Mean Girls

I’ve been mulling over this post for quite a while. It’s been in the back of my head nagging at me ever since I got home from Blizzcon. It probably would have been a better idea to talk to a few people about how I was feeling while I was at the Con and I did confide into one or two people, but it didn’t really help much. I just don’t do well with confrontation. Continue reading »

Spirit-to-Hit talents: A Gearing Imbalance

I’ll say it right away: I hate Spirit-to-Hit talents. I despise them, even when I play as a Shadow Priest or Balance Druid. It feels wrong. I feel dirty when I have to adjust my healing gear to get as close to that 1748 Spirit rating as possible. It’s just not natural.

Being a healer at heart, Spirit for me has always been a regen talent. You need more mana? Stack more Spirit. This has always the philosophy for most healers. It’s a healing stat. It always has been.

But with Cataclysm, Blizzard brought in the idea of Spirit converting to Hit rating for our DPS Druids, Priests, and Shaman. While the main idea was to make gearing more flexible and less tedious for these classes, I think it also might have made it OVERLY flexible.

Hybrid DPS have more gear options

These hybrid DPS specs have more gear options than pure DPS classes and healers. They have the ability to roll on gear that has Hit rating, Spirit rating, or neither. That’s 3 options. In fact, they are only limited by armor-type and trinkets. Rings and necklaces? They can roll on ANY of them as long as they provide Intellect.

Mages and Warlocks have 2 choices for gear that prioritize Intellect: Gear with Hit rating and gear without Hit rating. They are also limited by Cloth. In comparison, Shadow Priests can also role on the same gear, but they also can roll on healing gear as well.

Healers also have 2 choices for gear: Gear with Spirit and gear without Spirit. Hit rating is out of the question, but we still compete with our DPS counterparts for gear since they can roll on Spirit gear.

Reforging eliminates the need for Spirit-to-Hit talents

With reforging, there is no need for these talents anymore. Hybrid DPS classes can easily reforge gear that lacks Hit rating. We’ve seen quite a bit of gear that lacks Spirit or Hit rating in Firelands and it keeps it quite neutral for both healers and DPS.

Convenience

I know many raiders will read this and think “WTF are you high?” The current Spirit-to-Hit talents are very CONVENIENT for raids. It allows healers to switch to DPS roles and vice-versa seamlessly depending on raid needs and doesn’t require fiddling with gear as much.

But while it’s convenient, it’s also imbalanced for gearing. Hybrid DPS have greater opportunity for gear and that is an issue that I believe Blizzard should address.

A Change of Pace

As you may have already noticed, things are looking a bit different around here. I took some time yesterday to overhaul a few pictures including my banner to reflect a recent change that has taken place: I changed my main raider to my Druid.

Before we start assuming things, let me make one thing clear: I still love my Priest. Ever since BC, the Priest class has been my favorite class in WoW. I enjoyed spamming Flash Heal, Power Word: Shield, and Renew in Wrath. Even now in Cataclysm, I enjoy the Priest’s way of healing over any other healer.

So why did I switch to playing a Druid? Continue reading »

>Greener Pastures

>I love my guild. I’ve been with them for quite a while, almost 2 years. I’ve made quite a few lifelong friends and we’ve had some great times together.

Band of Brothers of Caelestraez is a guild that that was originally part of Gamblers, a much larger and progression-oriented guild. I was only in the guild for maybe 2 weeks before the split happened. To be honest, I can’t even remember what the issue was, but a very serious argument broke out between a few of the officers and it resulted in Gamblers losing a very valuable raid leader. This particular raid leader was the one who actually recruited me.

It was like a domino effect. One after the other people left the guild. I also left the guild because I held no loyalty to the person that was in charge. My loyalty was to my recruitment officer. I quickly whispered him and he said he was making his own guild with progression in mind. I immediately asked for an invite and thus I was the first unrelated member of Band of Brothers.

And thus the recruitment crusade began. We started out small, with a generic 10-man setup. We did some Ulduar, but didn’t get very far. When ToC came out we did much better. We managed to clear the content before ICC came out. By the end of Wrath, we were 11/12 HM and had our lovely undead drakes. We also had a second 10 man running in addition to a 25 man team on the weekends.

This is what I loved about our guild. There was always someone online, always something happening. Logging on was a joy.

