Blog Archives

Repost: The Path to Dragonwrath

via Restokin by Hedra on 6/20/11

 

In this installment of the “voices from the community” series, we are beginning preparations for the upcoming 4.2 patch by discussing the new Legendary weapon. This post is written by Hedra (now Elaera on the Malygos server in the guild Soulbound). Please note that this legendary item is for caster DPS, such as moonkin, and not for healers (sorry trees!).

With patch 4.2 comes the new Tier 12 raiding content and the Firelands raid instance. It’s also when the Legendary staff, Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa’s Rest, becomes available and will be the most important item for almost any raiding dps caster. This is the first appropriate legendary for a boomkin, since Atiesh (which is no longer in the game). The staff stats are the equivalent of Tier 13.5 gear, so this will likely be the weapon of choice until the end of Cataclysm.

The quest chain for the staff can be completed in both 10 and 25 man raids. Blizzard has previously stated in an Ask the Devs “Our plan is to make Legendary completion take longer to acquire in 10-player raids…you can plan on it being maybe 2 to 2.5 times faster for the 25-player raid.” Recently Cory Stockton said in aninterview: “Both 10 & 25 are supposed to get the weapon roughly at the same pace. 25M will have a small advantage of getting the profession related parts done quicker.” The completion of the staff is a huge investment in time, gold and other resources.

Originally, the quest chain was only attainable if you had cleared all the Tier 11 bosses. However, a blue post made last week has stated that Blizzard decided to get rid of this and now the quest chain will be accessible once you have killed a Molten Lord, a trash mob inside Firelands.

The initial quest is A Legendary Engagement which can be picked up from a capital city. This will send you out to the Caverns of Time to speak to Anachronus. He will give you A Wrinkle in Time followed by All-Seeing Eye. This is where the gold sink into this quest chain starts. Sands of Time are 3000g each and you need 3 of them.Then, you need 25 of the Living Ember which are the Cataclysm version of Primordial Saronites. The Living Embers are also going to be the reagent in the new crafted gear, so they will be in high demand. At this time, the Living Embers are not available from the Valor Point vendors (on the PTR) and are boss drop only. It is speculated, that this will be changed at a later date. The need for Living Embers has been removed and the quest item changed to Eternal Embers, which will be a drop.

From there, the quest chain continues with some general pagentry and storyline quests (On a Wing and a PrayerThrough a Glass, DarklyActionable Intelligence). The next quest, Delegation, sends you into Firelands to retrieve the Branch of Nordrassil and then complete Nordrassil’s Bough. This quest gives you the first stage of the staff, The Branch of Nordrassil.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic The quest line continues with more storyline (Emergency Extraction and At One) and leads up to Time Grows Short where you must collect 25 of the Seething Cinder (the new Shadowfrost shards). There is currently no solid information on the drop rate of these, just a lot of speculation. But as Blizzard said previously, the drop rate in 10 vs 25 man is being treated the same as the difference between gold or valor points between the two instances. Once you have your 25 cinders, you complete Alignment and receive the second stage of the staff, Runestaff of Nordrassil.

Image and video hosting by TinyPicNow, we reach the last stages of the quest chain. You will be given the quest Heart of Flame which requires you to kill Ragnaros. Then complete The Stuff of Legends which will involve pagentry in your major city and the guild achievement Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa’s Rest – Guild Edition which allows for the purchase of a special mini pet, Dragonwrath Whelpling.

Image and video hosting by TinyPicCongratulations! You are now a Legendary Laser Chicken!

Posted in Druid - General, Voices From The Community

Repost: Resto Healing at 85… Casually

via Restokin by arecthedruid on 6/13/11

 

Today’s Voices from the Community post is brought to you by Arec, A resto druid from <House of Flying Daggers> on Crushridge (US). Sometimes, it is important to realize that raiding isn’t the only way to play at end-game. Today’s post comes from someone who focuses on 5-man healing, and is talking about his experience with surviving PUG 5-mans in Cataclysm.

“Casual” adj. – not regular or permanent

Casual.  It’s almost a dirty word among the WoW community these days.  It seems so many players are angered by Blizzard’s steps to make this wonderful game accessible to players like myself.  My wife and I work full time, have 4 kids in school, 3 of them active in sports.  We have little time to devote to each other, let alone to a video game.  One way we do enjoy spending time together is adventuring in Azeroth after the kids are tucked in.  I tend to log in more than she does, mostly because I’m a night owl.  Sometimes I’ll get a couple hours of play time in the evening.  Sometimes I’ll not log in for a few days.  I would love to play on a daily basis but reality says otherwise.  If this sounds familiar, then we belong to the same club: The Casuals.

