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The great food buff debate

Hey guys. So it’s been a while since I (Garnaph) last posted. As many of you know, I had to vanish for a while due to the birth of my daughter. Even when the dust settled on that and life started to return to normal, I realized that most of the news that everyone was talking about was from the MoP beta, and since I wasn’t in the beta, I didn’t really have anything to add.

However, with the MoP release, there’s a lot going on, and I’ve finally got something useful to say again. I missed writing articles, so I’m very keen to get back into it. I’m working on a new Power Auras series for the re-written version of the mod (as an update to my original series), but since the writers have been holding back the new version, I’m waiting until they release it so everyone can play around with it after reading my posts.

What I’d like to talk about today is MoP buff foods. Blizzard has been kind enough to complicate the hell out of it, so here’s what you need to know :

Cooking is now split into 6 “ways”. Each of these is levelled separately (your cooking skill for purposes of achievements etc is the maximum of these), and is tied to a specific stat (except for way of the brew, which I’ll ignore). Each of these ways ends with a feast, and a normal single buff food. Essentially, if you eat the “wrong” feast, you get 250 of your primary stat (375 if stamina). If you eat the “right” feast, you get 275 of your primary stat (415 if stamina).

  • Wok 275 Agility, 375 Stamina;
  • Oven 415 Stamina;
  • Steamer 275 Spirit, 375 Stamina;
  • Pot 275 Intelligence, 375 Stamina;
  • Grill 275 Strength, 375 Stamina.

All of the single buff foods give 300 of the stat associated with the food (450 for stamina).

  • Sea Mist Rice Noodles = 300 Agility
  • Steamed Crab Surprise = 300 Spirit
  • Chun Tian Spring Rolls = 450 Stamina
  • Mogu Fish Stew = 300 Intellect
  • Black Pepper Ribs and Shrimp = 300 Strength

On top of all of that, if you level every single one of the ways to max, you can complete the quest “master of the ways” which gives you access to the final ultimate feast, which gives 275 to your primary stat (415 stamina) to all.

Next up, note that healers will always get int from feasts, unless they eat from a Banquet of the steamer. Assuming that you have access to Pandaren Banquets or Great Pandaren Banquets (10 and 25 man versions, respectively) this means that everyone will get 275 in their preferred stat (except healers who may prefer to use single-buff food to get spirit instead, though there is some debate about whether Intellect or Spirit is better for healer consumables).

So, the question is, how do you deal with this? Do you force all raiders to farm up their 300 (415 stamina) food, or do you just accept that banquets are the way to go, and assist your healers in obtaining their 300 spirit food? Is the 25 in a stat really going to be worth all of the farming time involved for your 10/25 raiders?

I guess the answer to that question is based on your personal feelings on the matter. If you’re a world/realm top guild, you’ll probably suck it up for the extra 25, knowing you need to push your best. If you’re in a more casual guild, you’ll probably feel, as I do, that it’s just not worth the amount of effort and admin involved.

Posted in Mists of Pandaria, Patch 5.0, Written By Garnaph

Repost: Bearcat Madness

OK, so I (Garnaph) know this is a Resto/Boomkin blog, but it’s about time I posted something that’s pretty hardcore Feral. Blizzard is soon going to split Feral into two separate trees, and what I’m about to say is the reason why. Also, with this being the last tier in which I’ll be able to pull off this trick, this is the perfect time to blog about it.

My raiding team got into P2 madness this week on 10 man normal, in spite of the fact that most of my top raiders are away, and I had to grab guys from the other team (which is also having attendance issues), alts, basically whatever I could find to get a group together. It’s not a kill, but progression is progression, and this was a pretty big deal for us.

Our success came down to a few things. Naturally, the team worked together well, but I’d like to think I pushed everything I could out of my Druid. Arielle and Reesi talk a lot about Bearcatting. Here is why it’s the most OP crap in Wow right now.

That’s me, tanking tentacles when my Pally tank gets an impale, but otherwise staying in cat as much as possible. My gear is optimised for cat, with reforges into stats that are good for both (Mastery, then Crit), with Mastery and Agi enchants, DPS leg enchant, and Assassin’s Step on boots, because I just can’t live without the speed increase in Bear. Oh, and the DPS meta.

Then, I have a spec that’s as pure cat as I can get it, with the vital Bear talents thrown in : Thick HideNatural Reaction, and Pulverize. When I shift bear, everyting works as intended. I had to make sure I took Stampede for Kitty 4pc, and Blood in the Water for 2pc. With 4pc, the kitty rotation is a joke. About to drop Rip? Either 1+CP Bite at under 60%, or pop Tiger’s Fury, get a free Ravage and 2 Shreds with the energy you just got, and you’re good to go for a 5CP Rip. If your target is over 80% health, Ravage is basically a Guaranteed 2CP.

Speaking of tier bonuses, I make sure I’m in bear when we’re on the 4th platform (we do Blue last, so we eat the shard on the last platform), which means my FR 4pc is up as the raid takes the mental burst. 15% health + 30% healing taken (make sure to have the FR major glyph). I also stay in bear when we’re killing the shard, since I don’t want to strain my healers any more than they already are.

So basically, rather than sitting around being useless when I’m not needed as a tank, I push DPS as good as the next guy, which helps to get over the fairly rough DPS check on later platforms, where you start losing haste, dmg done, while having to deal with adds that are increasingly hard to kill, especially once Alexstrasza decides to take a nap.

