First off sorry for slacking like heck lately on posts, been in and out of the surgery with various health problems and as such my lengthy article about my UI will be put on hold until I can play with said UI and focus enough to write something good. You don’t need to be feeling well to complain about stuff so here we go!

Throw More DoTs, what we can learn about the playerbase from the new Onyxia encounter.
I love Onyxia in a very strange and probably wrong way but I do. I used to play a gnome warrior tank back in the days of level 60 and I used to maintank for my guild so I knew this fight really well. I had been looking forward to the encounter coming back as I was getting a little fed up of soloing (Yes, soloing as a Shadow Priest) the level 60 encounter every week for gold. Now I didn’t get to go on the guild planned mains raid for Onyxia25 on Wednesday as I might of been in hospital but this gave me the chance to try and PuG the encounter.

So after a few days and many many repairs later I managed to get the guilds Secondary ToTC25 (Used for alts, casual players and mains who missed the main raid) to come along to Onyxia25 on Saturday and we killed her in 4 pulls.

Overall from what I have seen from the pugs the playerbase is nowhere near as well educated or skilled as they were at level 60. You say something simple like “Don’t stand near the tail at any time” and you get 13-20 whelps due to someone getting whipped into the caves. Doing something like that at level 60 would get you a GKICK pretty much instantly unless you happened to be a dwarf priest as fear ward was oh so worth carrying a bad player for.

I hate to say it but if what I saw on these pugs is a good indication of how good the playerbase outside of raiding guilds is I can see why they need to dumb down content as when people can’t stay away from the head or get whipped into the egg caves on every pull (Yes I am talking about your Mr. IM GREAT DPS RLY BUT IM ALWAYS DEAD SO I CANT SHOW IT Death Knight.) Overall this makes me rather sad that the art of raiding has gone so downhill. I can see why it was done, but I would rather they forced people to get better at the game than tuning content for people who can’t dodge balls and like to stand in fire.

Conclusion: Give us more bad pug destroyers to force people to up their game and PLEASE DO NOT NERF ONYXIA!

Scaling Math Updates!
With 3.2.2 we got a small spirit buff and as such the guys over at Shadowpreist.com have done my job for me and already updated all the scaling math and such for me so here is a little repost of their info for all to see!

For 3.2.2, scaling factors were taken assuming pre-Onyxia, level 245 gear. Specifically, this profile in simcraft:

Priest_T9_13_00_58_245 Int=0.366855 Spi=0.554587 SP=1.613748 Hit=2.545532 Crit=1.222958 Haste=1.042097

New 3.2.2 Scaling factors
1 SP = 1
1 Crit = 0.76
1 Haste = 0.65
1 Spi = 0.34
1 Int = 0.23
1 Hit = 1.58

OLD 3.2 Scaling factors
1 SP = 1
1 Crit = 0.72
1 Haste = 0.68
1 Spi = 0.25
1 Int = 0.22
1 Hit = 1.53

Gem Value Updates
Runed Cardinal Ruby – 23
Potent Flawless Ametrine – 19.6
This means it is worth going for a socketbonus if it is >= 4 SP, >= 5 crit, >= 6 haste
Purified Dreadstone – 15.4
This means it is worth going for a socketbonus if it is >= 8 SP

Movies!
Ok so I have two Phase Two movies for you today. Both have HD options on YouTube and FileFront links for full downloads.

First up is from my point of view. Yes I know I made countless mistakes but fraps was slightly lagging me so excuse the crappy muti-DoTing and letting DoTs fall off.
Anub’arak 10 Hardmode:

Download: FILEFRONT MIRROR

Second is from one of our holy priest, Kuzuc’s, point of view.
Twin Val’kyr 25 Hardmode:

Download: FILEFRONT MIRROR

Music times!
Only two tracks today as I have not been listening to much music lately due to mass sleeping and hospital visits!

First up some Celldweller. I have been a fan of Celldweller for god knows how long and the 7 minute long track Frozen is one of my favourites. This is the remix by Vibe Tribe and is also made of win.
Celldweller – Frozen (Vibe Tribe Rmx)

Next up is a track that I have liked since it popped up in PvP movies a while back but I never figured out what it was called until yesterday. It’s Anberlin with the track The Feel Good Drag.
Anberlin – The Feel Good Drag

Until next time when I am hopefully feeling better!
/Lyn

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Taking a break from my more general style of blogging for some proper Priest blogging on this Priest blog… Go figure!

First up, PTR buffs for Shadow Priests!