Transitioning from WotLK to Cataclysm

I started playing a healing Druid in WotLK.  I thought, “Wow. this healing gig is easy.  Why don’t more people do it?”.  I mean, with instant queues and the power to keep the entire group topped off as we steamrolled a random heroic in 20 mins, why were people saying there was a shortage?  Then Deathwing came and brought on the Cataclysm.  Oh, how things changed then.  Suddenly, I was going OOM and I couldn’t keep the tank alive anymore as he pulled an entire room at a time.  At that moment, I wondered if it was me or if I had just been grouped with a chain of terrible players.  It was neither.  Healing had forever changed and dungeon running would require a little more finesse on everyone’s part…but mostly for healers.

We quickly learned that spirit had went from our most ignored stat to our most important.  Mana regeneration was key now; so was crowd control.  Dungeon parties had to play smarter – and slower – and I really began to enjoy the challenge of healing.  I actually had to make a conscience choice in my casting.  The spells I never used, I was now needing.  The spells I used to spam, I now had to use sparingly.  I quickly realized that my entire toolbox of spells was now necessary to heal successfully.  I thought to myself, “Now this is what healing should be.”  Running dungeons wasn’t boring anymore.  It was exciting!  Instead of throwing out my HoTs and going to make a sandwich, I had to think.  I had to be reactive.  I loved healing even more.  Then something changed.

The Cataclysm Learning Curve

I began to see less and less use of crowd control.  I never realized that healers had the full responsibility of dispelling.  I began to see bigger pulls and more AOE damage from mobs.  DPS were standing in fire again.  Tanks were chain-pulling and in most cases, breaking crowd control because, “It takes too long” and “It’s not necessary anymore, noob.  L2heal.”  Discouragement set in.  One bad group couldn’t be the voice of the community.  Surely most players out there still saw the need for CC, threat management and encounter awareness instead of reverting to the ol’ speed runs.  Sadly I was wrong.  Group after group, I couldn’t keep up with healing.  Wipe.  Players were expecting me to heal through their carelessness in an effort to finish the dungeon as quickly as possible.  I failed.  And from that feeling of failure, I laid down my healing roll.  Players really can be hurtful.

I activated my DPS spec and began to queue again.  Long queue times ensued.  I quickly got back into my DPS rotation but it seemed so mechanical.  It was like I was on an assembly line.  The same rotation on every mob, the same everything.  I wasn’t having fun anymore but I was scared to heal again.  Literally.  I was not going to subject myself to being berated by other players.  I thought, “If I’m not going to queue for randoms, maybe being in guild would help.”  So that’s what I did.  I joined a guild.  I told them I was looking to heal but not in random queues.  They welcomed me in and really helped me get my confidence back.  Being in a guild was a great feeling.  I didn’t personally know these people but they were nice, and helpful.

Preparing for battle, casually

There were times when I would log in and no guild mates would be online.  This meant I would either spend my time fishing or doing daily quests somewhere so I decided to take on the random queues again.  Before I did, though, I did some reading.  I realized that I wasn’t playing the best healer I could.  So instead of running heroics, I ran regulars to gear better.  I bought all the reputation gear I was eligible for.  I enchanted, glyphed and gemmed everything I could.  I made sure my talent spec was as efficient as possible and reviewed all my bonuses and abilities.  I maxed cooking on an alt and traded the food I needed to my Druid.  I checked my action bars for ease of use for my spells and made sure I was completely trained up.  Then, I queued.  Failure.

It hit hard but I began to watch the other players in the party.  I decided my play-style of “keep everyone up no matter what” had to go.  If a ranged DPS was standing in fire, I had to ask him to watch it.  If he didn’t, he died.  Not to be a jerk, but because mana was precious.  I no longer had the mana to heal players who chose to ignore game mechanics.  The tank must survive.  I must survive.  I have the duty of keeping the party alive but there are four other players who also have responsibility in that dungeon.  Tanks have cooldowns that mitigate damage.  They need to know what they are and use them.  Most do.  Now, I don’t want to dish on DPS.  However, that seemed to be where most of the trouble came from.  Not moving out of bad things, nuking mobs before the tank had aggro, pulling mobs on their own…things were out of control.  I just had to keep tweeking my play style and spell choices.  I had to find new ways of survivability and new tricks to stave off a wipe.  Epiphany.  I admit it:  I had to become a better healer, and to do that I had to learn to play better.  For us casuals, doing that takes time, patience and most of all, perseverance.  Running heroics no longer worries me.

