Posts Tagged ‘expansion’

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Seri sez: Double Ewe Tee Eff

April 2, 2010

Despite the silence here at WoS and on Twitter, I haven’t completely fallen off the face of the WoW-verse. I’m still puttering about, doing my thing as a raider and a GM. It’s been a busy few months, as I have added school on top of raiding 3-4 nights per week and working full time.

As a result, I’ve not been following WoW news (or, sadly, blogs) very closely, but things have seemed surprisingly quiet on the expansion front considering what’s been going on with the game lately. From cooldown reductions to high end gear & crafting mats becoming more accessible to steadily lowering the bar in ICC… it’s like all signs are pointing to an expansion launch coming Real Soon Now™ since this is the sort of thing we saw toward the end of TBC. I joked to a buddy of mine recently that I was half expecting them to just spring it on us one day out of the blue, having hired ex-CIA operatives to organize and run the most ambitiously covert beta test phase ever. Surprise, Cataclysm!

Still, the game industry being what it is… it’s not gonna happen. Of course they’re going to announce it in advance. They want pre-orders. They want hype. They want midnight launch parties and geeks like me having enough advance warning to take time off work to spend the first 48-72 hours in a highly caffeinated orgiastic frenzy of leveling, exploring, and profession grinding in between world server crashes.

So, until that release date is announced we can pretty much assume that the time between whatever day today is and Cataclysm’s launch is going to be measured in multi-month increments. (My current prediction: September-ish.) Why, then, are they in such a hurry to rush us through ICC with this rapidly scaling buff after purposefully slowing our progress via gating and attempt limits?

I’m so confused with all these mixed signals… it’s like prom night all over again. *rimshot*

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Jov sez: Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

August 25, 2009

With the announcements of Blizzcon, I shall be officially-officially retiring Jov (as opposed to the kinda retiring I’m doing now while dabbling with the resto shammy) in order to…

gnomepresitomg omg omg omg omg omg omg

Ahem.  That is all.  Gnomepriests, how awesome is that?!

(My gnomepriest is totally gonna have better hair, though…)

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Seri sez: That’s unpossible! (No, seriously.)

August 20, 2009

Speculation has been running rampant through the community about the next expansion for the last week or two. I’m sure that we’ll find out for sure which rumors (if any) are true at Blizzcon this weekend, so I thought that rather than throw my two cents in about the alleged changes/features I’d give you something of even less value… a list of things I can pretty much guarantee you will NOT be in the next expansion.

1. Draenei removed from the game.

In the biggest “Oops, my bad.” in gaming history, the spunky space goats will be removed and their backstory—along with most of TBC—retconned. Players of Draenei characters will be given an equivalent level Blood Elf OR 30 days of free game time and an exclusive account-bound Mini Wretched Kael’thas pet.

2. New Dungeon: CoT Gnomeregan

The Infinite Dragonflight is up to more wacky hijinks, this time in Gnomeregan. Disguised as Gnomes, you and your party will join up with Mekengineer Thermaplugg, helping to ensure that the Big One does indeed go off and fighting against the invading horde of troggs… but not too effectively. After all, we know nothing is more heroic than facilitating a tragedy for the good of the space-time continuum.

3. Whirling Dervish Viper Blade

An Engineer-only main hand weapon that scales with the ilvl of the rest of your gear and has a really awesome spinny animation. You’ll never need another main hand weapon again! It slices, it dices, it also makes julienne fries…

4. New Class: Monk

Finally, someone who can make use of that Ironshod Bludgeon! Monks are the masters of martial combat, but they can only use two weapons… Staves and Unarmed. They are also limited to cloth armor, but can Feign Death once an hour. Special attack: Flying Monkey Leap! FML can be used at up to 50 yards and hits PvP opponents so hard they disconnect from the server.

5. Uncle Fester’s Fleshmending Salve

Forsaken everywhere have long lamented their knobby elbows and knees, but an enterprising alchemist has finally figured out how to re-grow their undead flesh! For the low low price of 1,000 gold, Forsaken characters can purchase a one-use tube that will, over the course of seven days, re-join biceps to flexors and hamstrings to calves, along with everything else in between. Side effects may include spontaneous gender change and/or erectile disfunction.

