Posts Tagged ‘how-to’

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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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Seri sez: Exit, Stage Left! (No, not mine.)

November 5, 2009

Don't be a pussy.Burnout. It happens to everyone. Sometimes it sneaks up on you and whacks you with a cartoon-sized mallet. More often, the slide from contentment to disinterest is rather gradual. There are ways to combat it: Scaling back your play time and/or guild/team responsibilities, gearing up and swapping to another character, taking a night (or a few nights) off… but what do you do when you realize that it’s time to call it quits? If your answer is ‘disappear without a word to anyone’ I have a few choice words for you.

I get burnout, I really do. I’m not immune to it myself, either, and I try to take nights off when I feel like I need them. When my raiders come to me and say ‘Seri.. I need a break’ my first words are usually ‘Ok, how long do you need?’ no matter how much it may hurt the raid team to be down a(nother) member for a couple of days/weeks. I like to think I’m a pretty reasonable person, and I like happy well-adjusted raiders. Unfortunately, sometimes people ask for a week off and simply don’t return… or, worse, just stop signing up for raids without a word to me (or anyone) about why. I’ve seen this behavior from extremely dependable/reliable raiders that I’ve known for ages, and I just don’t understand what is so difficult about contacting someone to tell them you’re not coming back.

I don’t know about your guild, but I think it’s fair to say that most guilds have some means of communicating outside the game. Whether that means forums, Twitter or a good old fashioned phone tree… unless you’re shipwrecked on a deserted island, in jail, or hospitalized, you should be able to get in touch with someone. Even if they’re not an officer, they can relay a message for you. Account expired and can’t/won’t renew? Leave a forum message, send an e-mail, tweet, or poke someone on the IM client of your choice. Computer dead? Use a friend’s. Have no friends? Call someone. Don’t have anyone’s phone number? Use an internet cafe. Broke? Find a local hotspot and start asking folks politely if you can borrow their laptop to send a quick message. (Offer to let them watch so they can see you’re not doing anything malicious.) Heck, these days most people are carrying around a cell phone that can connect to the internet. There are ways of getting a message through!

There are so many ways to get a message to your guild that there are really only two reasons I can think of for not doing it: Apathy and cowardice. If you are so apathetic about the game and your guild that you can log off and never look back without giving it a second thought… wow, you really do need to quit the game. If you’re afraid of telling your GM for some reason, take a few minutes to think about why. Are you worried they’ll be mad? That they’ll beg you to stay? Do you just feel so guilty for ‘abandoning’ the guild that you just can’t face it? Get over it. The world (of warcraft) won’t end because you are leaving. If your guild is strong, they’ll make it without you. If they’re not, well, then there are greater problems that you staying would probably not fix.

Now, I’m sure someone out there is going to say ‘What’s the big deal? It’s just a game… I don’t owe anyone an explanation.’ To that, I say: Good riddance, you self-centered narcissistic cockweasel. This sort of attitude is fine for a casual player… the sort of person that joins a guild for socialization, shared resources & occasional heroics. When it comes to raid guilds… you’re occupying a spot on the raid roster. There are people depending on your ass being in your chair on raid nights, and the time that your guild officers waste waiting & wondering if you’re coming back is time they could have spent recruiting for someone to fill your slot.

I know that there are occasions when it is just impossible to get a message out, but it seems in my experience that in most cases people could have easily gotten a message to the officers but they just—for whatever reason—didn’t. So, in closing, I’ll simply implore you all to not follow their example. If you decide to quit the game, tell someone. Don’t leave us twisting in the wind.

Related post: The Ethical /gquit

P.S. <Axiom> is recruiting DPS! Visit our recruitment page for more info and instructions for applying.

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Tea with Zusterke part 3: Conclusions

June 4, 2009

A few weeks ago, we ran the idea of having Zusterke (of PlusHeal fame) do a post outlining the actual math part of regen to answer all of your priesty questions. Thankfully, since the Snark Mavens do very little in the way of hardcore mathcraft, he said yes. This is the final part of his results.