Earlier this week we got a new PTR build and an updated set of patch notes that contained this little gem:

  • Improved Spirit Tap: Mind Flay periodic critical strikes now have a 50% chance to trigger this talent. (No change to the mana regen effects.)
  • Twisted Faith now grants spell power equal to 4/8/12/16/20% of spirit, up from 2/4/6/8/10%.

Let’s check out the first change to Imp’ Spirit Tap. Looking at this change first off most people would say “Why?” but when I see it I say “Infinite mana due to 100% uptime of IST”. This is also a minor spirit scaling boost as IST gives us 10% more spirit while the buff is us as well as +33% mana regen rate for the 8 seconds. This when stacking with the new Twisted Faith, that I will get onto soon, and Glyph of Shadow will mean more spell power gain as well so it also boosts the DPS value of the talent.  Overall it’s a nice change but it’s not going to fix our single target DPS issues at all.

Now the Twisted Faith change is another patch up job. Out of all the caster classes Shadow Priests scale the worst with spirit despite Priests being THE spirit class. Funny huh? Anyway this is a nice little buff again but is not going to change much, it’s a nice spell power boost but our DPS problems are coming from not being to utilise the haste on our gear properly due to only having two spells that scale with haste properly. End of the day any buff is a welcome one and maybe these two changes will give the developers the confidence to give our haste problem a good old fixing soon… We can live in hope I guess.

Now, if you want some numbers to look at I had a scribble down and based off a Shadow Priest with 800 spirit and came up with the following:

Today:
Glyph of Shadow ~ 95% uptime
IST ~ 45% uptime
IST + TF + Glyph of Shadow = 163 spell power

3.2.2:
Glyph of Shadow ~ 95% uptime
IST ~ 95% uptime
IST + TF + Glyph of Shadow = 258 spell power

3.2.2 changes:
Gained 95 spell power on an 800 raid buffed priest
Spell Power per Spirit (with raid buffs) increased from .2038 to .3225

Conclusion: Spirit is still bad but now not quite as bad by a small amount!

How good are these epics, really?

Next up I am going to go over some basic gear based stuff. I use an application called SimCraft (http://code.google.com/p/simulationcraft/) to run DPS simulations for my gear, now the kicker here is you can use simcraft to help you with gear by getting the “Value” of a stat.

Scaling factors according to SimCraft:
Priest_T9_13_00_58 Int=0.35 Spi=0.39 SP=1.56 Hit=2.39 Crit=1.12 Haste=1.07

In order to compare the stats to each other we use Spell power as the base. This results in the following PP (Pseudo power or spell power equivalent) values:
1 SP = 1
1 Crit = 0.72
1 Haste = 0.68
1 Spi = 0.25
1 Int = 0.22
1 Hit = 1.53

Now a lot of gear has gem sockets and for a fair comparison we include the best gem for that slot into the overall item value calculation.

Runed Cardinal Ruby (23 SP) – 23PP
Potent Ametrine (12SP + 10CRIT) – 19.2PP (This means it is worth going for a socketbonus if it is > 4 SP, > 6 crit/haste Rating)
Purified Dreadstone (12SP + 10SPI) – 14.5PP (for the Metagem, This means it is worth going for a socketbonus if it is > 9SP)

Now to use these values to determine how good a bit of gear is we can do a simple calculation!

SPELLPOWER+CRIT*0.72+HASTE*0.68+INT*0.22+SPIRIT*0.25+GEMPP+HIT*1.53

Ok so not so that does not look so simple but you just have to break it down. To show you what I mean I have two sets of bracers here:
WizzardBracers

darkness

Let’s take the Bejeweled Wizard’s Bracers for our first example.

Looking at the bracers we can see the stats so we do each part of the calculation:
SPELLPOWER – 80 = 80
CRIT*0.72 – 42*0.72 = 30.24
HASTE*0.68 – 50*0.68 = 34
INT*0.22 – 58*0.22 = 12.76
GEMPP – 23 (Runed in Blue socket as bonus is <9 spellpower and no socket bonus)

So we add up the totals and end up with:
80+30.24+34+12.76+23 = 180PP

So we can see that the Bejeweled Wizard’s Bracers have a item value of 180PP. These happen to be best in slot for shadow priests and are Tailor made and BoE so they are a MUST have for any raiding shadow priest.

Now they are only best in slot if you are hit capped, as hit is only useful until you are at 288.55 hit or 289 for simplicity. Let’s take our second example the Bindings of Dark Essence.

