Archive for January, 2010

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Jov sez: On Raiding, Burnout, and The Blahs

January 19, 2010

I apologize, this post isn’t going to be anything along the lines of normal Snarkcraft content.  It’s going to be a wee peek inside the life and status of Jov’s player.  Also, it’s my blog and I’ll be emo if I want to.

First off, the admission:  I’ve not really been playing Jov much anymore.  For the past several months, I’ve been logging Jov in to raid, do occasional laps of the upper reaches of Northrend to fund my Frostwyrm habit and… that’s about it.  Various things conspired against me, from current content, lack of ability to take a break, to computer issues.  WoW had lost it’s sparkle, and had become a job.

I raided.  I blogged.  I modded.  I strong-armed the cats on the healing team.  I spent hours discussing recruitment, drama, and the general aggravation that comes with every family; when you love the people around you, but sometimes you just want to strangle them.

In August, I told Seri I was thinking about quitting.

I held out, though.  I kept a “this too shall pass” attitude that I’ve mentioned I held toward ToC, ICC and previous raids in past expansions.  I love mah peeps, and I wouldn’t trade that bunch of losers for the world.

But time went on… and on… and on.  Things got harder, and real life stress reared it’s ugly head.  (You can ask Seri how well I deal with stress.  I’m probably one of the most neurotic people on the planet.  Let me tell you, I can lose some shit.)  In December, I did just that.  I told Seri that when my sub expired at the end of January, I was gone.  At that point, it wasn’t even an issue of WoW anymore.  Holidays left me under a lot of stress; WoW wasn’t cutting it as a stress reliever.  It was just one more job.

As is probably obvious by the fact I’m here typing this as opposed to flittering off into the nether (or wherever bloggers go to die), the turning of the calendar changed my perspective a bit.  Well, that and Seri’s figurative clinging to my leg screaming “DON’T LEAVE ME WITH THESE REJECTS!” does a lot for a person. (>.>  Okay, I made that last bit up.  She was thinking it, though.)  I have been playing WoW more; it has been a stress relief.  Just…  not my priest.  Not any of my healers, actually.

Thanks to the wonder of server and faction transfer, my hunter (third character, long ignored due to being on another server and alliance) is now decked in heirlooms and whoring herself in lfg.  And…  it’s fun.  I’m having more fun than I’ve had in a long time.  There’s zero stress.  There’s negative stress.    I can put exactly as much effort into it as I feel like, and we’re not going to have a corpse run if I look away from the screen for a second.

But don’t worry, this isn’t going to be the rogue and hunter blog.  I’ve still plenty of priest crap to talk about.  Next week, I’ve a lovely post lined up about healing ICC at 2fps.  >.<

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Seri sez: Dancing with wolves (or perhaps rabid badgers).

January 14, 2010

There’s something about the Looking For Dungeon Tool that makes me feel like I’m getting back to my roots. It’s kind of like going back in time to roam the prairie with my wild ancestors–complete with mountains of buffalo dung. It’s ancient. Primal. This is healing as I haven’t seen it in many many moons. I’m telling you, it has been a VERY long time since so many things have been “my fault”.

Yes, that’s right: My fault. Because, somehow, every failure on the part of a random instance group is the healer’s fault. The tank dies… healer’s fault. The DPS die… healer’s fault. A tree falls in China… healer’s fault. Don’t get me wrong; there are shitty healers out there. Gods bless them, they provide countless hours of entertainment for me and Jov. But there are a lot of things that can go wrong in a pug that are NOT the healers fault. Perhaps:

  • A shitty tank.
  • An undergeared tank.
  • An undergeared shitty tank.
  • Overzealous dps.
  • People standing in shit.
  • Pulling when the healer is drinking or low on mana.
  • Pulling when the healer is afk.

Let me give you a tip: If you’re struggling through an instance and you’ve been through more than one healer… you’re not just having a string of bad luck. Someone in your party is a moron. Maybe several someones. Maybe… maybe it’s you.

Haha! Yeah, not likely. You’re reading World of Snarkcraft, which puts you ahead of most of the slack-jawed mutants in LFG. Therefore, my enlightened brethren, remain alert for signs of healer abuse and vigilant in the preservation of healers’ sanity. After all, it’s only a matter of time before they burn out and roll a pure dps class. Make it your goal to stave off the inevitable while you can.

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Zusterke on Inspiration

January 12, 2010

Zusterke strikes again!  This time, he delves into numbers to discuss that basic Priest talent: Inspiration.

Inspiration

Inspiration

Inspiration is a welcome tool, whether you’re making art or healing the tank. Most combat parsers check the uptime of this buff, showing the value of this talent. Sadly logs do not tell us how inspiration evolves with respect to crit and how we can manipulate our healing to work with inspiration. That needs to worked out differently, with pretty colors and graphics.