Some Considerations for Holy Spirits

consider

We’ve seen that the optimal ratio turns around 600 spirit for 1300 intellect. But we have also seen that we can easily take 200 spirit or intellect more and keep a fairly balanced score. This gives us some room to tailor our regen stats to our likings, without risking a severe penalty in our regen. So let us examine the factors that impact our balance:

  • Lowered FSR: Some fights have phases and breaks in the healing. This can increase the value of spirit notably (say, 800 spi v 1400 int).
  • Higher FSR: hard fights can be very demanding and rip away that chance on a regen break, decreasing the value of spirit and changing the ratio a few points in favor of intellect. But such fights also diminish your chance on a hymn of hope or it can make relying on Replenishment, shadowfiend etc more risky. In short: our balance favors more intellect but a healthy spirit basis becomes ever more important.
  • Higher Crit: if you like a lot of crit, then you may score higher uptimes for holy concentration. This can easily up your HC time by 20% and really give spirit a push.
  • Single target spam: if you spam a lot more single target heals, you will have more chance to proc holy concentration and up your spirit regen notably.
  • Raid synergy: some raiding guilds really try to min max their raid groups. This means you really rely on some of your manabar based regen effects!
  • Hymn of Hope + Shadowfiend: if you have the chance to use both together, do it! The 20% increase of your max mana effectively increases the performance of your shadowfiend by 20%. This tips the balance a bit in favor of intellect. But a fight that can allows such a break is likely to have a lowered FSR time.
  • Shadowfiend + Bloodlust/Heroism: Bloodlust increases the haste of your fiend, giving more hits and thus more mana. This is a superb way to make your intellect count!
  • Hymn of Hope + Replenishment: the increase of yout max mana increases the effect of your Replenishment. This favors stacking a bit more intellect.
  • Spirit as backbone: when problems come your way, spirit will be your savior. When your group is sub optimal, your cooldowns got burned too early (or messed up!), or the guy providing replenishment bubble hearthstone’s out of Patchwerk, your intellect based regen drops like a stone. Intellect gives great synergy with the group, but that makes the group its lifelink. Having a healthy base of spirit can back you up under those odd circumstances.

There are probably a dozen more considerations that could manipulate the balance between intellect and spirit but I think I summed most of them here. Feel free to comment on more ideas!

Conclusion

It’s been a long post but I think we’ve reached some interesting conclusions for both the holy and discipline priest.

Discipline priests still gain the most out of intellect. In fact, it is unlikely that spirit will ever catch up with intellect as regen stat. Still, spirit beats mp5 for discipline priests with more than 1.1K intellect, which is definitely an eye opener for some!

Holy priests can still stack spirit and intellect with to a 6:13 or 8:13 ratio in favor of intellect and do just fine. Having more spirit will provide a great backbone in your regen model (and SP bonus!), but having more intellect will do great in min maxed raids. In fact, the optimal ratio has a couple of hundred points of leeway. With the current itemization in 3.1, I recommend going for intellect+spirit gear and gemming for intellect whenever you need more regen! I’m still a big fan of a healthy spirit basis, but intellect is definitely our biggest regen stat for now.

Whew! Y’all still there?  Thank you all for your patience in this really awesome discussion.  And again, huge thanks to Zusterke for putting it together for us.  I hope this was helpful to all of you (I know I learned a lot!)  And remember: if you’d like to continue discussion on this, consider heading to PlusHeal and opening it up to the community at large!

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Tea with Zusterke part 2: Versus

June 3, 2009

A few weeks ago, we ran the idea of having Zusterke (of PlusHeal fame) do a post outlining the actual math part of regen to answer all of your priesty questions.  Thankfully, since the Snark Mavens do very little in the way of hardcore mathcraft, he said yes.  This is part 2 of his results.

MP5 vs Intellect

Round 1: Disc priests
It is quite easy to prove that intellect is better than mp5 for disc priests. If we take into account the stat cost of mp5, then we need to compare 1 intellect with 0.4 mp5. We have seen that our manabar regeneration alone provides more mp5 per point of intellect, so intellect clearly wins.

