Saturday, January 30

Debuffs and uberness


So I finally broke down and got GridStatusDebuffs this week out of curiosity. I recall having it in Ulduar but it tracked way more things than was worth having (like Hodir effects).

However, it is wonderful in ICC. Another healer asked me if there was anything I could think of to turn off for this and to be honest I couldn't think of anything. Maybe the debuff from the Dark Nuclei on the Princes fight, but it hasn't annoyed me yet.

I would recommend it, especially if you weren't sure about it before.

What the heck do I want to get?

I have been sitting on a fair number of frost emblems recently and every time I go to the vendor, I can't figure out what to get. I use Lootrank and Rawr, but I get stymied looking at my options. I think I looked long and hard at the Purified Lunar Dust, which as I understand is getting a boost soon. I believe this will bump it above Sliver of Pure Ice in both MP5 and Spell Power, which is good news for those who don't have Solace of the Fallen or Arthor's Abacus. In light of this information, I believe I will buy this, as I am a trinket hound.

After stealing the Spindle from the rest of the raid the other night, my haste is now stupidly higher than it was last week which means I can finally start looking at new things. Perhaps, even the tier gear. Crusade aside, I am not seeing the upgrades as fast as I would like, and I am patiently holding out for the Abacus. Why? I get a little narrowly focused when I see an item that calls to me. As a raid healer, I see large potential for it, but I digress.

Going through the list, my choices are rather limited in certain areas like neck and bracers but I do see some potential in other areas. I guess it's another round of gear comparing for me.

I will tree punch you in the face!

Actually, my ranting and subsequent boozing during a raid has lessened quite a bit lately. A large part of that has to do with the fact that I am kept so busy I don't have time to watch what other people are doing. The healing assignments generally go like this:
Priest 1 heal xxx, Pally 1 heal xxx Pally 2 heal xxx... Kir run around like mad and heal everyone.

Yes, we do have another druid healer but some fights call for all three tanks to be active, which means he also gets the fun of single target healing, while I do my best to keep the raid alive. Thankfully, the other healers are rescuers like myself and sometimes toss a heal to someone nearby if there's time, but it often falls on my shoulders. I am not complaining though, I do get enjoyment out of it (Princes is my favorite fight so far). There is a sort of thrill running from one end of the room to the other while avoiding all the bad things. I find myself thinking outloud "White swirly thing, avoid. Crap, New Year's Ball will drop soon, better moonfire it on the way to the melee..." and so forth. It is a thrill for me and I am glad to get the assignment each time.

Alright then, I think I have put off homework long enough. Well, maybe one more look at Lootrank...

Tuesday, January 19

I want to tweak my spec

Disclaimer: Rambling Inc!

After spending a good number of weeks with the CF spec, I miss some things from my lovely old spec. The problem is, I am afraid to make any changes.

We have just one consistent member of each of these classes: Boomkin, Elem Shaman, and Retadin. Because at any time one of these members could take the night off, I am concerned that if I drop CF I will regret it.

My haste is ridiculous right now at 843. I was happily cruising along at 730-750 then I got a string of upgrades that happen to have haste on them. The consolation I have with this number is A) If my haste suppliers start to drop like flies, I won't be hurting that badly and B) any crit upgrades that drop I will be more likely to grab as I will have a buffer of haste rating.

I am still on my crusade against tier gear, so that gear won't be considered. I am saving my badges for some of the vendor gear, but I need to revisit my wishlist and see if there are any changes to make.

So, it's down to spec. I miss living seed and doubt the usefulness of replenish. This was a hard choice to make in the beginning of 3.3 because I knew the dps was going to be hard pressed and wanted to do my part in keeping our guild strong. Then I saw the raid damage going around and wonder if I should revisit this line of thinking. The only classes I see getting the most out of it is our DKs and with some discussion, I am told that they wouldn't miss it that much.

Looking at the top druids on my server provide little in the way of guidance. One dropped Living Seed, Replenish, and a point into Nature's Bounty for Empowered Touch and Tranquil Spirit. Another one dropped Tranquil Spirit for Living Seed. Oh, and that many of them aren't even resto as a main spec (with higher "gearscores" /sob You are right Anti, it is an evil word).

This is probably a time when cookie-cutter would be nice right now. As it is, we druids are so free to do what we wish with our specs that even someone who's been at this a long time is having to think hard about choices. I can't even imagine what it's like for a newbie.

Think replenish has to go. It's spotty right now, I think, just looking at the data from the last few raids. Some folks get hit it, some folks don't. What to replace those points? Well, I still too scared to drop CF...

Empowered Touch: for two points I can get a boost to my nourish which I am seeing some potential for usage (Festergut sticks out most in my mind). WG+Nourish or Rejuv+Nourish are some examples.