SPELLPOWER – 91 = 91
CRIT*0.72 – 57*0.72 = 41.04
INT*0.22 – 65*0.22 = 14.3
GEMPP – 19.2+5 = 24.2PP (Socket is yellow with a 5SP bonus so we can use a Potent Ametrine and we get the 5PP bonus that we add on to the gem PP)
HIT*1.53 – 43*1.53 = 65.79

Now the way to look at gear with hit on is to give it two values, one with hit and one without.

91+41.04+14.3+24.2 = 170.54

If the hit from this item is not used then the item has a value of 170.54PP but we have 65.79PP’s worth of hit on the item. Now if you use the hit from the bracers:
91+41.04+14.3+24.2+65.79 = 236.33

So those bracers are best in slot if you can use all 43 of the hit on them but if you don’t need the hit then the Bejeweled Wizard’s Bracers win best in slot position.

Now the beauty of this math is… you can put it into a WoW Addon called “Pawn” that will give you the Item Value in PP on the tooltips of your items, my only problems with Pawn is that it does not support epic gems yet and can bug out with enchants and epic gems. I keep a notepad next to my computer for quickly rushing this sort of math on items I have no clue about.

Hopefully this will give you guys some insight into how to make intelligent gear choises by yourself without having to rely on someone else making a “Best Gear” thread on the WoW forums.

Big shoutout to Shadowpreist.com that gave me tonnes of info into the scaling numbers and how to get SimCraft running properly!

MUUUUUSIC TIME!

First up something totally awesome:
Bloodhound Gang – Mope

Next up something Epic from the team behind “The Guild”
The Guild – Do You Wanna Date My Avatar

Guess what’s been on my Spotify Playlist for the last few days?
Bloodhound Gang – It’s Tricky

And last up is something a theme tune from one of my favourite TV series of all time.
BBC Wales Orchestra – Doctor Who Theme 2008

Until next time!
/Lyn

After a… eventful evening playing with the instance server boss (on hardmode he hits your sanity for 99%) we finally got into Trial10 to play with Anub’arak.
Start of the reset there was a bug with the instance that made the floor respawn after a soft reset if you left only Anub’arak alive in your instance save, they hotfixed it. Wait, no that didn’t work lets hotfix again. Almost got it now, lets hotfix the last two hotfixes so they work. Ok that will do. The ending result is that you have to open up your instance, activate the bugged floor event and all NPCs just despawn. Then leave for 30 mins, or as we got told 20 so we had to wait an hour in total, then go back in and pray it works now all the NPCs are back. It worked for us so INSTANCE SERVER BOSS DOWN ON HARDMODE!

Onto Anub’arak. We had 30 attempts left from the last night of playing and we tweaked our tactics but kept loosing people in phase 3 for silly reasons. Attempt 25 at 18% SOMEBODY taunted the boss and wiped us causing us to lose our bonus loot from the tribute chest. Three tries later and he died and all I could do was sigh.

The fight itself is really well done, you have to really push DPS and healing with only two healers and two tanks that both take a load of damage but we should have got it on Friday night but phase three is really hard to control properly with our level of gear. You have a healing (Good luck if you don’t have a 50% MS effect in your raid) Anub’arak that does 20% of your current HP in damage every second and four to six adds on your offtank as well as a frost debuff that ticks for 4000-6000 damage (Good luck without Frost Res’ Aura Mastery) all going on at the same time, if you get one thing go wrong, a bad avoidance chain on the maintank a high frost crap tick its game over.
Our final setup for Anub’arak was DK Tank, Warrior Tank, Resto Shaman, Holy Paladin, Shadow Priest, Moonkin, Warlock, Mage, Blood DK and Arms warrior.

I could not FRAPS it like I wanted to due to PSU issues (my 12v rail is really screwed…) and only being able to have 1HDD plugged in without my PSU saying no and crashing me. So perhaps next time I can capture the fight.

In other Raid news: Beasts of Northrend 25man is hard!

And Phase Two have got a Fresh New Drake!

Music Time!
First off lets go classic (and live):
ACDC – Back in Black is one of those tunes that everyone knows and loves, more so if you loved the Ironman movie like I did.

Stowers & Young – Ocean (Sly One vs Jurrane Remix) is just one of those random tracks that popped up in my playlist recently that I fell in love with so I figured I should share it.

Last up something funny:
The Lonely Island – I’m On A Boat (ft. T-Pain)

Til next time!
/Lyn

In Phase Two we have been discussing lately what we need in our raids to make them work smoother or what setup we should take for progression and the same phase has been thrown around at every corner and it pops up like this.
“Ok so we have a balanced setup here but we have a spare spot for another DPSer.”
“Just throw another blood ArP hero in there.”