Round 2: Holy priests.
For holy priests, we only got 0.3403 mp5 per point intellect from manabar based regen. So, Intellect is 0.0597 mp5 short to beat the stat mp5. This is where the contribution of intellect in our spirit regen kicks in:intvsmp5So, we need a minimum amount of spirit to support our intellect. This condition is very easy: for 1000 intellect, we only need 308 base spirit or 324 spirit unbuffed. It is fairly safe to assume a holy priest will have that amount of spirit and thus intellect beats mp5.

MP5 vs Spirit

When we inspected the value of spirit in our regen model, we found it evolves with intellect. When comparing spirit to mp5, the evident question we will bump in is not “if” spirit will beat mp5 but “how much intellect” is needed.

brainzRound 1: Disc priest
It has been debated many times whether Disc priests should take spirit or MP5. We know that the value of spirit scales with intellect, and so it is reasonable to assume that spirit may outscale mp5. Let’s check when that happens:spivsmp5disc

Round 2: holy priest
The value of spirit is not limited to its regen for holy priests, thanks to spiritual guidance. Still, it remains primarily a regen stat. We compare 1 spirit with 0.4 mp5:spivsmp5h2Given 1065 intellect unbuffed, spirit can beat mp5 when raidbuffed. Starting raiders without sufficient intellect on their gear may find mp5 slightly more performant at first, but spirit will gradually outscale mp5 by the time they leave naxx 10m and the spellpower bonus from spirit makes the stat preferable quite early in the content.

intellect

Intellect vs. Spirit

With the introduction of manabar based regen in WotLK, intellect climbed to one of the most potent regeneration stats. For disc priests it was considered the most favorable regen stat, while holies tried to balance it with a fair amount of spirit. With the changes in 3.1, spirit regen lost some ground and manabar regen gained some. Let’s see how the balance evolved.balance

Round 1: Disc Priest
For disc priests, we ‘guess’ that intellect still outscores spirit and we try to prove it. We compare their values:spivsintdDoes this make sense? Like… any sense? It does! Basically this comparison tells us that we can stack a boatload of intellect before spirit catches up. For example, with 0 spirit, the optimal value for intellect is 2025! Well, intellect clearly wins this one!

Round 2: Holy Priest
For holy priests, the balance between intellect and spirit was far more delicate in 3.0 than for Disc priests. Typically a 1:1 ratio was considered optimal. For 3.1 we relate the value of intellect by the value of spirit. If it is above 100%, intellect is more valuable than spirit and if it’s below 100% then spirit is more valuable than intellect:spivsinth

At this point, the formula doesn’t seem to make much sense.. at least it doesn’t to me. But we can put it in a spreadsheet and work out the ratio for various stat levels:holy-spiKeep in mind that these are basestats and thus spirit should be a tad higher. Still, it’s quite clear that spirit has lost some considerable ground to intellect! That is, for 20% HC Uptime, 90% FSR and no specific synergy with your manabar regen abilities. Do check that other ratio’s, with some more spirit or some intellect also score quite well as optimal (less than 10% difference).

Stay tuned tomorrow for the final part of this guide. Zusterke will wrap everything up and give those tl;dr math-haters out there the bottom line.

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Tea with Zusterke part 1: The Groundwork

June 2, 2009

A few weeks ago, we ran the idea of having Zusterke (of PlusHeal fame) do a post outlining the actual math part of regen to answer all of your priesty questions.  Thankfully, since the Snark Mavens do very little in the way of hardcore mathcraft, he said yes.  This is part 1 of his results.

Stat Wars

There are two challenges about theorycrafting. The first part is the theorycrafting: how to examine and calculate what you need. The second part, is translating it into human language. I found that part 2 is often more challenging and requires more patience than part 1. When Joveta kindly asked me if I would give a shot at explaining our regen model in human language, I accepted the challenge. I leave it to the faithful readers of Snarkcraft.com to judge whether I succeeded.

theorycraftThe regeneration model of WoW has seen a lot of changes with patch 3.1: spirit/intellect regeneration was nerfed outside the five second rule, the shadowfiend is buffed, Rapture and Holy Concentration have changed. The regeneration model is so complex it almost obscures the effectiveness of our regeneration stats and leaves us guessing how to gear. Unfortunately there is no straight answer as circumstances and gear level have a great impact on our regeneration model. So, I’ll try to tackle some of these problems and provide a more detailed answer.