With the introduction of Cataclysm all of this ended. With the new “same lockout” scheme that Blizzard implemented, it caused our 25 man team to crumble making us a 10-man only guild. This seemed ok at first because we still had our 2 10 man teams going. But slowly and surely one of them crumbled. Lack of leadership from the raid leader and laziness was the main cause of this group to split. Some people had RL to go back to. Others left the guild in search of a better experience.

But my team held on strong. We stayed together with only a few minor hiccups in our lineup, but we never crumbled. Unfortunately, boredom and RL has taken a toll on the team. Hardly anyone logs in anymore and if they do it’s just to raid. Our raid times have been cut by 1/3 to a mere 2 hours a night mainly due to some new schedule conflicts with team members.

Personally I feel my team should be 12/12 normal right now, but because we raid only 6 hours a week, there’s little chance for progression, so we are currently 8/12 Normal. If we have a sour night (which we all do) it seriously hampers our progression and causes bad feelings. We talked about changing the days of the week, but unfortunately RL strikes again with scheduling. People either work or have school or need to sleep. We just can’t win.

It’s not that we haven’t made progress, because we have. It’s just I don’t enjoy raiding with my team anymore. I don’t have that thrill of logging on and getting excited for raid night. It’s almost like an old married couple when they lose that “spark”. I honestly think its time I go my own way.

I have already spoken to my Co-GM and she understands where I’m coming from. I’m sure she spoke to the GM (her husband) to let him know I’m thinking about moving to a different guild.

So if you are in a guild that is in need of an uber Priest or Holy Paladin please let me know! I’m open to faction changing as well. 10-man is ok, but I would like to start trying 25-man as well.

Feel free to leave a comment. You can also reach me on Twitter at @LunarthePriest.

Thanks!

Lunarsoul

>Loot Wars and Raider Alts

>It’s really hard to explain things in a blog post. So many things can be misread or misinterpreted. I’m going to try to be as coherent as possible while trying to sound objective and fair. I have been mulling over this particular post for a while and I feel enough time has passed to explain my feelings about the situation. No names will be mentioned except for myself.

As some of you may already know, a few weeks back I was raiding on my Holy Paladin. This was mainly due to the disappearance of one of our main tanks. He had some pretty bad weather and power/internet was knocked out for a long period of time. We weren’t quite sure if/when he would be back. Not only was he one of our tanks, but our only paladin in the raid.

Paladins provide quite a large variety of buffs for raids through Auras and Blessings. Next to shamans, paladins are probably one of the more mandatory classes to bring for 10-man progression because they have so many buffs integrated into the class and merge well with any raid composition. The 2 buffs my raid team was now deprived of was Resistance Aura and Blessing of Might, the 2 buffs that make healing much easier.

Resistance Aura provides a large amount of magical damage reduction (up to 25%) and overrides the resistance provided by Mark of the Wild and Blessing of Kings (up to 14% give or take). That additional 11% can mean the difference between a clear or a wipe, depending on how well-geared/skilled your healers are. Less damage means your healer’s jobs are easier which means a greater chance to clear content. This also allows for a little more margin for error.

Blessing of Might provides an additional 10% attack power bonus and 346 Mp5 for mana users. We had a survival hunter in the group, so the attack power bonus would be overridden anyway. 346 Mp5 is ALOT of mana regen. In a time where mana bars are already tight, every buff that increases your regen or extends your mana bar is extremely important for any healer.

So with our protection paladin out of commission we were lacking 2 important buffs. We had no shaman in the group, so mana totem was out of the question. Shamans can also provide a Resistance Totem which is the same as Resistance Aura. But we needed a tank.

With no protection paladin in sight on our server, we then turned to ANY tank, which is better than nothing. We found a protection warrior that was a GM from a fairly reputable guild that ended up falling apart due to people not showing up/no progression/etc. We already had a protection warrior, but we couldn’t really be picky at this point. We took him in and he ended up doing very well (can’t say the same for the rest of us).

Our new raid composition:

Tanks:
Protection Warrior
Protection Warrior

DPS:
Fire Mage
Survival Hunter
Survival Hunter
Destruction Warlock
Feral Druid

Healers:
Discipline Priest
Holy Priest
Restoration Druid

So our first night of raiding with this new setup wasn’t very good. Lacking both Resistance Aura and Might was extremely noticeable by all the healers. On fights where I should have a decent amount of mana left after boss fights, I was running on fumes. Even switching from Intellect-based flasks and food to Spirit-based ones didn’t have any noticeable difference. On top of that damage was noticeably higher. All in all it wasn’t a very good first impression for our new tank. Something needed to change.

