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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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Seri sez: The Best of 2009

December 31, 2009

Hello dear readers! (Hopefully there are some of you left.) Matticus mentioned recently that he’d like to see some blog posts with links to what we consider our best content of 2009… since it’s easier to regurgitate old content than it is to come up with new content it sounded like a good idea to me! ;)

I hate to actually try to rank things in order of most to least favorite, so these are largely chronological. First off is my rant about the oh-so-downtrodden Discipline Priests of Azeroth. I’m pleased to report that while Discipline has become a popular and accepted spec I no longer worry about some sort of hive mind developing.

Next up: Life with Jov. If you liked this one, you’re in luck… I’ve been saving up lolcats for a sequel, but you’ll have to wait for it. Okay, maybe I’ll show you one.

Just to prove I really can be productive, I updated my guide to applying to a raid guild for WotLK. 9 months later, it’s still mostly applicable. Feel free to post a link in your guild applications forum.

My L2WWS series was pretty popular; feel free to check out part 1 & part 2 in the archives. Part 3 never came to fruition and probably never will. I’ve moved on to World of Logs as my raid analysis tool of choice… perhaps you’ll see a new series in the new year!

Because I still bump into a lot of Priests that don’t “get it” I feel I should also mention my post about gearing for Discipline vs gearing for Holy. It’s been a while since I revisited it but I *think* the stat priorities are still generally right.

In April, we hit a nice little milestone: 1,000 comments!

When the cat’s away, the mice will play… Seri provided some “tips” for officers with absentee GMs.

In June, we debuted the best series of posts we never wrote: Tea with Zusterke Parts 1, 2 & 3. I’m told that Zusterke has been working on a new series for us but.. I’ll believe it when I see it! (Please Zus, can I see it?)

Later that month, Jov abandoned me for a whole week.

A few weeks later, we debuted our first (and only) Real Raiders of Genius video. Yes, that really is us doing the vocal work. No, I won’t tell you which is which.

As the year progressed and the expansion matured, Jov learned that it sucks to be so awesome. Even in new content, these days, we’re down to bringing 5-6 healers instead of the 7-8 we started the year out feeling like we needed.

As we got closer to Blizzcon, the next expansion was the talk of the town. Rather than predict what might be announced at Blizzcon, Seri decided instead to predict what absolutely would not be announced at Blizzcon. Her predictions were 100% accurate.

Jov picked a fight with Amber of I Like Bubbles. Hilarity ensued. (P.S. Happy Blogiversary, Amber!)

In September, WoS turned 1 year old and celebrated with fantastic giveaways! Please note: all giveaways have ended so if you comment hoping for a loot code you’re out of luck.

Seri treated everyone to a very special rant about Varian Wrynn, based on experiences in Trial of the Crusader. No one seemed to get the title’s pop culture connection, which she is still sad about.

Last but not least, one of the best moment’s of World of Snarkcraft this year (in my not so humble opinion) was Jov’s letter to Father Winter. I’m pleased to report that she did, in fact, get her heart’s desire.

I hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane as much as I did. It’s always fun to look back. :)

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Jov sez: Apologies

December 22, 2009

Apologies to our regular followers. I’ve been totally getting my ass kicked by the holiday season, and I’m at the point where I’m mainly just wanting to hole up and hide until it’s over. I was hoping I’d be able to get a post out this week to make up for the one I missed last week, but… it’s just not gonna happen.

So radio silence from Jov until after the first of the year.

In the meantime, I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday, filled with all sorts of things that you enjoy, even if it’s just the time off work. I’ll catch you in the New Year.

<3

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Seri sez: I beg your indulgence.

December 11, 2009

Did I miss another one? It’s been pretty hectic for me the last few weeks and I haven’t had the spare brain power to blog, as evidenced by my recent string (is two a string?) of missed Thursday posts. I hope to have something for you next week. In the meantime… here, have a holiday recipe from my dear friend Mayada:

Spirited Pecans

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup Praline Liquor
1.5 Cups Sugar
3-4 Cups Pecans
Candy Thermometer

Directions:

Spread out a long sheet of parchment paper (about 2 feet) on a flat surface

Mix the Liquor and Sugar together, then stir gently over high heat until the syrup reaches Soft Ball stage on the thermometer.

At that point, dump the pecans in and keep stirring until everything is covered and the coating starts to look grainy. Dump out onto the parchment and cool.

If you make a bunch at once and don’t want them all out, throw ‘em in the freezer!

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Jov sez: Dear Father Winter

December 8, 2009

Dear Father Winter,

As I’m certain you know, I’ve been a very good girl this year.  First of all, I haven’t killed any rogues…  DPS has been basking in the glow of my heals, in fact!  Seri has shown me the error of my earlier ways, thinking that DPS aren’t actually people…  How wrong I was!  I’ve also done a good deal of work toward feeding the hungry of Dalaran, each day providing meals to one poor soul or another.  I’ve run errands for giants, I’ve performed tasks for knights, and I’ve made peace with those adorable primitives in Sholozar Basin.

I have done all of these things with nary a thought for myself…  You might say even out of the kindness of my heart.

And because I have done such a good job this year, I only ask that you overlook that…  thing… in Brewfest.  I can hardly be blamed for what I can barely remember, right?  And all those times I accidentally yelled “I WILL PUNCH YOU THROUGH THE INTERNETS…”  Well, of course that makes no sense at all, so it obviously was just a joke.

I’ve spent the past year attempting to be a shining example of all that is good and Holy…  I’ve even been leaving those poor, unfortunate Discipline Priests alone!

I only have one request…  ONE present I want for Winter’s Veil…

This Argent Tournament thing?  Please let it all end.  I don’t care if another stupid space goat ship crashes into it or it pulls a Dalaran and vanishes with a large chunk of the surrounding landscape or what…

I just want to go somewhere I’m actually making a difference.  I want to go to Icecrown.

Love,  Jov

PS — We won’t discuss that time I saw you and the goblin having a sausage party last Winter’s Veil…  We’ll just keep that between you and me.  Kisses.

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