This got me thinking, why was blizzard so short sighted as to let melee classes scale so well with single stats such as ArP and have amazing survivability with cooldowns such as Anti Magic Shell and Icebound Fortitude while classes like mages need a whole number of stats to work at a good level and at the same time only have one five minute ‘oh crap’ button and lower base HP than any other class.
Thankfully as a faithful follower of the shadows on my priest I am blessed with the 15% less damage taken and a nice two minute cooldown 90% damage reduction ‘oh crap’ button that also gives me 30% of my mana back when I use it. But at the same time I need to balance my matrix of offensive stats to get the most out of my class and my single target DPS can go to crap if I mess with a cast or have to move due to void zones or Algalon’s big red balls. (Yay! Got a balls joke in before I got to the Trial section…)
Granted on this subject blizzard are going back and trying to fix the ability to reach the Armor Penetration cap in 3.2.2:
“The nerf to armor pen in 3.2.2 is intentional. Compared to the recent buff where we increased the value of armor rating to 125%, this nerf would take it back down to 110%. While we are still evaluating the effects of this change in the 3.2.2 build, we did want to let you know of the possibility in case you were about to spend a lot on armor pen gems.”
-Ghostcrawler
@ http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=19717353372&sid=1
All this will do is make some classes go back to stacking another stat and doing almost the same damage as they are now, ArP will still be a powerful stat even without being capped but I gather that the point of this nerf is to make other stats more attractive again.

In the ideal world I would be able to stack only Spell Power on my priest and do OMGWTFDPS but I can’t. I need a certain level of critical strike chance and haste or I end up clipping spells or having 0.2 second gaps where I cannot do anything and that dead time stacks up and is a DPS loss compared to my Blood Hero friends they just have another button to push such as Death Coil when they can’t C-C-C-CLEAAAAAAVE their way into whatever happens to be in the way.

Maybe the new nuke Shadow Priests are getting in Cataclysm will fix all these problems but I don’t want to be a affliction warlock 2.0 that DoTs stuff up and then nukes with one spell until it’s time to renew dots. I enjoy the rather complex priority system that a SP has and it makes me feel personally good when I pull off DPS comparable to mages and hunters with my little ‘hybrid’ Elfling.

TLDR: Nerf Deathknights in PvE more please and make melee classes harder to play at a top level.

/End Rant
/Start PvE Blabble

Talking of balls jokes… This week saw week five of Patch 3.2 – Call of the Argent Filler Content and that means… Anub’Arak!

After storming into Trial of the Crusader 25man normal on Wednesday and face rolling our way up to Anub’ and he took us two tries. First we used my tactical advice “Screw looking it up, let’s just zerg it” (Note: Tactic not advised, can lead to dead tanks and wtf moments on vent.) This allowed us a chance to get the idea for the fight and give Narcus another repair bill. Second try we killed it with no real problems and I got myself a new whacky stick! Yay I now have a mace with the same stats as the legendary, with no healing proc granted but meh… Only thing I need to worry about now is getting back up the EPGP standings in time to pick up the Reign of the Dead trinket when it drops.

That night’s two hardmode tries was short lived due to server lag so we went to poke Algalon and out offtank’s net died at 14 mins left on the clock. BOOO Lithuanian internet connections!

I can’t comment firsthand how the hardmode progression went on Thursday due to sitting a raid out but from what I was listening to on vent it sounded like some progress was made on how to deal with the worms but I fear Icehowl will still be the major PWNT to this encounter, if the tanks can live through impale that is…

Friday is for FREEEPICSDAY or 10man instances as some call them. We started the night pulling a one shot on the normal 10player mode of Trial as expected for a guild in Ulduar25 hardmode(ish) and Trial25 Normal mode gear. Onto the hardmodes!

Beasts of Northrend
I found myself able to play this fight pretty well straight off, due to just listening to vent from the previous night, had a few wipes due to Icehowl’s iPwnt splatter charge 9001 ability but otherwise it went nice. The DPS challenge for the fight seemed to fit our gearing perfectly. Phase three was close but he went frenzy while stunned and died before the stun wore off so that didn’t count as failing! Apparently the timers on 25players are stricter and that sounds good to me as it might be a proper challenge and not a “gimmick” like so many Ulduar hardmodes. Oh and I finally took the plunge and sorted my hit gear so I can use a run speed enchant on my booties. Going to slap anyone that says they don’t need it and then gets iPwnt 9001’d on Sunday/Tuesdays raids.