6. The Death Studio

Players have long been awaiting the Dance Studio Blizzard has mentioned, but what no one seems to have realized is that /dance customization opens the door for even more entertaining customizations. Don’t like your death animation and/or sound? Change it! Sample in custom sound files and mix/match movements from all playable and NPC races!

What about you, got any crackpot theories about what will absolutely NOT be in the expansion? ;)

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Jov sez: Placeholder post

August 18, 2009

I’m certain everyone’s seem the leaks up on MMO-Champion.  (Or, at least everyone who didn’t see “spoiler” and ran to cover their eyes.)

Well, like everyone else out there, those leaks are on the forefront of my mind.  But…  I’m not going to talk about them now, simply because Blizzcon is this week and I don’t want to have to worry about retractions.  (Not that I ever do anyway.)

So, suffice it to say, MMO-Champion’s posted a “just because our sources are reliable doesn’t mean this is 100% guaranteed true” post and I’m going to follow the example I kinda wish they’d set and just keep my mouth shut on the topic until after Blizzcon.

So, needless to say, if the leaks prove true, I’ve got a post all set and ready to go off next Tuesday.  If not, I’ve got different stuff to say.

None of it is fit to be said now.

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Seri sez: Hey you, get off my server.

November 20, 2008

launchLaunch weekend is a weekend of growing pains for all MMOs. While some (perhaps wisely) have decided to avoid the hassle of quest zone overcrowding by sticking to instances or holding off on installing Wrath all together… I am not one of them. I knew going in that it wasn’t going to be pretty. I remember the TBC launch–hell, I remember the original WoW launch week and how packed the newbie areas were.

I’ll spare you the gushing over new content, save to say that I absolutely LOVE some of the new quests, because I’ve been reading a lot of that this week. I’m not even going to whine/speculate about whether or not Wrath is too easy and what the future holds for raiding because TentyFifthNovember has already cleared Naxx, Sartharion & Malygos. (Seriously, folks, as Jov pointed out to me: A world-first guild clearing all Wrath launch raid content in under 72 hours isn’t as impressive when you consider that they were farming said raid content in the Beta. Most of that time was spent just grinding their raid team to 80.)

No, I have a very special rant prepared for you today. I thought I was prepared for the tomfoolery that would be rampant in Northrend, ready to roll with the punches and just accept it as it came; as it turns out, I was mistaken. This one goes out to all the asshats that made my life difficult during launch weekend. You know who you are, and if you’re reading this you should be ashamed of yourself.

To the roving bands of Alliance AOE farming quest mobs… guess what? We can do it too and it doesn’t take five of us.

To the folks who reactivated for the expansion, crowding our quest areas and bloating our queues… You’ve already demonstrated that you have better things to do. Let those of us without real lives enjoy our virtual ones first. (Yes, even my intrepid guildies. I e-heart you, I missed you, come back in a week. XOXO -Seri.)Die in a fire!

To the jerks that had no concept of waiting their turn for a named quest mob… die in a fire.

To the inconsiderate punks looting ground spawn items while I’m standing IN them fighting a mob… may all your nodes be ninja’d by chinese gold farmers for all eternity.

To the AFK characters on large mounts parked on top of quest givers making a simple turn-in a two minute hide-and-seek click-a-thon… move your ass! It’s not funny, and I don’t care if you didn’t do it on purpose.

And last, but certainly not least:

To the blueflagging cowards that ganked me because I happened to be flagged after accidentally stumbling across an enemy town… there will be a reckoning. I’m making a list; your time will come, and I leveled a char from 1-70 on a PVP server so I know all sorts of ways to make your life hell.

Although the crowds have already started to thin, please try to be considerate members of the WoW community on your adventures through Northrend and remember–I’m out there, I’m watching, and I have a vindictive streak.

P.S. Don’t ask a Rogue below level 75 to open a Froststeel Lockbox or they just might burst into tears. Or stab you. It’s kind of a fifty-fifty chance thing; even if you like seeing Rogues cry, is it worth the risk?

Lockpicking 375 requires level 75!

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Seri sez: I am what I am.

November 13, 2008

laena-full

Retrospective posts seem to be the order of the week around the WoWBlogosphere, and this is no different. I have so many great memories from both classic WoW and BC that when I sat down and went through my screenshot collection I was just overwhelmed. But as I sit here looking back, I also have my eye to the future and what the expansion holds for me. I thought perhaps you might like to get a glimpse into the evolution of Seri. (And yes, these are all screenies of my actual characters!)