Manabar Regen

WotLK introduced several abilities that grant us a fixed % of our maximum mana over a period of time. Some of these have changed in patch 3.1 so we’ll go over them one by one.

Replenishment
Replenishment is now available for frost mages and destro locks. This makes the availability of Replenishment more reliable and ever more important to take into account.

The regeneration offered by Replenishment remains the same. It offers 0.25% of your manabar every second, which is 1.25% of your manabar every 5 seconds. But it is optimistic to consider it fully effective the whole time. At plusheal, we observed that the effect of Replenishment does not work 100% because refreshing buffs or missed refreshes can diminish the amount of ticks you get. You can easily verify this in any WWS parse (see image).

replenishmentHaving checked dozens of WWS parses, it seems Replenishment ticks 75-95% of the time (see screenie). I consider 85% an average which yields me: 85%*1.25% = 1.0625% of my manabar as mana every five seconds.

Shadowfiend
The shadowfiend was buffed in patch 3.1. It now delivers 5% of your maximum mana per attack, rather than 4% per hit. It can total to 60% of your manabar over 5 minutes which is equivalent to 1% of your maximum mana per 5 secs.

Hymn of Hope
Hymn of Hope changed a lot in. While it is still a channeled spell, it choses 3 targets randomly every 2 seconds. The spell is quite situational and unreliable when used. Therefore, I will not use its regen in this theorycraft.

Mana Tide Totem
The mana tide totem yields 6% mana every 3 seconds for 12 seconds. With a 5 minute cooldown, this gives about 0.4% of your maximum mana every 5 seconds. In my guild we tend to give this totem to dps, rather than healers, and I’ve read from several players that I’m no exception. I will not include it in this theorycraft, but for those who are interested in it: it yields 0.06 mp5 per point of intellect.

Rapture
Rapture is a fundamental regen talent for any Disc priest. It can yield 2.5% of your mana, every 12 seconds, when a shield is absorbed. However, timing this shield consumption is hard to control. Let’s add a few seconds as safety line and assume it procs every 15 seconds on average. This corresponds to shield spamming the main tank who will absorb his shields anyway. In this case, we get 2.5% every 15 seconds or 0.8333% of your maximum mana every 5 seconds.

Our maximum mana can be calculated as follows:maxmanaWe can calculate the percentage of maximum mana per 5 seconds we get for both Disc and Holy priest. We can use that percent to calculate how much mp5 per point of intellect we get from manabar based regen but here we must take into account the bonus on intellect accordingly: Mental Strength for Disc and Blessing of Kings for both Disc and Holy. We get:manabarregen

Spirit Regen

Our spirit/intellect regen changed a lot in patch 3.1. The base regen of spirit and intellect was nerfed by 40% but our regen while casting from meditation was increased to 50%. As a net result, we get the exact same amount of regen while casting but notice a considerable nerf in our mana regen while not casting.

To make matters more complex, Holy priests now get Holy Concentration: a regen buff that depends on crit. The uptime of Holy Concentration can vary wildly depending on playstyle and healing assignment so I won’t go into details about it for now. Perhaps this may interest some in another guest post, if fate, Seri and Jovi will be so kind. For now, I recommend to check your WWS parses to see what uptimes you obtain from Holy Concentration.regen2

SenseThese values probably like an odd mix of Thalassian and Chinese so let’s simplify them. We assume 90% time spent inside the five second rule and for holy priests we add 20% Holy Concentration uptime (see image). This is a bit pessimistic but it’s better to play safe. Holy priests tend to have a notably higher mana consumption when raidhealing and most raidhealing spells do not trigger holy concentration.holyconcentrationTaking into account buffs from talents and Blessing of Kings, we get:valueholy

valuedisc

These formula’s do not reveal immediately the value of intellect or spirit. But it does reveal an important property of both:

  • Spirit evolves with the amount of (/square root of) intellect you have.
  • Intellect evolves with the ratio it has with spirit.
  • Stay tuned tomorrow for a special Wednesday Snarkcraft. Zusterke will cover the Int vs Spirit debate. Thanks for reading and a special thanks to Zusterke for putting this thing together!