Jaraxxus
This encounter has a few changes that I like. First of all add portals/volcanoes being attackable is a genius mechanic that means if you fall behind on portal DPSing you get punished with more adds to tank so you have to keep your raiders on their toes. I noticed people taking a lot of spike damage while mistresses where running around (woops we didn’t DPS the first portal until 3 adds spawned…) but otherwise the same old encounter. Difficulty wise it’s a lot easier than beasts, more so on 25man if what I have been told is true.

Faction Champions
Well yea… we got a rather easy setup but still as long as you have good DPS and good crowd control for the first 30 seconds you can gib one of them with a bloodlust up and then as long as you keep melee off me… erm… clothies and healers it’s all easy downhill coasting with a mortal strike debuff up you can out DPS their heals with little problems.

Twin Balls Jokes
This was very enjoyable as well, not much has changed since normal mode besides the shield being a bitch to get down in time if it was on the light as swapping to dark then moving into range took too long we found. Only other things I noticed was that touching the balls of the wrong colour is only gay if there is a white one on top of the dark one at the same time… and you can get a nasty debuff that requires you to swap colours for a moment to dispel it. I think this debuff can stack and in some cases was stacking on the tanks but they didn’t swap for it from what I saw.

Anub’Arak
This one we have not killed quite yet (GG 10% wipe). Our setup for this is:
Main Tank, Add Tank, MT Healer, Raid Healer, DPSx6 (Shadow Priest, Warlock, Mage, EleShaman, Moonkin, Arms Warrior)
Our tactic outline is this:
Pull
Shoot down 2 Permafrosts
DPS Anub to 90%
Adds Spawn
Warrior and Warlock kill off adds
Anub is on about 70%
Second Wave of adds spawn, off tanked until phase 2
Bring Anub to 55-57%
Phase Two (90 Seconds)
Kill off two adds
Kill off scarabs asap
Bring down the other permafrosts during this phase
Anub pops back up after I can’t remember how long
DPS to 50%
Adds spawn, DPS break off to kill them
DPS rejoin on Anub who is at about 40% here
Adds spawn around the time Anub hits 30%
Phase 3 starts should kill off adds here but we didn’t (We will next time we go), then Bloodlust
Focus fire on Anub with lust until he dies.

We kept screwing with the idea of tricks to keep the add tank alive with 4 adds on him and it just didn’t work or something ended up dying for whatever reason. Going to be going back this reset with 30 tries left on our clock and hopefully get him before the 24 tries left marker so we get a flashy achievement. Also going to try to sort out my rig for frapsing this one so I may put out a mooovie of it later!

Last but not least: MUSIC!
Just one flic today as this post is already rather long but I have been a fan of Placebo for ages and love the Sleeping With Ghosts album. This is the first track Bulletproof Cupid.

Also the album artwork is somewhat awesome I think!

/Lyn

A big welcome to my first, and possibly only contributor (if I can’t persuade Nithel to write about disc): Lynessa!

Lyn plays one of the sub races, i.e. a belf, on Defias Brotherhood horde, and is a rather superb shadow priest in one of the leading guilds over there, <Phase Two>, so hopefully we’ll be hearing more from the dark side (both in faction, and spec) very soon!

As some of you are aware, I’m a bit of an Ensidia fangirl. I even considered applying back in TBC on my horde warlock but after a realistion that I didn’t want to spend so much time invested in WoW, I decided against it. However, I still follow their progress and greatly enjoy their videos, and think that Muqq’s Wrath of the Sunwell films are the best-edited PvE videos. Period.

Regardless, Poptisse, Ensidia’s resident holy priest posted a Guide to Holy a couple of months ago. Looking at it as I formulated this blog, I scoffed a little at her specs, thinking “How, what, why?”, whilst nodding wholeheartedly at most of her theorycrafting 101 and advice regarding Gemming. However, in the last few days, Poptisse has posted part two to her guide, posting a spec almost identical to the one I reviewed two weeks ago, and primarily employ as holy, as her own recommended build.

The only difference is that I use 4/5 Spellwarding, opting for Desperate Prayer (as it does tend to save my behind).

Regardless, I’d heartily recommend it to anybody who wants to learn about Holy Priests:

http://www.ensidia.com/home/guides/priest-holy-part-2/

An original post will be coming this weekend- some of you already know what it’s about, the others… well, I’m afraid it’s nothing insanely exciting, but hopefully useful!