It all began with a Forsaken Priest. I came to WoW from EQ, where my favorite chars were a Cleric and a Ranger. I thought healing was the best thing ever, so when I got together with my spouse (though we hadn’t married yet back then!) and some buddies to play WoW, I rolled a Priest on Blackhand. Sadly, this char only made it to level 25 or so because my interest in playing was somewhat greater than Mr. Seri’s. Also, our leveling buddies swiftly out-leveled us because we were only playing a few nights a week.

It’s probably a bad sign that such is a rather alien concept to me now.

moonlight

Once I was playing WoW more often (and had fully made the switch from EQ) I rolled a warrior on Whisperwind, where a bunch of folks from my EQ guild had settled. Why a warrior? I’d tried warriors in EQ but found it frustrating to do much of anything without a healer around. Warriors in WoW are much different, and I initially liked mine a lot. Although I have always had a horrible case of alt-itis, I leveled this char all the way to 40-something before my next big distraction came around: Roleplaying.

I started a new character on Scarlet Crusade shortly after it first opened, because as a long-time Roleplayer I wanted to see what Roleplaying in WoW was like. I don’t remember why I picked Mage for my first char on SC, but… it stuck. I started out playing there one night a week, but over the course of a few months I was hooked and eventually made the swap full time. I loved the flavor that Roleplaying added to the game, and I met a lot of new people that made my journeys through Azeroth so much more engaging. I began to write stories about my characters and build backgrounds for them. What fun! My Mage was my first 60, and the first char I ever raided with. Of course, this was back when raiding Stratholme and Scholomance was all the rage. Yes, that’s right… we used to take 10 people in there at the same time and thought it was challenging.

krys-60I also made my first foray into larger scale raiding with my Mage. I joined a community raid group (with Jov and some other folks from our guild) and took my first steps into Zul’gurub; I still remember how nerve-wracking that first trip was. Little did I know what a big role raiding would play in my future, once I got used to it! My Mage made it as far as MC before I just lost interest in her. Part of it was having someone who had become a good friend to me quit the game, and part of it was an inferiority complex regarding another good friend who is hands down the best Mage I have ever had the fortune to play with. Have you ever met someone who just got their class on a level so high that you felt completely and utterly outclassed? Yeah, that was me. I’m sad to say that even when I picked up my Mage again in TBC I just couldn’t make a connection with her. She never made it past 66.

kat-2007

Leaving the Mage behind wasn’t terribly hard, because I was completely and utterly enamored with my Druid. I had leveled her quietly after my Mage hit 60, just for something to do and because Druids seemed neat. Little did I know! I don’t remember having as much fun leveling any char as I did leveling this one, and it was mostly solo at that. Somewhere in the 50′s I developed a crazy fondness for Balance. This was before Moonkin form, even. I was Balance before Balance was cool. When I started raiding with my Druid, it was pretty much game over for my Mage. She quickly turned into my main and was for a long time… probably the longest of any of my mains to date. With her I saw MC, BWL, AQ, Naxx… all primarily as a healer because that’s what our raid group needed. It was my Druid that taught me to love healing again, after so much time spent doing other things.

It wasn’t until BC launched that I went back to my Boomchicken ways, and I remember being just blown away at the difference in how the spec played with the new talents. Over the course of my Druid career I did it all… caster dps, melee dps, tanking, healing… I loved being a hybrid, someone who could fill any role even if tanking was not my favorite thing to do. (By this time I had transferred my old Warrior over to Scarlet Crusade and finished leveling her.. if I needed a tank, I tended to prefer to use her!)

seri-st

And then a funny thing happened. Ok, well, it wasn’t particularly funny but as my interest in raiding became more dominant and my interest in Roleplaying dropped to pretty much nil I decided to join a raid guild. Well, to be fair, I was already a member of said raid guild, but it was a Horde guild and I was just a part-time raider. I decided to take the plunge, make the switch and be a full time Horde raider.