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    Jov sez: How2Forum Moderate

    May 5, 2009

    I know it’s not in keeping with the rest of the blog, but the largest chunk of my WoW-time that’s not filled with raiding is probably the time I spend moderating at PlusHeal.  Also, as has been established in an earlier post, I have no life.  (Also known as “Jov’s brain isn’t working, so she’s doing another fluff post” or “It’s my blog and I’ll write what I want to.” >.>)

    Matt may be pleased as punch that he founded such a popular, high-profile healer’s community.  The downside to that, of course, is the fact that high profile attracts a lot of things, primarily spammers.

    work-in-progressPoint out how much work needs to be done

    Just like the squeaky wheel gets the grease, the easiest way to become a moderator is to send PM after PM after PM to the owner of the forum pointing him at the most recent spambots.  Then, suggest he do a sweep of the entire member list to weed out undesirables before they become a problem.  You’ll be getting mod privileges in no time!

    Is it a spam bot?

    Many of these suggestions are probably fairly forum-specific, but you’ll start seeing trends in the spammers to your forum.

    Have they posted spam on your forum? Do not pass go, do not collect $200.  Go straight to the Control Panel and ban that turkey.

    Does their name reference wow gold, viagra, or tamiflu? Probably the quickest and easiest way to spot a spammer is to look at their username.  If it references something you know is for sale (or the drug du jour) you can say with 99% certainty that it’s a spammer.  PlusHeal, being a healer’s forum, sometimes finds users with cute pharmaceutical names, so it’s not a 100% guarantee.  Move on to the next step.

    Do they have a webpage listed in their profile? If it links to something that’s not armory, a guild webpage, or a blog, they’re probably a bot.  Don’t click the link if you’re uncertain! Use Google to search for the site in question, it will usually reference what they’re selling or you’ll find a link near the top where the site is specifically said to be linked to a spammer.

    Do they fill in the optional fields in the profile information? Often, fora will include a place to fill in your occupation and interests.  Most of the time, people don’t actually fill that stuff out.  Most of the time, spammers do, and they mention stuff that has nothing to do with the forum.  For PlusHeal, specifically, while people don’t include their occupation or interests, they DO fill in the fields for class and server.  Most of the time, if server is not filled in, I know it’s a spammer.  However, like with the healers having pharmaceutical names, it’s not a guarantee

    no

    Does the email or IP Address show up linked to spam elsewhere? StopForumSpam is my FAVORITE tool as a forum moderator.  It’s a listing of known spammer IPs and email addresses.  It’s fully searchable, and you can look by username, email, and IP Address.

    How do I mod like Jov?

    Check for Reported Posts in the Moderator Control Panel. Before I do anything else, I check here.  Usually, it will be people reporting spammers, but if a topic is moving to flame war territory, people will usually report those posts as well.  Spammers are first priority, ban them, delete their posts.  If there are problem posts for other reasons, make a note to come back to them later.

    Get friendly with the member list. Check the member list sorted by reverse join date (so most recent is on top) and keep mental tags on who has joined since the last time you checked.  Overnight, PlusHeal can have anywhere from 5 to 25 new members, but keep in mind they’ll come in during the day as well.  Go through the steps outlined above on each of the new members.

    Don’t forget the inactives! Inactive Users are those who’ve signed up, but haven’t finished the registration process (meaning they’re sitting on the email “please click this link” you get when you first sign up for something.)  Accessed through the control panel, this is another place to weed out spambots.  This adds anywhere from 15-50 users needing to be checked out a night as well.

    IP, not email. As everyone knows, there’s pretty much a limitless supply of free email addresses out there.  Banning by email prevents that address from being used to create a new account, effectively preventing the spammer from posting but not from reading (and not from getting a new email address as a work-around).  Banning by IP prevents that IP from accessing the site at all, and IP addresses are a bit more difficult to replace.  Sure, that person who sends out spam might actually want to read your content, but do you really care?

    Skim the threads. Or, go back and check the posts reported earlier for things other than spamming.  This is mainly to keep an eye out for disagreements which aren’t resolving or actual flame wars going on.  Luckily, PlusHeal doesn’t really suffer from this, so it’s the smallest part of my jobtime_frame_clip_art

    Enjoy the content. Ask or answer questions, go back and look at the interesting stuff, make your guild recruitment pitch.  Don’t get so wrapped up in the job of it that you lose track of why you care so much about it in the first place.