I personally disagree a little with Poptisse, as in a spec so reliant on instant casts, haste appears a little useless past the soft cap, and crit is THE stat to proc SoL (free heal? yes please) and Holy Conc (regen ho! especially as renew is not exactly cheap). Although I can imagine when you get a formidable amount of crit, you’d want to push the haste if you run a lot of ProH…

I also tested the glyph of renew over the glyph of FH in my most recently-reviewed build, and found that, with the insane amount of overheal thanks to the glyph, that it’s not worth it, so I’m trialling the Glyph of Holy Nova in its place next time.

Spexperimenting

July 30, 2009

A topic I’ve touched upon in previous posts, is how much variety there is within the priest’s healing arsenal. We have more base healing spells than any other class, we have two healing trees, and then we have a variety of specs within those trees (moreso within holy pve healing than disc). These different holy specs lend themselves to different spell usage, roles, and gearing, in line with the chosen talents.

Given that I’ve come straight into holy from shadow, my gear is a bit lacking, and given that I am sometimes playing shadow in our raids, gemming out to  holy and back again would be unreasonably expensive (alas, I am not one of those 20k gold people that you see bragging in trade / guild chat – *coughaylia* – I think the most amount of gold I ever owned is just over 5k, and that was when I was saving for epic flight and an auction hit the same day). I’m still using a mish mash of healing gear – created by various emblem turn ins, naxx 25 off spec rolls, and some of my dps gear, which has hit on… It’s not ideal, but it provides at least decent testing for my first spec.

Unbuffed, in my current gear, I have:

2296 sp (relatively high, due to my shadow gems)
21698 mana
22.75% holy crit (excluding talents)
282 (8%) haste
303 mp/5 whilst casting

The spec I am trying with said gear is:
http://www.wowhead.com/?talent#bVcbuZfvzcbMqihhcuAo:N0fMVz

Note: I did not use the glyph of renew last night during testing, because I wasn’t sure how assignments were going to work. Instead I kept the Glyph of Flash Heal, in case I was on a tank, and moreover, given my relatively small mana pool in my gearset. Typically, I was on the raid all night (not that I’m complaining, this spec is BUILT for raid healing) and, with forethought, could have brought the Renew glyph with me just in case.

So how does this spec work?
Basically, it’s all about keeping renews and prom rolling, in order to get SoL up. SoL procs keep serendipity up, which I save for Prayer of Healing exclusively (although wonderful hpm, Greater Heal is generally outshined by flash heal, and when it comes to tank healing holy priests are outshined by pretty much any other healer out there). If Serendipity starts to drop off, then I will try to cast a Flash Heal to keep it up.

Basic breakdown from last night:
Circle of Healing: 28.1%
Renew: 18%
Prayer of Mending: 17.6%
Other: 16.1%
Prayer of Healing: 10.8%
Flash Heal: 9.1%

Good usage of a variety of spells. (Note: this is the actual percentage of what my healing was attributed to – it doesn’t mean I mashed Circle of Healing 28.1% of my evening, it means it healed 28.1% of my successful heals.). In actual *casts*, my most cast spells were Circle of Healing (with relatively overheal – so I wasn’t spamming it unecessarily), Empowered Renew,  Prayer of Mending, Flash Heal, Prayer of Healing etc. My general overheal was pretty low (42%), and this was bumped up by Flash Heal, Holy Nova and Prayer of Healing.

Overall, I’m very happy with this spec, and how it managed to perform on many encounters. I also had generally, low overheal. I attribute most of the flash heal overheals to me trying to keep Serendipity up with my relatively low haste (either I was healing targets that didn’t really need it to keep it up, or was beaten to the punch). Holy Nova overheals were down to me either trying to proc SoL to get flash heal -> x3 stacks serendipity -> hasted ProH, or being a bit thick, and spamming it to try and reach somebody in my party who was out of range of me. And the overheals on ProH are innate to the ridiculous healing power of the spell (I for one, anticipate the nerf with glee).

Over the course of the evening, I was at 1984hps. Not amazing as standalone hps, no, but good considering that we ran with 6 healers, a retadin (who heals more than some of our healers on certain attempts. NERF?). However, the figures get really interesting when I look at individual encounters: at XT 002 in particular, this spec was particularly formidable.