I had created and leveled Seri back when BC launched, leveling her alongside a friend who had basically made a swap to full time Horde. (I mentioned the alt-itis, right?) It was a part time gig for me, much like my Mage dabbling back when I was test driving Roleplaying. The result was similar too. My enjoyment of my Priest came to rival my enjoyment of my Druid, to the point where I was able to set my Druid aside and fully embrace la vida Priest(a).

The rest, as they say, is history.

Now, here I stand at another crossroads. The dawn of a new expansion is a time when raiders think about shifting roles and doing something different. Although I still love healing (and my Priest), I feel like the time has come to do something different for a while. And so, on this day when we all (or most of us, presumably) take our first steps into Northrend, I’m going to be taking my first steps with my Rogue instead of my Priest.

Don't be a stalker!

Why? I like to stab things. But, more than that, after playing a healer for so long playing a Rogue feels rather liberating. The only buffs I have to worry about are self-buffs. I don’t have to rez anyone (jumper cables not withstanding). No one complains that I didn’t heal them fast enough to keep them alive. In general, my having an off night shouldn’t mean the raid wipes on farm content all night. It sounds like Nirvana to me.

But fear not, gentle reader, we’re not going to be turning World of Snarkcraft into the Holy Priest and Rogue hour. I still have a lot of love for my little Priest, and I’ll continue to share my Priest/Healing knowledge and perspective with you every Thursday. I hope that you all have as much fun leveling to 80 as I intend to. Just remember, as you venture out into the world of launch day queues, crashes and highly competitive questing, the best way to tag a mob when there is a lot of competition is SW:D.

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Jov sez: Sappy Sentimentality, Just in Time for Wrath

November 11, 2008

Jov, another faction, circa lv 35As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a horde re-roll.  Specifically, Joveta was created in March of 2008.  Before that, I’d been playing an Alliance priest, druid, and sundry other alts since March 2005, and all of that time was spent in the same guild, playing with the same people.  It was an RP guild, and a family.  WoW was my first MMO, and almost my first computer game.  I had no idea what I was doing.  They taught me what instances are, donated cloth and greens to help me level my tailoring and enchanting, and some even chipped in for my first mount.  They taught me how to play, not just how to heal, but how to exist in a MMO world.Alliance shadow, circa TBC launch

I was bit by the raid bug in December 2005.  A community group made up of members of small RP and Friend and Family guilds took me in, and I healed my way through every encounter in Vanilla WoW excepting C’thun and Naxx.  They had patience with me when I dabbled in the darkside about a month before TBC’s release.

Like many others, the release of TBC was a time of upheaval.  For several months, my guild had been slowly bleeding members.  We didn’t actively recruit, and the slow trickle of people moving on, leaving the game, and other things outpaced the influx of new members.  TBC’s release exacerbated the problem.  We went from regularly having upwards of 20 people on a night to 5-10.  People went hordeside, or found new guilds, or stopped playing.  It was alright, the people I still saw were some of my favorite people in the game, and the guild remained a family to me.alliance, current

When we started raiding with an alliance made up of friendly guilds leftover from my time raiding pre-TBC, some people began logging in again, but we lost much of the feel of the guild as we became less an RP guild that raids than a feeder guild to gear up and app to raid guilds.  It was disheartening to myself and others, and all of the people I was closest to decided around that time to make their horde characters their mains.  I took the plunge, rolling a blood elf priest (for the better quest zones and the mount.  On their own, I actually dislike blood elf models and animations) hoping that playing my favorite class would provide incentive to actually level.  At the time, I had no real intention of raiding in this expansion, though I joined the raiding guild all my friends were in as a Friend/Family member.Jov current

I went on my first Hyjal run in early July as a spot-filler, still wearing late-Outlands blues interspersed with a few Kara epics.  I must have done something right, because by the end of the month I was moved from our Friend rank to a trial raider.  With my friends horde-side, I’ve cleared all of T6 content excepting Kil’Jaeden, who I expect to drop (his pants) tonight.  (edit:  He did.  Go team!) I love everyone in my guild dearly, though sometimes I do get sappy missing all the people and characters I knew over my time in WoW.