    Check back often. Murphy’s Law states that the site will be hammered immediately after you’ve checked it out.  Don’t expect to look once in the morning, and have nothing to deal with until you look again at night.  If you’ve got a free 15 minutes, give it another poke.

    I know I said earlier that PlusHeal takes up as much of my time as raiding; I don’t want it to sound like my style of moderation (read: totally OCD) takes up large 4-hour blocks of my time, but that the ~12 hours I spend raiding each week is about equal to the time I spend wading through member lists and forum threads a few times a day, nor do I want to imply that I’m the only person on PlusHeal who does any moderation.  PlusHeal has between 5 and 10 very active moderators, with an additional 5-ish who check back less-often.  So be careful what you ask for; you don’t know what you may be signing up for.

    Note:  5/27/09 — I’m disabling all comments for this post.  In an example of irony being totally not amusing, this post is a spam-magnet, and I’m having to delete 10-20 spam comments a day to it.  Considering that otherwise the spam inbox is pretty empty for this blog, I think it’s safer this way.  If you would like to continue discussion on this topic, mosey on down to PlusHeal and send me a PM, or simply give me a poke in another post.  <3 Jov

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    Jov sez: You’ve got the gear– Now what?

    December 16, 2008

    First of all, Ding!  I made it early Saturday afternoon turning in HoL quests.  Tars followed a quest or two later.

    80

    Last week we covered the consumeables you could look at to give you temporary boosts and aid.  This week, we’re going to start on the more permanent side of the equation: gems, enchants, and other item enhancements. This week, we start with gems.

    Gems

    Gems are very much a balancing act of stats.  A lot goes into determining what gem you should choose:  what you’re needing to increase, the socket bonuses, and meta requirements.  There’s a lot more we’re needing to keep our eye on in Wrath, so there’s no simple rules for gemming like there was in TBC.  As always, you need enough regen to last the fight, and enough spellpower to keep people up.  Beyond that, you need to also work on haste, crit, and balancing to maintain that 1:1 int to spirit ratio.  Aim for 10% haste and 20-25% crit unbuffed.  After that, your ilevels are better used back on spellpower and regen.

    redRed — Runed: Teardrop has been discontinued, but that old caster-friend Runed’s straight spellpower makes this a good choice.  Available as Runed Bloodstone (14 spellpower), Perfect Runed Bloodstone (16 spellpower), and Runed Scarlet Ruby (19 spellpower).

    orangeOrange — Luminous: That old favorite is back and better than ever. This time available as Luminous Huge Citrine (7  spellpower, 6 int), Perfect Luminous Huge Citrine (8 spellpower, 7 int), and Luminous Monarch Topaz (9 spellpower, 8 int).

    orangeOrange — Potent: This is a new choice for priests.  We used to consider crit to be a pally stat, but with the current changes, a spellpower/crit gem is now an interesting option.  Available as Potent Huge Citrine (7 spellpower, 6 crit), Perfect Potent Huge Citrine (8 spellpower, 7 crit), and Potent Monarch Topaz (9 spellpower, 8 crit).

    orangeOrange — Reckless: Another gem we’re stealing from DPS, Crit/Haste is also a new option.  Available as Reckless Huge Citrine (7 spellpower, 6 haste), Perfect Reckless Huge Citrine (8 spellpower, 7 haste), and Reckless Monarch Topaz (9 spellpower, 8 haste).

    yellowYellow — Brilliant: I’m socketing int.  I am.  Being a spirit-junkie, even with AI, my spirit is higher.  These are good gems for me.  Available as Brilliant Sun Crystal (12 int), Perfect Brilliant Sun Crystal (14 int) and Brilliant Autumn’s Glow (16 int).

    yellowYellow — Quick: If you’re needing haste, this gem has it and nothing else.  Available as Quick Sun Crystal (12 haste), Perfect Quick Sun Crystal (14 haste) and Quick Autumn’s Glow (16 haste).

