 700 Things at Once

Today’s “voices from the community” guest post is written by Aunaka, a resto druid from the Aunaka Heals blog.

Medic!

As healers we are given, in my completely biased opinion, the hardest job in game. We’re in charge of anywhere from 4-24 other peoples health, if we’re lucky we have a couple of other great healers to help us with it, but it is still a rather daunting job on paper. One that, mind you, I would never give up.

I’ve noticed over the years that there are aspects that separate good healers from those that are great, and certainly from those that are bad. When it comes down to basic healing, all we have to do to be called a healer is press a button.

Anyone can push a button, hell I’m fairly certain they taught a goldfish how to push a button and they only have a 30 second memory.

Whenever anyone has ever asked me if they should play a healer, my fist question is, can you mulit-task? If you can’t multi-task you will never be a great healer. As a raid healer you are going to need to think of a minimum of 5 things:

  • Actually healing people
  • Boss Mechanics (Which should really count as 2 or more.)
  • Personal Cooldowns
  • Raid Cooldowns
  • Positioning (Look at your damn feet!)

Standing in Fire Gives You a Buff

I’m hoping that everyone knows what raid awareness is, but encase someone doesn’t I will give you a quick quote from a former Raid Leader.

Raid Awareness, is the act of being aware of your surroundings, your own buffs/debuffs, and any boss mechanics.

Raid awareness is a very big part of being a healer, it’s something that we should strive to naturally work into our healing rotation. It’s not another button to push or a Global Cooldown(GCD) to watch, but it is just as important. Going hand in hand is being knowledgeable about the fight, 15 minutes of research before a raid, can mean the difference between a wipe and a kill. When you use both of these resources I promise that you will find healing to be much easier.

As an example I will use Heroic Blackhorn, since that’s currently what my guild is working on, and it’s the inspiration for this post.

For healers this fight has many added “benefits”:

  • We are partnered up with another DPS and you have to be able to run at a moments notice to stand in a Twilight Barrage.
  • There is fire that spawns on the floor.
  • There are things Mobs charging random players, including you, that you have to move out of.
  • Ever 30 seconds there is a Twilight Onslaught that everyone needs to stack up on and you have to be able top everyone off right after.

That’s just Phase 1.

This fight is chalk full of raid awareness opportunities. It requires you to time not only your own personal cooldowns so that you are taking as little damage as possible, but you also need to time your raid cooldowns so that you can use them in Phase 1 and Phase 2. You can’t cast Tranquility, as an example, near the Deck Fires, they will spread and burn you alive. Which is, I’m told, the opposite of what we want.

Which is where a little research comes in, and there are so many resources online that you can use to “Learn Yo’self”.

Healing is not for everyone and it takes a special person to really excel at it, but if you can do it, it will be one of the most rewarding game play experiences of your life.

/Cheers

Posted in Cataclysm, Restoration Healing Trees, Voices From The Community

Beta screenshots: Orca form size comparison

When I was questing with another druid in  MoP Beta, I was able to snap some pictures of old swim form and orca form next to each other. For PvP reasons, people wanted to see how big our killer whale form is. It looks as though the new orca form is actually pretty close in size to the old swim form.  My original orca form picture didn’t have any reference objects to be able to get a feel for the size.

Also, we were down most of Saturday due to a hardware  issue with our host. At this point, we don’t expect any more downtime related to that issue.

Posted in Mists of Pandaria, Written By Lissanna

Beta Feedback, All Things Resto

Intellect Changes

Normalizing mana across the board is going to force druids to change the way we play. Being an intellect based regen class, we were able to cut ourselves down to unreal amounts of spirit in favor of other secondary stats. However, we are now being forced into stacking spirit like the other healers. This has a positive side and a negative side. On the good side of the issue, our options on gear should open up a lot more. In the past, we have avoided spirit based pieces in favor of higher intellect gains, but now that we are going to be more reliant on spirit it will give us the option to pick up similar gear to other healers. The bad side is our primary regen ability, will no longer have the ability to be boosted by temporary stat gains. A well timed innervate along with multiple intellect procs, could restore 70 – 80% of our total mana, now innervate is going to be a stack gain across the board lowering the efficiency of our regen, and relying more our other healers to help us regen. With mana being a lot more tight, I’ve found it more difficult to efficiently keep harmony and lifebloom at near 100% uptime. My primary refresher had always been regrowth, because I had the extra mana to spare. This allowed me to keep lifebloom and harmony up at all times. Our dependency on nourish is going to go up, but in its current state we will need to see it reworked a little bit, either by lowering the cast time or raising the healing that it puts out.