  • Yuki:  You took some noobs under your wing back before any of us hit lv 30, and from that time we never did a raid or instance without you.  You taught me to not-suck, and you were some of the most fun RP I had across multiple alts.  I only wish you played horde on Scarlet Crusade instead of Feathermoon.
  • Kat:  I know I still talk and banter with you regularly horde-side, but I miss the goggles, engineering, and boomchicken shenanigans we got into over the years.  I hope your plans work out for the best.
  • Karwyn:  A tauren with a ring on the horn is awesome, but I often miss the night elf in skank plate, monster-sized BWL shield, and braid permanently affixed to the boob.
  • Oreo:  Your relentlessly cheery disposition when faced with adversity coupled with your amazing talent on any character you choose to play makes me feel honored to be your friend.
  • Sami:  Many names, many characters.  I know it sometimes feels we snark more than talk, but you’ve always been there for me.  I only hope you can say the same for me.
  • Naimh and Eirik: I don’t know where you transferred, and I’ve not seen you since well before TBC’s release, but you two always made me smile.
  • Dudds:  Thank you for always carrying around your Wrath set to change into at a moment’s notice.
  • Everyone else:  I’ve not always been the easiest person to get along with, but to those I rarely see:  I miss you all.  To those I still see:  I love you all.  To everyone reading:  I thank you all.
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Special Edition: Recommended Healing Specs for 3.0

October 14, 2008

Note to all you guys still clicking through after the release of Wrath:

We know you’re there, we see you, this is STILL one of the most popular hits for our blog.  If you’re here looking for spec advice, go to this post instead.  This was made for the days pre-Wrath release, not intended for level 80 raiders.  Follow the link for shiny updated content.

Although your beloved snark mavens usually see eye to eye, sometimes we just don’t! Read on to find out what we think about healing spec options for 3.0. The final choice is, of course, yours but don’t say we didn’t give you any options!

Jov sez: Don’t rock the boat!

I know I’ve stated on many many many occasions that trying out weird specs and figuring out what your spells do is a Good Thing ™, however… If you are currently a member of an active raiding group, now is not the time to go crazy. Things are going to be changing left and right, and keeping your spec as similar as you can to standard can act as a good control while things settle. Try things out on your own time, you have a responsibility to your fellow raiders to not take this opportunity to pick a spec that blows up in their faces.

IMP DS 23/38 redux

I’m going to advocate only the smallest tweak from the current standard cookie cutter IDS build: 23/38. It’s got one throwaway point in Discipline (the one point I put in Unbreakable Will could go anywhere) and the Holy tree is more of the same. Note: With the changes to pushback mechanics, Healing Focus are dump points at the moment, and as such, I chose to dump them. I used Desperate Prayer to jump down a tier. The main change I’m going to advocate is 3/3 Serendipity over 3/5 Empowered Healing. With the death of downranking, you’re going to be facing larger Greater numbers than you’re used to, so losing a bit of Empowered isn’t going to make such a big deal. However, while relearning, getting 25% mana back on the inevitiable overheal IS.

New CoH 14/47

There is no Mental Agility in this build, which makes me sad. CoH is going to be more of a mana hog spec than it is currently: 14/47. Again, I’m changing some things from the standard in hopes of gaining more opportunity for regen while things settle. Most notably, dropping ranks in Empowered Healing again for Serendipity, Improved Holy Concentration and 1/2 in each Healing Prayers and Surge of Light (depending on your usual rotations, the last two could easily be 2/2 in one and dropping the other entirely.) Again, Healing Focus is not part of this spec, and unlike my previous preferred CoH spec, Holy Specialization is maxed. This spec is designed to take advantage of as much of regen in deep holy as possible.

Seri sez: ZOMG new toys and my birthday’s not until next month!

To hell with the naysayers that decry it as irresponsible; I’m totally going to field test the hell out of these bad boys. Why wait until 80 for those 51 point talents when I have 61 perfectly good talent points to spend today?

The Rebirth of Discipline: 56/5/0

First, let’s talk Discipline. I have none, obviously, but I’m talking about talents here. The Discipline tree has long been the redheaded stepchild of our family, but with 3.0 it is looking to become an extremely viable single target healing spec.

Are you tired of being an IDS monkey? You know what I’m talking about… the poor sap that drew the short straw and had to sink 23 points in Disc for the betterment of the raid? It’s time to strut your stuff… try this: 56/5/0

The new and improved Disc tree is all about preventative healing and, to a certain extent, mitigation. Your critical heals will shield the target for a percentage of your heals, and Penance becomes your ‘go to’ spell despite the 10 second cooldown. Use Power Word: Shield and Renew liberally and throw around a few Flash Heals and Greater Heals between Penance casts.