If you’re having trouble as a casual healer, I hope my experience has helped you decide what you need to do to improve.  My first piece of advice to anyone is to get into a guild that suits your needs.  Guilds are great things because they’re groups of players who are just waiting to meet new people, help you out and encourage you.  Find one that fits you.  Another thing you can do to help yourself is to gear properly, enchant and gem correctly.  Go over your spells and make sure everything is trained and what you want is on your action bars.  Check your talent spec and glyphs.  Restokin.com is a one-stop resource to help you do all of this.  It’s a great start for any casual because the work has been done for you.  I honestly don’t use mods.  I set up the raid bars from the ingame options solely.  VuhDo and Healbot are popular amongst healers as they allow you to heal by hovering your cursor over a target instead of clicking to select.   Of course, mods and being geared and spec’d perfectly still wont make you a great healer.  That’s where running with a guild will really help.  It’s OK to make mistakes with guildies.  They want to help.  You will still find it necessary to occasionally run a PUG.  Don’t get discouraged. PUGs have become a hotbed of negativity and impatience.  If you go in expecting it, it wont be as bad.

Finding a place to call home

Heroic dungeons are my endgame.  I don’t have time to commit to a raid team so I have a realm full of alts.  That may not be your case.  There are casual raiding guilds out there that recruit casual players quite a bit.  I have friends who play other MMOs and only log into WoW to raid twice a week.  WoW can be what you make it so enjoy it your way.  One change Blizzard has made in the upcoming “patch 4.2″ to help casual players experience raid content is to move the ilvl 359 epic gear from the Valor Quartermaster to the Justice Quartermaster to make room for the new tier.  That’s good news all around.  However, you’ll want to spend those Valor Points before the patch goes live as any Valor Points on your character will convert to Justice Points. While valor points are being converted to justice points in 4.2, there is a cap of 4,000 justice points. So, before patch day, you will want to make sure that your total sum of VP and JP are at or below 4,000.

So, I’m a proud casual player that has watched most everyone else pass by me with better gear, cooler mounts, and more time to devote to this wonderful game that we all enjoy and love.  That’s not a bad thing, it’s reality.  Some people can devote a lot of time to their gaming.  In that way, they’ve claimed that World of Warcraft has become more of a hobby to them.  Well, I see it as a hobby, too.  I may not have a list of prestigious titles or the hottest gear or thousands of gold to spend on sweet mounts.  I may not have several hours a week to invest in my digital hobby.  There is one thing, though, that every player in WoW shares no matter their level of play: enjoyment.  And that’s really the name of the game.

Posted in Druid - General, Voices From The Community

Repost: Master Shapeshifting, Resources and Macros

via Restokin by Ruminare on 5/22/11

Welcome to another installment from the “voices of the community” series. Today’s post is brought to you by Ruminare on Blackrock-US, in the guild <Something Novel>.

Cataclysm has turned the world inside-out and in many ways, players have had to change and adapt to new and uncertain conditions. Druids face that uncertainty every patch with changes that are subtle but intrinsic to every players game – those in the feral tree will know what I mean when they stubbornly and desperately try powershifting out of movement impairing effects in the arena!

However, it is true for all druids, especially those who heal, that we have to remain as resourceful as we can! Whether it’s in conserving mana to which Bouridon has given us an excellent guide or our interfacing with the game as Zosima has helped us improve, we druids must do all what we can to perform at our best. Here, I present some further guidance on being a resourceful restokin.

Master Shapeshifting

I often play other classes in high-end heroic dungeons and find that other resto druids don’t change form very often – if at all! Bouridon pointed out that we can use the Tree of Life form to help with mana conservation but this is probably the only form I see other resto druids using. Depending on your situation, there are other forms you can use to help deal with an encounter – many of these lessons I’ve learned from early Cata-arena fights, but they can be applied to many other scenarios.

  1. Bear Form: Bear form is particularly useful when you’re surrounded by many adds and need to survive just a little bit longer; for example if you’re taking damage personally and need to stick it out just a few more seconds for the tank to grab threat.
    As a bear, you benefit from increased stamina and armor contribution and it can keep you from being polymorphed (particularly useful in Throne of Tides where healers are often hexed). You can also interrupt spells using skull bash and stun for 3 seconds using bash. Below are three useful macros that can help you to utilize bear form without having to spend time building up rage. The first macro is a true survival macro and should be used when you’re not necessarily needing to heal, but needing to survive. If you know an alchemist or the prices on your local AH aren’t too high, macro’ing in the use of an Earthen Potion can give you an even greater advantage.