Tranquil Spirit: I don't see anyone with full points in this anymore, but perhaps an extra point may offset any mana issues.

Living Seed: I am embarrassed to admit that I use regrowth probably far too often. My crit is also very freaking low with all the haste stacking but maybe I can see some mileage out of this talent.

Think I am going with Living Seed. I am not "tank" healing enough to warrant buffing Nourish, despite the above mentioned combos. See how it goes for a week or so before reconsidering adjustments.

How about you? Dropped CF yet, and if so, what did you pick back up?

Tuesday, January 12

I miss the days of keeping your head down.

There is a growing problem on our server, and maybe it's on yours, too. It's folks who don't keep their heads down and their mouths shut.

See, being a part of a guild should be a little like a job. You apply, get signed on, then have to go through a process before the rest of the group feels you can be a part of their team. The guild app process is no different.

We used to have initiate ranks, a trial period, and such when we invited new members. Without that, we just give folks time to prove themselves to us that they can do what is expected of them. We take comments from other raiders and perhaps even members of former guilds.

The problem is, more and more people are coming into guilds (not just ours) thinking they are the shit and know exactly what is going on.

What ever happened to just staying quiet? *que old man voice* Back in my day... impressing your new guild meant following instructions, listening to the raid leader, keeping your nose out of other's people's business. How are you expecting to see if the guild works for you if you keep badgering them about how they run their guild? If you don't like it, either choose to put up with it or gtfo.

Also, impressing your new guild does not always mean being the highest on whatever meter. You can be number one on dps, and the guild still can put you on ignore/mute. That's not a good sign.

Seems that my server is going through a huge rash of this: "I don't like this, let's gquit and form our own guild of asshats like us!". Another officer and I constantly check our bookmarked guilds, only to find out that they disbanded or server moved. Guilds splinter and die. It's amazing that we have prospered despite being a merger guild. Going on two years now (I need to start planing our anniversary party, come to think of it) while most don't make it past 6 months or less.

All of this is killing our server, in a way. I used to be able to sit in Org, scope the other druids, give them props on a piece of gear or congratulate them on a boss kill. Now, the main "celebrities" on the server are loudmouths in trade chat. Folks who stir up shit for attention.

Call me old school, but I miss the quiet.

Saturday, January 9

New year, new term, still crazy.

Another term starts and my crazy world starts up again. This time, I resolve to keep posting a bit more regularly than last term (Nothing for three months, bad tree!). Taking the advice of other bloggers, I keep drafts saved and while on raids I make notes of things that amuse or strike me. My poor guild, the unwitting subjects of my blog fodder, I mean insightful commentary!

With two terms left before my transfer degree is finished, I am trying to squeeze in the last of my required courses. No room for failure, I get these done or I am stuck longer than I wish to be.

One thing on my side is that half of my classes are online (Driving in Oregon rain at 7 am is not my thing) so I hope to use the blog as needed distraction from staring at sculptures and charts.

Of course, the curve ball thrown into this is my job. I am given more responsibility there and have added projects. I shudder at the thought of what will happen to me when I start full practicum work.

Anyway, just giving a heads up to you all, and to put into words some goals for myself. Can't take it back if I publish it, right?

Rankwatch, some thoughts

Not long ago, MMO-Champion featured the Rankwatch mod on their site and with the pugging and such, many folks have downloaded it.

I am no exception.

I actually enjoy this mod, though I don't really care about it in a 5 man situation. I know some folks were asking the author to add a cross realm feature but it is not an issue for me. Sure, it would be nice to know why the mage who is better geared than me can't get above the tank, but I figure as long as I don't die I call the run a win.

What I was hoping for with this mod was to figure out possible weaknesses in our raiders now that the new wing is open. The gear checks are tight, and it was baffling to me why we had folks who barely dps'd better than me in my offspec.

Caught one of our hunters in a guildie 5 man using a downranked Steady Shot. I have to say we both were embarrassed; me for the spamming and her for the downranking. I have now decided to turn off announcements during 5 mans and leave it on for actual raids, but that's neither here nor there.

Several of us run with the mod now and catch not so surprising folks downranking. One even left the raid to train during a break. As expected, it is not solving all problems. There is still lag, framerates, and general coordination that every raid suffers from occasionally, but the mod does weed out one potential source of whatever issue you are trying to solve.

If you do have the mod, I would stress that it does not give you licence to be a jerk. Calling someone out who as a noob does not help the matter. This is largely why I don't run with it on 5 mans because the potential for abusive behavior is already high in those situations.

I will note that it is great for alts. I was running with a rank 1 SW:Pain, forgot to train in the frenzy of emblem farming, and promptly smacked my forehead when I got the messages again. It is very easy to miss things on alts and the mod does a great job of "fixing" you.

Can find the mod at the curse website.