It’s going to take some getting used to, but the important thing here is to use more spells and keep shielding (it returns you mana!). Don’t just stand around stopcasting Greater Heal, you have way more utility than that! Also, don’t forget… Power Infusion isn’t just for DPS.

Alternately, you might consider a variation: 56/5/0

Same number of points, slightly different distribution. In this variant, I reduced points spent in Enlightenment and Grace (hey, 50/50 are still good odds) to pick up 3/3 Reflective Shield. It seemed like a good idea at the time, especially since you’re going to be shielding a lot. Who doesn’t like threatless damage? (Lolnova haters aside.)

Update: Upon reflection, you’ll get more bang for your buck by going with Enlightenment rather than Divine Fury, so I revised my suggestions after initially posting this.

Holy4Life: 7/54/0

Ok, on to Holy. This is going to be my particular playground of choice, and I’m considering a big drink from the Holy fountain: 7/54/0

I know what you’re thinking… no Inner Focus? Honestly, I haven’t been using it that much anyway as of late. Plus, there’s SO much in Holy to play with and with this spec I imagine myself simply glowing with inner radiance just looking for an outlet.

This has the potential for being a powerful raid healing spec, but it’s not for the faint of heart because giving up Meditation could hurt. I would venture to say that it needs some pretty strong gear to back it up at 70. CoH is as much of a mana hog as ever but it’s also more powerful than ever, receiving a boost from talents and crossing party lines to heal whoever in the vicinity of the target needs healing the most.

Like Jov, I opted for Serendipity over Empowered Healing. It just seems like the best choice, given the options available. I also decided to leave Lightwell out of this build, but you could always shuffle a point into it if you want. The way I figure, our raiders are going to be too busy trying to re-learn their own specs, spells and rotations to also remember that Lightwell doesn’t suck anymore. I will probably pick it up again at 80.

Don’t forget to watch for Surge of Light procs! I bet you’ll see a lot of them when you start throwing CoH around, and it’s not just for Smite anymore.

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Jov sez: Looking Forward

October 14, 2008

I try to not spend too much time focusing on Wrath in or out of blog.  It’s not because I’m not looking forward to it (because I am) or because I’m trying to exist in a bubble of spoiler-free existence (I saved that for my media lock-downs during Harry Potter releases.)  No, the reasons I try to avoid expending too much attention and focus on Wrath can be summed up quite simply:

  • I don’t have a beta key.
  • Beta is a time of flux, I don’t have the brainpower or stamina to keep track of every change.
  • I don’t want to spend so much time looking at next month that I forget to have fun with this one.

I don’t have a beta key, and I’m alright.

No, really, I’m alright.  I don’t really want a beta key, so I’m perfectly happy not having one.  This has very little do with leading a spoiler-free existence.  Seri has a key, I read plenty of bloggers with keys, some of which include movies (BRK’s Rhino Bowling is a favorite), and I consider myself plenty “spoiled” to many of the surprises in Wrath.

My happiness being key-free is all about time.  I’m still raiding regularly (we just officially moved to a 3-night schedule from 4, though I still participate in the occasional 10-mans) and between 3-5 nights a week in-raid, I don’t want to spend more time poking around things I’m going to be poking around in a month.  Wrath is coming, I’ll be here when it gets here.  It’s a very zen thing.

Beta is all about change.

This isn’t about anything but me being lazy.  I really don’t see the point in keeping track of each and every tiny change, tweak, or buff while it doesn’t even affect me.  I’m not talking about the large, sweeping changes (I’m as annoyed with the death of downranking as anyone, but it’s intended and Blizzard isn’t going to change their design principle because I add my voice to the QQ), but the gradual process of balancing and rebalancing that every class is currently facing.  What does it matter if a change suddenly has me doing 12% more DPS than every other DPS class out there when it’ll be normalized in a week?  I’m not going to base a build on it, just because I know I’ll need to rethink and rebuild in the next patch.

This probably is also a good reason I’m not a beta-tester.  I’m too lazy for feedback.

I want to focus on the game I’m in.