    • Rumi’s Bear Survival/Shifting Macro:
      #showtooltip Bear Form(Shapeshift)
      /cast [nostance:1]Bear Form(Shapeshift)
      /cast Enrage(Bear Form)
      /cast Frenzied Regeneration(Bear Form)
      /cast Demoralizing Roar(Bear Form)
    • Rumi’s Bear Interrupt Macro:
      #showtooltip Skull Bash(Bear Form)
      /cast Enrage(Bear Form)
      /cast Skull Bash(Bear Form)
    • Rumi’s Bear Stun Macro:
      #showtooltip Skull Bash(Bear Form)
      /cast Enrage(Bear Form)
      /cast Bash(Bear Form)

  2. Cat Form: Many people already use this form to stealth and dash (enhanced by macro’ing in a Swiftness Potion), but did you know you can also interrupt spells [Skull Bash(Cat Form)], increase your raids movement speed [Stampeding Roar] and also reduce your threat [Cower]? Learning to use these abilities strategically and effectively can help you become a greater asset to your raid.The best resto druids I know use these abilities often. For example, a resto druid in Magmaw, Maloriak or Chimaeron encounters can help by stampeding roar’ing the group when they must spread out from a stacking phase to a spread phase (when Maloriak switches from red to blue phase; during Magmaw, when the melee group has to move out of Massive Crash and to the tank side, etc). During Chogall, worshipping players can be smacked back to reality by a healer who knows to use skull bash when everyone else’s interrupt is on cooldown – in such a case, it can be a really clutch save.
  3. Travel Form: If you are outside and find yourself being the target of adds, enemy-players or simply need to distance yourself from the chaos, travel form can be a good method to get out of there quick. It should also be your reflexive shapeshift if you’re rooted or ensnared. Using an Emergency Macro can also be particularly useful if you tie in Barkskin, Nature’s Grasp and (if you’re a Tauren) thunder stomp right before going into Travel Form. Below is an example macro. [However, do be careful with Nature’s Grasp: while it is effective to keep enemies away from you, if you’re raiding 25man content it can be particularly annoying to an offtank who has to wait for the roots to fall off before s/he can round up the trash (especially true for Nefarian, Maloriak, Magmaw encounters)]
  1. #showtooltip Barkskin
    /use Healthstone
    /cast Barkskin
    /use 10
    /use 13
    /use 14
    /cast War Stomp(Racial)
    /cast Nature’s Grasp
    Note: the /use 10, 13, 14 are your gloves, first trinket, and second trinket respectively. I’m an engineer so I have a glove tinker to work with, but I’ve only included the trinkets if you want to spam this in an emergency. If you’re raiding, be more choosy about trinket use.

Craft-y Creatures

Druids must be crafty. If you haven’t already, research the advantages of professions and max out your two. If your druid is your only character, having a gathering profession can help with finances, but if it isn’t, keeping two crafting professions can offer the best advantages. [ElitestJerks.com has an excellent guide on profession bonuses here]

However, don’t limit yourself to your own profession advantages. Many other professions have alot to offer as well. Scribes, for example, can make Runescrolls of Fortitude I and II that anyone can use to boost party/raid stamina by 132/468. This is a great advantage if you don’t have a priest in the group and want to offer your raid improved survival. Scribes can also make Adventurer’s Journals which offer varying buffs as you level from 75-85 with a chance to also gain a buff that gives +10% quest experience for 1 hour. Also, when you’re leveling from 80-85 in the new cataclysm quest zones, using a Potion of Treasure Finding can help you make more money as you go along.

Many of us already know about the use of flasks and food buffs but potions aren’t used as often as they should be. For example, whenever my guild pulls a raid boss – we count down in Mumble/Ventrilo “3 – 2 – Potion – go”. Using a potion before the boss has actually been encountered allows the potion cooldown to refresh mid-fight. Then, when the cooldown expires you can use a potion again. This is especially helpful for DPS who gain from as much as +1200 to their primary stats twice throughout the fight! [Volcanic Potions give +1200 intellect, and Potion of the Tol’vir gives +1200 agility]

If you’re doing a heroic dungeon and don’t necessarily need to flask, you can always use inscription scrolls, such as Scroll of ____ IX for +100 of the stat the scroll is used for. These are relatively inexpensive and last for 30 minutes.