Wild Mushrooms

Mushrooms have significantly been boosted from the initial release of the beta. The detonate on this ability is absolutely amazing in terms of efficiency, and gives us a solid burst heal. Granted that its dependent on spell power, I have been seeing each mushroom hitting for about 20k, so we are talking a 60k hit to all members within the radius of the effect. I am not sure what the AoE cap on this ability is, but I would assume that it will be similar to the boomkin version. The new placement method of setting mushrooms makes it more valuable in our rotation, and allows us to get them down quickly and effectively without wasting time like Liss pointed out earlier in a post. The only downfall I have found to this ability is trying to use it in pug groups were people run around, and you can’t get a good drop and detonate. This problem should be alleviated though, if you run in a constant guild group each week where the strategies are set. The only issue I think that really needs to be addressed with the mushrooms is their ability to refresh our mastery. It is a direct heal that costs 3 globals, it should activate harmony.

Glyphs

First of all, I just wanted to say that all of my concerns for resto druids were addressed in the forms of glyphs. Tree of life anyone? On a more serious note, glyph of lifebloom is something I have been requesting since they removed multiple target lifebloom. In a two tank fight, being able to swap lifebloom without wasting 3 globals will tremendously help our target switching, and effective healing. It is an almost must for a resto druid to take this glyph. I’ve been testing the benefits of glyph of lifebloom vs glyph of blooming, and there is absolutely no comparison between the two. Currently, letting your lifebloom expire will result in about a 90 – 100k heal, which is more than enough if you decide that its best to let your stacks drop off. Lifebloom is going to be our money maker in terms of mana return, because it has the chance to resto 2% base mana every 12 seconds, and should not be neglected.

Talents

The one thing that I really enjoy about the new talent set-up is that there aren’t many mandatory talents for a resto druid, and some of the ones that I would argue are mandatory probably really aren’t. You really have the option to make your game play both fun and dynamic by not being forced into a certain talent selection. We are gaining plenty of utility, as well as fun abilities. For example, wild charge could possibly have a use on encounters, but more than likely you are taking this talent to watch a tree go flying through the air and land on top of the target.

Cenarion ward is probably my favorite talented ability. The heal is really strong and it is a really passive ability. The best use I have found for it are people that are fixated by a particular ability, or ones that have aggro on a mob. The other thing to possibly consider if you run a balance spec, is that this ability can be cast while in moonkin form. As a balance druid, you will have the opportunity to provide a key heal at a moment when it might really be needed.

Incarnation vs Soul of the Forest, Round 1

I’ve been theory crafting these two abilities quite a bit, and from their current state (still early beta) they both will have their pros and cons. Right now I am in favor of Incarnation due to ToL and the bloom both being super powerful cooldowns, however Soul of the Forest will be a contender especially if it gets reworked. It really boils down to the question, do I want to go back after each fight respec to the ability that I am going to need. Some fights Soul of the Forest can be the more powerful ability in terms of throughput, however in most cases Incarnation is going to be the primary winner in terms of efficiency and throughput. I’d look for blizzard to rework these talents though, to make them a little bit closer together in terms of effectiveness.

Last but not Least, Funsies

I am going to be playing around on Lost Isle’s mainly, it is a PvE realm and I look to play with anyone that wants to play. Someone stole my name, so I had to pick the name Shakkix. Anyone that wants to come have fun before the raids open up, I’ll be around most nights and for those that can’t get into the beta you can always watch my stream and see what kind of shenaningans we are pulling today. As far as my fun ability combination of the day, I would have to say it was while doing some open world PvP with my guildies. A warrior decided that it was a good idea to charge a mage, and really give him a bad day with his bid sword. So I kindly Wild Charged over to the mage, and typhooned the warrior off the edge to his doom. When his friends were angry with me, I made sure to drop a vortex, intervene out and typhoon them down to their death. I proceeded to /flex because it felt good to be a druid again.

Posted in Beta Feedback, Restoration Healing Trees, Written By Shakk

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