Currently, I’m playing World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade.  It’s a fun game I’m playing with my friends.  I’m currently raiding Black Temple and Sunwell Plateau, and in my off-time, I’m leveling a hunter and warlock.

Oh yeah, Burning Crusade…  Sound familiar?  That’s the game that we’re still playing for a month.  That’s more resets of the current raid instances to focus on.  More dailies, quests, alting, crafting.  More time to prepare for Wrath, yes, but focus on the game that is, not the game that will be.

And all that being said, what am I looking forward to most in Wrath?

  • Naxx — I can’t help it.  We’d only started poking at it before TBC was released, and thanks to rerolling, I never got attuned on Jov to participate in the few and infrequent pokes into there my guild made.  However, my impressions of Naxx were entirely positive (Hey, tanking Razuvius?  That was AWESOME.)
  • Dual-specs — I know, I know, not in Wrath, but in one of the early content patches after.  Seri teases me that my specs are going to be a single-target deep discipline healing spec and an AOE heal spec.  She’s not far off.  Being able to do swap to fill a need without having to go respec to do it will be awesome.
  • Dance Studio — Again, I know it’s not going to happen in November, but it’s still really exciting for me.  I love seeing new things, and opportunities for customization are awesome.
  • Quest chains — I’m not a big quester.  I’m also not terribly knowledgeable on Lore.  All that being said, the big, story-driven chains really float my boat.  Nesingwary be hanged, I want more reason for killing 50 pieces of local wildlife than just proving my worth as a hunter (Hello, Mr. Nesingwary…  I’m not a hunter.  I’m a priest, see?  Staff, robes, wand, massive healing powers…  Priest!) and chains in general feel more thought-out and interesting than simple grinding.

So, yeah, there’s my list.  I’m going to try and continue to keep things in perspective while dealing with what is currently on my plate, which means I’m probably not going to talk much more about these things until Wrath actually hits.  I’m not living in the past, I’m living in the present.

I know I promised a continuation of my Aargh Numbers! post, but Dwarf Priest has created a much better post than I ever could.  I strongly encourage all of you to check it out.
(Seriously, if you’re a priest and haven’t poked it yet, for shame! Go now!)

I would like to observe a moment of silence.  Holy Nova is now an in-class ability, and thus my Holy Nova-free existance is at an end.  /mourn  (You can make me take it, Blizzard, but you can’t make me use it! /mad)

h1

Seri sez: I Smite Thee – Leveling Disc/Holy in Wrath

October 2, 2008

Although leveling with a Disc/Holy spec is often considered to be reserved for masochists, people that never solo and those quaint folks that just don’t know any better, I’m here to tell you: It’s not as bad as it used to be.

Jov and I both leveled as Holy (heck, she’s done it twice now), and both of us plan to dust off our Smite buttons for rampages in Northrend when the time comes.

Of course, Jov and I have very different leveling styles. Jov likes to group and instance, and will probably heal her way to 80. I am… a bit more aggressive, and the unification of healing and spell power into a single stat as of patch 3.0 has made a monster out of me–a leveling monster that never needs to drink and can also confidently heal any instance encountered along the way.

Therefore, it is my privilege–nay, my pleasure–to bring to you 4 simple steps to successful Smiting in 3.0 and beyond.

Step 1: Augment your healing gear with a select few pieces that will boost your spell power/crit without nerfing your Spirit too much.

For me, this meant putting on DPS rings, trinkets and weapon. If you don’t have off-spec stuff, just stick with your healing gear. Why? For spell power, it’s probably comparable to or better than your off-spec gear and has the added bonus of having a crapload of Spirit–which for the Smiting priest boosts both spell power and regen. (I still have yet to drink any of the new level 70 water from Northrend, and I’ve schlepped it all over the place.)

When I first logged in to the Beta I had something like 1100 spell power in my healing gear, completely untalented. With talents, I was up around 1300 spell power. Not too shabby, ladies and gents.

Step 2: Choose talents that boost your Holy damage output.