So, overall, on encounters where there is a fair amount of raid damage, and movement, this spec will perform well, and I personally enjoyed the very mobile playstyle that enabled me to bunny hop repeatedly. Given some more crit, spell power, and a renew glyph, it will be very strong, and the one thing that I would need to work on would be to use my SoL procs more, as the buff was dropping off at times.

Whenever I heal, I have a whale of a time. However, there is one thing that somebody can do,that will inevitably make me rage. Something that I’ve noticed on my shaman, on my priest, in pugs, and sometimes even in guild runs.

That something is exploiting meters.

As DPS, it’s pretty easy to exploit meters. Some may even say it’s fine and dandy, because the arguable purpose of DPS is to do well on meters, and that is how DPS are assessed. Moreover, some of those mobs will have to die eventually, so you may as well AOE them down and pull some sick numbers AMIRITE? I know it’s easy to exploit meters because (sorry Burn!) I’ve done it myself. Kologarn is at 5% and rubble spawns and the raid lead goes “just finish him off” and there the meter exploiter stands, frantically mindsearing / hurricaning / raining fire upon what remnants of rubble are being happily tanked and are on the verge of despawn. The warrior who cleaves at XT, the warlock who multidots during Council hardmode- you raid with these people, but probably didn’t notice, because hey, nobody died (apart from the boss. Hopefully.).

Now, to get back on topic. What happens when a tank healer tries to top meters with similar disregard?

Answer: the tank dies. Yes, the tank will die if all you cast are a few lousy circle of healings and renew. Yes, somebody else will have to pick up the slack, whilst (more than likely), cursing you to the depths of healing hell. This is much more difficult in a 10man than a large raid, given that there are often 2 healers, sometimes 3.

For the love of all that is holy, heal your assignment. Being the healer to pick up the slack is extremely frustrating and the people who know how healing works best – i.e. your peers, will not think that you are the Chuck Norris of healing as they try to prevent the wipe that you are FACILITATING by your sloppy heals!

So, almighty Fa, I hear you ask, why do people do this?

The fact of the matter is, that the meter exploiter wants to be renowned as the best healer, or at the very least, better than the other healers in the raid. Often, some nab has linked the meters to them in the past and gone “lololol u suck”. They believe that topping healing meters is the best way to show their l337 skills. Well guess what, they’re WRONG and if your healing officer, or GM, goes by healing meters alone, then, screw it, they’re assessing healing in a very dangerous manner. As aforementioned, the other healers will probably think you are a dimwit who cannot follow simple instructions, if they’re having to heal your target for you.

But why? What? HOW CAN THIS BE WRONG? HOW CAN I ASSESS HEALERS?

Meters are not the devil. World of Logs is an amazing tool to analyse your healing squad. Although I don’t always agree with what he has to say, Matticus has an excellent post on how to read such data on his blog, that is much more detailed than what I’m about to post. When considering somebody’s healing performance, there are several factors to consider:

1. Their assignment (tank / raid / special *ability* target – e.g slagpot).
2. Their class and spec (a disc priest or a paladin would be hard pushed to do more raw healing than say, a resto druid)
3. Their gear (oh yes, gear is a factor. Better gear = faster, bigger heals, and the license to go “all out” without worrying about going oom)
4. The nature of the encounter (although shamans have a wonderful group heal, this is not going to shine on much more mobile encounters where druids and priests can liberally cast WG/CoH). Is there a lot of raid damage that allows raid healers to excel?
5. The makeup of the raid / who else is on the healer’s target. (In a raid full of shamans and paladins, a sole priest or druid will do extremely well. 3 healers on one tank will result in overhealing, and all 3 healers doing less well on the meters overall than say, if there were 2 good healers. It’s math!)
6. Non healing spells cast – dispels, shields, CC.
7. The damage they took – did they stand in fire for 20 seconds? The damage they did to the raid? Did they get charged with something painful and kill half the raid? (Grobbulus / Kologarn / Freya).
8. The  most obvious: the death count of their assignments, and whether such deaths (if any) could have been prevented.

TL,DR: Heal your target, please!

Which priest are YOU?

July 21, 2009

So, there are a variety of priests in the World (of Warcraft) these days. Some good, some not so good. Which priest are YOU? (This list applies, but is not limited, to holy priests)

1. The Rock.
This guy is the shit. He’s reliable, he shows up, he quietly heals, never causes drama. He’s not the best healer in the world (See: The God), but he’s damn good, and you can rely on him at all times.