In spite of the emphasis on cat dps, remember there are times that a bear can push nice AOE. When bloods are about to spawn, I shift bear, autoattack the limb to get some rage, then as they move in range, I pop enrage (15% dmg anyone?), and Swipe-Thrash-Swipe. With the Spellweaver splash damage, plus the Vengeance that you quickly get, this is some intense burst AOE.

Oh, one final tip. Since cats really suffer on target switches, ask your raid leader really nicely if you can stay on limbs, and not have to switch to take down Blistering Tentacles. It makes your life a lot easier, and you push way more DPS, which in the end is good for the raid. Alternatively, just don’t switch, and see if anyone notices :P Being a raid leader myself, I get away with murder sometimes…

Druids are the only class in game with 2 specs in one. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Posted in Feral Bear tanking, Feral DPS Cat, Written By Garnaph

Repost: Profession bonuses unbalanced in 4.3

First up, thanks to Juvenate (@wtsheals) for giving me the idea for this one.

Basically, here’s how profession bonuses worked pre-4.3. Your bonus is what you get from your profession, that you wouldn’t have before. The idea is that they are all equal, so the bonus int you get from Alchemy on your flask, equals the total of the two int enchants you can do on rings, or the extra int you’d get on wrists over the non-LW wrist enchant.

However, 4.3 broke that, and here’s how.

With the addition of epic gems, Blacksmithing now has a lead over the other professions. BS gives you two bonus sockets, which you can obviously put epic gems into. Since epic int gems give 50 int, vs 40 on your old rare gems, that’s a 20 int bonus over what they used to get (80 int from 2 bonus gems becomes 100 int with the new 50 int gems). Most other professions still get the 80 int bonus, but JC really gets screwed. The JC bonus is the 67 intBrilliant Chimera’s Eye. At 27 int bonus each (over a 40 int Brilliant Inferno Ruby), 3 of these gave an 81 int bonus, basically equal to other professions. The problem is that with epic gems, we’re now talking about 17 int bonus per gem (over a 50 int Brilliant Queen’s Garnet), giving 51 bonus int. Compare that to the 100 int BS is getting.

In 3.2 when WOTLK epic gems were added, blizzard buffed all professions so they would be equal. It baffles me that they didn’t do it this time around. Also, being a JC, this annoys me personally. I don’t want to take BS on a druid. It doesn’t make sense.

Right now, we won’t have everyone running around in epic gems just yet, so this isn’t going to affect raiding performance too much, but soon enough everyone WILL, and then the QQ will really start.

Here’s hoping someone from blizzard reads this and fixes it. Soon. 

Posted in Patches, Written By Garnaph

Repost: Dragon Soul raid impressions

So, some of you have been wondering where I (Garnaph) vanished off to. Well, I found out recently that my wife is pregnant, which has radically changed my life. When my daughter is due in April, I plan to vanish from raiding for a few months (I foresee many “emergencies” mid raid, and I’d prefer not to let my team down), so I’m finding it very hard to get excited about the upcoming MoP content, since I’m likely to only see most of it in LFR. I’m not sad about it, since I knew this day was coming, and I know I’ll be back. RL always takes priority, and this is no exception.

I’ll still be around, logging in when I can, keeping an eye on my guild, and I’ll post on Restokin when I can. So never fear, the bear will still be here ;) />

I also started a new job a few weeks ago, so I went from sitting around bored all day (which makes writing blog posts very easy), to actually doing something constructive with my time.

Finally, I’ve been uninspired. I like writing, but if I don’t have an idea, I stay quiet. I prefer to post things that I think people will actually want to read. If I’m going to repeat something someone else said, or post something terrifyingly boring, I’d rather silence myself :P

That said, 4.3 is here, and I’m loving it. There are a couple of reasons for this :

(1) It has a real storyline. Think about any raid you’ve ever done. Yes, there’s a story, so to speak, but it’s normally around endbosses only. This one has a story going through the whole thing. [SPOILER ALERT]

  • You start out running up to Wyrmrest temple, beating off Mor’chok, who is beating on the foundations
  • Zon’ozz and Yor’Sahj don’t make as much sense from a story point of view, so I’ll quietly step over them.
  • Off to the eye of eternity, as Thrall can’t control the power of the Dragon Soul, and he needs the Focusing Iris in order to weild it’s power.
  • Back to Wyrmrest temple, and it’s under seige by Ultraxion.
  • Onto a gunship to chase down Deathwing, and Warmaster Blackhorn jumps onto the gunship to try stop you.
  • Parachute onto Deathwing’s back, and tear off armor so Thrall can get a better shot with the Dragon soul.
  • Finally, Thrall scores a K.O., and you land to finish Deathwing off.

Seriously, that story is EPIC.

(2) It’s outdoors, and in multiple locations. Almost every raid consists of walking into a building, and staying there. You go somewhere to attack it. Instead of being at a lot of locations in Dragonblight, you’re on the ground in dragonblight, underground, in the eye of eternity, atop wyrmrest temple, on a gunship (I’m on a boat!), on deathwing’s back, and at the maelstrom. A truly epic series of settings.

(3) It has 5 mans leading up to the raid story. OK, yes, ICC had them too, but this one’s story seems much better integrated into the raid. While only Halls of Reflection truly led into ICC in my opinion, all 3 5 mans lead up to the Dragon Soul raid.

My raid team has only taken down Mor’chok at the moment, as we’ve only had one raid night so far, and half of that was quickly clearing firelands (we’re still finishing up our first legendary). We barely got a few attempts in on Zon’ozz before we ran out of time (although I raided the night as Resto, which is always fun). I’m really looking forward to my 4 hour raiding session tonight.

Posted in Cataclysm, Written By Garnaph

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