There are some very snacky talents in the Holy and Discipline trees that will boost your Smiteability, either with spell power, spell crit, spell haste, or general utility. Spell power and crit are more important than haste IMO, so let’s take a look at just those talents first:

  • Twin Disciplines (D) – Increases spell power by 1/2/3/4/5%.
  • Improved Inner Fire (D) – Increases effect of Inner Fire by 15/30/45% and number of charges by 4/8/12.
  • Improved Divine Spirit (D) – Increases spell power by 40/80.
  • Focused Power (D) – Increases spell damage by 2/4%.
  • Holy Specialization (H) – Increases Holy spell crit by 1/2/3/4/5%.
  • Divine Fury (H) – Reduces casting time of Smite, Holy Fire, Heal and Greater Heal by .1/.2/.3/.4/.5 seconds.
  • Searing Light (H) – Increases damage of Smite, Holy Fire, Holy Nova & Penance by 5/10%.
  • Spiritual Guidance (H) – Increases spell power by 5/10/15/20/25% of total Spirit.
  • Surge of Light (H) – Spell criticals have a 25/50% chance to proc a free Smite or Flash Heal.

Keep in mind that at level 71 you’ll be getting a new rank of Inner Fire that increases spell power in addition to armor. What a nice little buff that is; Improved Inner Fire is finally worth buying!

Also, note that while Improved Divine Spirit no longer scales with Spirit, Spiritual Guidance still does.

Now, for the haste and misc other talents:

  • Inner Focus (D) – Next spell cast costs zero mana and has additional 25% chance to crit.
  • Reflective Shield (D) – 15/30/45% of the damage absorbed by Power Word: Shield is reflected back at the attacker.
  • Spirit of Redemption (H) – Increases your Spirit by 5%. (Potential synergy with Spiritual Guidance.)
  • Holy Reach (H) – Increases range of Holy spells by 10/20%.
  • Enlightenment (D) – Increases spell haste by 1/2/3/4/5%.
  • Power Infusion (D) – Increases spell casting speed and reduces mana cost for 15 seconds.
  • Spirit Tap (S) – 33/66/100% chance to gain 100% Spirit bonus when killing a target worth experience or honor.

Something of a smorgasbord of delectable little treats isn’t it? I even threw Spirit Tap in there, just because it is so delicious, but in my experience… it just seems like overkill when it comes to regen. On the other hand, that 100% bonus plus Spiritual Guidance… hmm. Tasty spell power boost, if you move quickly on to the next target.

Pack as many of those bad boys into your spec as you can. For a starter, I recommend 30/27/0. (Note: This link may or may not work, because talent trees are still being revised. I will update it whenever I notice it has changed, so check back if it doesn’t work the first time.) This contains all of the ‘must have’ stuff with 4 points left (at level 70) to fill wherever you like.

Personally, I picked Reflective Shield (because I plan to solo quite a bit on the way to 80) and Spirit of Redemption (because I have more reasons than ever to be a Spirit whore).

That’s right… I didn’t pick Power Infusion. I decided that the +5% Spirit from SoR was more important. PI will probably be the first thing I nab at 71, though. After that, I will probably top off Improved Healing before going back to pick up Enlightenment and maybe fill out Mental Agility or experiment with Spirit Tap.

Step 3: Smite early, Smite often.

My spell rotations usually go like this: Power Word: Shield (self) -> Holy Fire -> Shadow Word: Pain -> Smite until dead or low enough for Shadow Word: Death. If I have enough room, I’ll also usually back up a little bit after casting SWP, making the mob run a little farther before it gets to me since I have nothing better to do while waiting on the global cooldown.

Single targets die pretty quickly to this method. If you’re fighting multiple mobs, try to keep dots up on them all and keep your Shield up as much as possible–especially if you have Reflective Shield. Don’t forget that Holy Nova can trigger Surge of Light, for free insta-Smiting. Fear if you can’t refresh your shield right away or are bored and hoping to pull adds. Wand if you’re low on mana (haha) or the mob is low enough on health that casting another spell isn’t worth it (more likely).

Step 4: Profit.

Leveling as Disc/Holy is versatile and will save you gold in respecs along the way. You know your guild is going to want you to heal for them in dungeons and on group quests, but they’re not going to want to drag your helpless ass along for quest grinding all the time.

Be independent. Aloof, even. And if you see a Shadow Priest out in the wild, drinking to replenish their mana pool, it will be tempting to /point /laugh but really… you could also be the bigger (wo)man and offer them some of your superfluous beverages.

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