2. The Old School Priest
This priest hasn’t *quite* got the mechanics of Wrath healing. Socketting pure spirit gems is order of the day for the OSP, as well as trying to exploit the 5Sr. Whilst he has Guardian Spirit, you don’t think you’ve ever seen him use it…

3. The Meter Obsessive
This guy thinks meters are the be all and end all. His tank will often die because the only heals they receive are from aoe heals, and if you look at his spell breakdown, at least 33% of it will probably be due to CoH. On an encounter like Auriaya. Never dispels, unless dispel meters are linked.

4. The Shielder
The bane of disc priests everywhere. This holy priest pre-shields tanks, and anybody within range. Sometimes has Body and Soul – if so, doesn’t know when is best to shield.

5. The Tunnel Vision Healer
Is obsessed with watching grid / raid frames, and often dies in the fire / void zone / whirlwind.

6. The Spammer
Druids – you know this guy. He’s the one yelling for innervates across vent – 2 minutes into the encounter. Tops overhealing regularly.

7. The martyr
Often forgets to heal himself. Needs to locate and utilise the “Binding Heal” button.

8. The annoying theorycrafter
Spends hours theorizing dramatic (and often situationally impractical) specs. Respecs every raid to a varying holy build, changing their playstyle to account for this.

9. The God.
The tank drops to 1% – do not fear, the God is ready with Guardian Spirit at the pivotal moment. All the other healers are DEAD! Do not panic, the God is still standing, and keeps the raid up for that last 30%. Solo. Apparently he healed in Ensidia once…

10. The Idiot
Spams Holy Nova? Using Greater Heal? Goes blank when you mention Serendipity? Sockets mp/5  / Stamina / Agility) You have, I’m afraid, encountered the Idiot. Good luck!

I’m definitely number 8. When I play shadow, number 6. Our druids hate me at Yogg Saron 🙂

This post was originally going to be a bit about specs.

You what? Surely there’s a cookiecutter holy spec? I hear you say.

Well that’s just it, even in the holy tree, there are a lot of options available to us, and whilst you need half a brain to make a cohesive spec, you have to be practically braindead to create an awful spec, simply because so many of the talents are valid. We’re not in the days of 20/41 anymore, Toto!

I can’t really evaluate or discuss these until I’ve done the basics, or tested them myself. I’ve had a request for BiS gear for holy- and I am working on that, but until then, you’ll have to make do with a post on gems.

Back in TBC, it was more acceptable to gem spellpower, given the fact that we were reliant on our spells hitting hard, however, with the changes to holy to favour crit healing, I simply can’t justify spending my money on runed scarlet rubies when I’m critting 1/3 spells anyway. Moreover, as holy, I do find mana to be an issue. So here’s what I recommend for your sockets:

Brilliant Autumn’s Glow (+int): Yellow

Seer’s Forest Emerald (+int/+spirit): Green (and also the best Blue gem there is, in my opinion)

Luminous Monatrch topaz (+spell /+ int) : Red

Purified Twilight Opal: Purple (I’d consider using this for a Red socket).

Prismatic: Insightful Earthsiege (int & mana return)

Obviously, use your common sense. Don’t try to match sockets if you’re getting something rubbish, and use your dragon’s eyes if you’re a jewelcrafter. If you gem mp/5, I’ll personally hunt you down and slap you. If you find yourself comfortably within your mana pool, then switch out some of the above for runed scarlet rubies (+spellpower) or luminous autumn’s glows (+sp and int) etc… And it’s always good to have alternate sets for high HPS encounters, and then regen sets.

So, back to the reasoning behind the above:

INTELLECT IS YOUR BEST FRIEND. Yes, this may be hard to accept for some of us who have been playing priests for a very long time. But, given replenishment, the increase in crit provided by int, and the changes to regen (yes, int improves regen too!) and the mechanics of healing these days (good luck finding the 5sr in combat and not letting people die horribly), intellect is the nicest, yummiest stat there is. PERIOD. Brilliant Autumn’s Glows are your friends – love them, hug them, stick them in your pants (not figuratively…).

Then there’s spirit. Spirit is not a bad stat. Not at all. Look at meditation, look at talents such as Holy Concentration and Spiritual Guidance. Any priest worth his salt takes Spirit of Redemption – many for the passive spirit bonus alone (because if you’re dying enough to warrant Angel Form for the extra hael time, then  I’m sorry to say, you – or your raid – are doing it wrong). I’d never socket a pure spirit gem in the current healing climate, but I’d never pass a piece of gear because it had spirit on it, and I’d try to rock as many pieces of gear with spirit on them as possible.

And, for the love of god, don’t socket green gems in your beautiful epic healing gear.