    yellowYellow — Smooth: Likewise, this gem is pure crit.  Available as Smooth Sun Crystal (12 crit), Perfect Smooth Sun Crystal (14 crit), and Smooth Autumn’s Glow (16 crit).

    blueBlue — Sparkling: There is still only one blue cut really worth mentioning.  Available as Sparkling Chalcedony (12 spirit), Perfect Sparkling Chalcedony (14 spirit) and Sparkling Sky Sapphire (16 spirit).

    greenGreen — Intricate: A balance of haste and spirit.  Very interesting gem overall.  Available as Intricate Dark Jade (6 haste, 6 spirit), Perfect Intricate Dark Jade (7 haste, 7 spirit) and Intricate Forest Emerald (8 haste, 8 spirit).

    greenGreen — Misty: Crit and spirit.  I’m curious about this one as well.  Available as Misty Dark Jade (6 crit, 6 spirit), Perfect Misty Dark Jade (7 crit, 7 spirit) and Misty Forest Emerald (8 crit, 8 spirit).

    greenGreen — Seer’s: My favorite of the green gems, this gem is perfect if your int and spirit are in balance, you’re just needing more of both.  Available as Seer’s Dark Jade (6 int, 6 spirit), Perfect Seer’s Dark Jade (7 int, 7 spirit), and Seer’s Forest Emerald (8 int, 8 spirit).

    purplePurple — Purified: Another old favorite reappearing as a better self.  This is available as Purified Shadow Crystal (7 spellpower, 6 spirit), Perfect Purified Shadow Crystal (8 spellpower, 7 spirit) and Purified Twilight Opal (9 spellpower, 8 spirit).

    purplePurple — Royal: I know, I know, mp5.  But as has already been covered, it’s not necessarily bad, especially for Disc spec.  I wouldn’t (and didn’t) recommend the straight Lusterous mp5 gems, but these aren’t so bad.  This time available in Royal Shadow Crystal (7 spellpower, 2 mp5), Perfect Royal Shadow Crystal (8 spellpower, 3 mp5) and Royal Twilight Opal (9 spellpower, 3 mp5).

    Metas

    Metas are, quite frankly, a headache and a half.  So I’m gonna say get Insightful Earthseige and be done.

    Okay, I’ll do a review, but really, Insightful is all you need.  Seriously.  Really.  Okay, fine.

    There are two meta gems which have a number of cuts available.

    earthsiege Earthsiege

    Beaming Earthsiege Diamond: 21 crit rating, +2% mana.  Requires 2 red, 1 yellow.  At lv 80, with 15000 mana, that’s another 300.  Kinda meh.

    Bracing Earthsiege Diamond: 25 spellpower, 2% reduced threat.  Requires 2 red, 1 blue.  I don’t know about your tanks, but…  I don’t need reduced threat.  And 25 spellpower is roughly equivalent to a bracer enchant.  Also fairly meh.

    Insightful Earthsiege Diamond: 21 int, chance to restore mana on spellcast.  Requires 1 red, 1 yellow, 1 blue.  This is the best option. The proc is 5% chance to restore 600 mana with no cooldown, so the chances are high of chaining procs.  It’s very snacky.  Even if you’re having problems with too much int, shed it from somewhere and snag this one. [edit: corrected values– thanks Crutch!]

    skyflare Skyflare

    Ember Skyflare Diamond: +25 spellpower, +2% intellect.  Requires 3 red gems.  This one, quite frankly, is better for a paladin or shaman.  We need to balance int to spirit, and a percentage increase makes that difficult.  And as mentioned above, 25 spellpower is kinda meh.

    Revitalizing Skyflare Diamond: 8 mp5 and 3% increased critical healing effect.  Requires 2 red gems.  Okay, I’ll admit it, this one is kinda interesting.  The mp5 is nothing terribly special, but the 3% bigger crits could be interesting.  Or they could just be 3% more overheal.  Your mileage may vary, I’d advise against.

    To sum up:

    • Gems aren’t so easy anymore.  While you can still use the old rules of thumb for gemming, you’ll be potentially ignoring the stuff you need.  This doesn’t mean every gem is good, but all of the gems I listed at least make sense.  Pick and choose between them to get the mix of stats that works best for you.
    • Except for Metas.  Get the IED.  Seriously.
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