Inspiration uptime

“Theory”! Ha! Scared you, didn’t I? Due to heavy reader loss last time I wrote a guest post, I promised I’d stop aiming my theory at the readers and put the loaded math down. Still, for sake of completion I present the formula for inspiration uptime. The credit for this formula goes to Dagma at PlusHeal for he taught me both formula and its proof. The faint of hearth are invited to close their eyes for a second, it will not be pretty.

Math for buff duration uptime

Hits denotes the amount of (inspiration able) heals within the buff’s duration that we cast on the target. C denotes critical strike chance.

You may open your eyes again. We have 2 things that effect our chance to proc inspiration: critical strike chance and the amount of spells we cast on the target. This pretty rainbow below shows us by how much. Sadly, there is no pot of gold at the bottom end of this rainbow, only rotten potatoes for that’s where our inspiration ends.

Inspiration Uptime

Each line corresponds to an amount of heals on our target. Crit quickly boosts our inspiration uptime and as little as 20% gives a good uptime for spammy scenarios. For 25% crit we obtain 90% uptime when healing the target 8 times or more within 15 seconds. That’s easy with FHeal and/or penance, our tankhealing tools. Higher crit gives better uptimes, but the benefit from crit diminishes. The difference between 30% and 35% crit is only noticable if we heal the target less frequently. Beyond 35%, the benefit of crit is very low.

A grain of salt for these potatoes

I love theor.. eh.. rainbows but it isn’t 100% reliable. Critical heals are still random. The numbers above give ‘expected values’ but in practice your buff time could differ a little. Still, the more crit we have, the more reliable our inspiration becomes.

Another factor that effects our outcome is how you heal. The formula assumes that our heals are equally spread over time. In-game, this is rarely the case. This could influence your uptime both in a positive and negative sense. While the numbers above remain good indications, they are not 100% on the spot.

Counting on Inspiration

Tankhealers are seldom confronted with this question… but support healers or OT healers might: how often do you need to heal your target to proc inspiration? The answer for pessimists is “infinitely many times”. For all optimists out there, we can work out your chance to proc inspiration depending on how often you heal the target. *crushes door* Here’s theory! While I would enjoy a reign of math terror, you are spared another formula. The chance to proc inspiration, depending crit and your number of attempts, can be calculated with exactly the same formula as above. Consequently, the same rainbow shows you how reliable your chances are to proc inspiration and we can draw the same conclusions.

Inspiration and Surge of Light

Inspiration and Surge of Light

Surge of Light offers a free flash heal, but one that cannot crit. For our global inspiration uptime, it could be noted that SoL has a negative impact. But if we check the graph above, we can see that 1 heal less does not greatly affect our uptime. What’s more: in tankhealing scenarios it is likely to be a proc from a critheal on our tank. It would thus be the same heal that resets the inspiration timer and we should have about 15s time to ‘use’ that FHeal and cast more spells on our tank.

While I doubt the lack of inspiration or the gain of SoL has ever caused a wipe, there is a small risk that SoL procs from PoM or CoH that crits on a player, other than your target. In the (inconceivable) case that this proc would hinder your healing, a holy priest could use Binding Heal on the target as work around. But I have rarely been in a position where this would make a difference.

TLDR, aka the conclusion

For inspiration we note that 20% crit is sufficient to provide a reliable inspiration uptime in a tankheal scenario. More crit is welcome as it gives more freedom of how often we need to heal the tank but there is a diminishing return. At 30% crit, this diminishing return becomes strong and beyond 35% crit it weighs heavily. These numbers are raidbuffed. They should be taken with a grain of salt, so adding or dropping 1% won’t make a tremendous difference. If I remember correctly Jov always promoted 20% crit as minimum for holy priests. I guess I just added a piece of the proof she’s right. (and I’ll probably never hear the end of it) [You just said my two favorite words:  Jov’s right.  Of course you’ll never hear the end of it!  -ed.]

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Jov sez: It’s like… you know…

January 5, 2010

So, I’m pretty certain everyone is aware of that feeling on Monday when you go back to work after having a long weekend filled with friends, massive cleaning to prepare and recover from said friends, and nursing the hangover you got from time spent with more of the hair of the dog that bit you…

It’s kinda like that, returning to blogging after a period of vacation.  Sure, it was only a couple weeks…  And sure, it’s just a blog post!  These things really just write themselves, right?

HA!  Wrong!

I’m not one of those talented people who can churn a post out like so much senseless drivel, with nary a thought or care.  No, though I am talented, my talent is the kind you must WORK for.  Each post, carefully crafted from blood, sweat, and tears.  Each a tiny piece of perfection, lovingly wrought from the very essence of my SOUL.

(Too overblown?  Nah…)

To state things more simply, blog posts are something I’ve really gotta work for.  And after my vacation, Monday returned with all the subtlety of a mack truck.  First I was in denial that it was actually here.  Anger that it DARED happen again…  Then I just kinda gave up, put my head down, and prayed it wouldn’t notice me too much.

But!  To make it up for you all, I’m currently (finally!) transferring over Zusterke’s latest masterpiece, which will make it’s appearance next week.  (Sorry for the delay, you caught me right at the start of winter craziness!)

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