If you’re having mana troubles, you can always use a Potion of Concentration as well, but do so choosingly. If you’re fighting Heroic Sinestra for example, where a potion of concentration would hurt more than it’d help – use an ordinary mythical mana potion instead. Other potions are also helpful and researching and testing them can be a fun experience that helps boost your game (my favorite is the Mysterious Potion:)

WowArmory Character Profile Advanced View and Character Audit

One last resource is the Wowarmory.com character profile that Blizzard offers every player. I highly recommend using this tool in the “Advanced View” and making sure to check the “Character Audit” below it (Here’s mine as an example).

It can help you to remember that missing ebonsteel belt buckle, enchantment or gemming one might overlook. Also, it has a nice summation tool of all your reforging so you can see where you’re placing an emphasis for yourself, such as Lissanna’s failed character audit (that she added to the post herself, since it reminded her to add a missing JC gem to her gear), and reforging info (the reforging info shows what you have done to your gear, and does not provide suggestions the way the character audit section does):

 

 

If you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer them in the comments below. Take care and have fun!

Posted in Druid - General, Voices From The Community

Druid leveling – Vanilla Style!

Today’s “voices from the community” post is a trip down memory lane, written by Nyda <Legacy of the Void> from Perenolde (US). We think this story will resonate with a lot of the people who leveled up in Vanilla, oh so many years ago!

World of Warcraft was my first MMORPG. Pulled into the rich graphical environment by work colleagues, I found myself quickly caught up in this intense world. Admittedly, I began in the starting area with very little knowledge on how to proceed through this game. All I knew was that I fully intended to see the things that I had heard being talked about in office chatter. Thus began my journey from 1-60 as a Night Elf Druid.

Quest lines were boring and interesting at the same time. The furbolg on the hill, whose necklace I needed to steal, turned out to be a mighty foe indeed, granting me a whispy run more times than I considered fair for the tender level of my baby Druid. Far from being an expert on my class, I conserved mana as much as possible and was prone to killing things by whacking at them with my staff. It was laughable that my staves skill was maxed out all the way through the leveling process.

Outside of quests, it somehow seemed natural to me to heal in dungeons, though from 1-50 all of my points were in the Balance tree. I had decided early on that I should just fill in every point in the first tree until I got to the next, not understanding that there was a specific tree for each role a Druid could fill. It wasn’t until I reached level 50 that I was gently told that I was healing with the wrong spec and directed to the forums for answers. That’s when I discovered talent trees! Amazingly enough, healing became much easier after that.

So my leveling career went. And I say career because it took me 40 days played to make it to 60. By the time I reached level 50, I had to survive the break-up of my very first guild. It was emotionally draining in a way I never expected. I was quickly recruited by an admired Druid in a very large guild on our server. He was one of the icons, one of the Druids standing on the bridge in Ironforge wearing a full set of Wildheart (swoon!). The dramatic evening of the guild break-up and recruitment into a new guild resulted in an empty bottle of wine in real life, my beloved character sitting in the bar in Ironforge for the night and an entire log of inebriated comments being posted on the realm forums the next day. The drama over, I became firmly entrenched in leveling and eventual raiding.

With the change of spec to restoration, I found leveling to be even more grueling than it was before. I had learned enough to understand at 50 that casting would result in more damage than melee, but I also had a tendency to drop into bear form when the going got tough with mobs. When I finally reached 60, it became an endless commitment to attunements, coffer runs, jailbreaks and the occasional stealth run into BRD for a Barman Shanker. It was fun to be a Druid! I learned that UBRS and LBRS should never be pronounced as ubbers or lubbers and that being the “bomb” in MC was a VERY bad thing for everyone around you. Every fight in BWL had to be fought facing a corner with my camera pointed down to avoid lag. (to this day, I still don’t really know what the inside of BWL looks like, the walls were nice though!) Decurse and innervate became my best friends and I still managed to out heal every healing class but the almighty paladin.

The job of getting from level 1 to level 60 was long, tough and filled with unexpected real life emotions but it was well worth it. There was a camaraderie in this game that I haven’t experienced since 2005. We knew who we played with on both sides and we loved every minute of it. Well, except for being used as PvP bait….I mean, really…who would love that? :)

Posted in Druid - General, Leveling, Uncategorized, Voices From The Community

Donate to Restokin

Categories

Archives

Featured Blogs