I spoke to my GM and co-GM and we all unanimously agreed something needed to change. We had a couple of options:

  • My GM (Prot Warrior) offered to get his Prot Pally geared. It was level 85, but just in craptastic gear. A nice solution but a time consuming one. For progression reasons this wasn’t the best use of time, especially since my GM had recently been going back to school and doesn’t spend much time online other than to raid.
  • Our Destruction Warlock could keep the Felhunter out. The felpuppy provides Fel Intelligence which gives the Mp5 buff and a small buff to our mana pool, but it would be at the sacrifice of her personal DPS. We tried this and saw about a 2-3k drop in her dps. It didn’t seem bad at first, but the fights were a bit longer then they should have been which still strained the healers.
  • I could bring in my already-geared-for-raiding Holy Pally. This was the fastest and easiest solution. By bringing in the paladin we would get our Might and Resistance back. We would lose the Holy Priest and our burst AoE healing would suffer, but we would have strong single target heals. Plus our Discipline Priest still provides everything a Holy Priest provides except for Lightwell.

We went with the third option. We blew through all of our farm bosses with ease and even downed 2 progression bosses in the same night. It was an amazing evening. It really was needed because the previous week was wrecked with “lolpulls” and screaming into pillows.

During the 3-weeks on my pally I received exactly 1 piece of loot, the leggings off of Halfus Wyrmbreaker. This piece of loot would have been d/e’d if my priest was in raid. On the last week, the BoE staff from BoT trash dropped. As many of you know, this staff is BiS for Holy priests. I whispered my GM if I could roll on it since I felt I was sacrificing my priest gear for the better of the raid team. I wasn’t sure he received my whisper, so I didn’t roll. Our Restoration Druid rolled and got the staff since our Priest wasn’t interested. Apparently my GM didn’t see my whisper and said that I could roll for it next raid.

Well some lines of communication got crossed. Not only did the Druid not need the staff (I guess he lost too much haste) but he sold it for the raid team to make flasks and pots, not knowing there was someone else interested. /sigh

No biggie. I’m a big boy. Loot is loot and it drops all the time. People make mistakes. I will patiently wait for the next staff to drop.

Next Week:  
Good news- Our pally tank is back.  
Bad news- Our mage is leaving WoW for a while for RL.

More Good news- Our pally tank has an enhance shammy that is geared! So we bring in his shammy. Even better, I can bring the priest back in again since we have Mana Totem. All is well!

Or so I thought.

The second week my priest has been back, one of our DPS wanted to bring in an alt to roll on the BoE staff. I explained that mainspecs will always have priority over alts, no matter how much loot they get and to just be aware of that. This has always been an understanding for our raid team. I then continued to let this person know that I was interested in this staff and that because my priest is mainspec, I have priority. This clearly didn’t bode well for the person.

They claimed this new alt would be their new main, and then proceeded to attack me and accuse me of doing the same thing with my holy paladin, all before our raid started.

I didn’t say anything. I didn’t want to ruin the night for everyone. But I was really close to ripping this person a new ass.

I want to be clear on the difference in needs between our alts.

Raid-Requested Alts
My Holy Paladin was brought in for raid composition reasons. It would have hurt our progression had we kept my priest in and just ignored the problem. People would have just gotten more frustrated. Instead we made what would have been a miserable week into a fantastic progression week that lifted everyone’s spirits.

Voluntary Alts
The DPS alt fell under this category. This alt was not needed in any way. It was purely voluntary and thus rules were applied like any other alt. Claiming this as your new main wouldn’t make any difference. People have been waiting weeks for certain items to drop off of bosses/trash. I’m not going to stand for someone to just bring in a new toon and feel they can roll on items that other people still need for farm bosses. This person’s main had every piece of gear available on the farm bosses already and they had nothing more to gain, so they decided to bring in an alt.

I hope you all understand what I’m getting at. This next week is the first week since the “incident” occurred and I’m a little skeptical how it will turn out. I still stand by my feelings on the situation and when the time comes I will hold my ground if necessary.