Wednesday, 16 June 2010

What Trade Chat Actually Means

Boredom post here:

Statement: "5.6k gs required"
Translation: "Will wipe on trash and disband within 5 minutes, will also take at least 40 minutes to assemble the group"

Statement: "Need more for ICC25, aiming 7/12 link achieve"
Translation: "Might make it to saurfang if your lucky but will then wipe once and disband, Will take at least an hour to form the group and unfortunately for the group leader the item he's reserving will not drop"

Statement: "Need dk tank for VoA 10 cr"
Translation: "not you, never you, come back when you have 50k health unbuffed and when all items dropped within are useless to you, lololololol"

Statement: "Looking for a tank and healer for heroic farming"
Translation: "Looking for 2 people to run though heroic instances where the rest of us will afk and wait for you to finish, the group will eventually disband when either the tank or healer gets sick of boosting lazy people or when they get an ICC heroic which will then wipe them"

Statement "LFM Totc10 5.5k GS required"
Translation: "LFM to wait forever while i try and form a totc10 group to boost my 4k gs arse which even if it does form (highly unlikely) will disband on Faction Champs (if your lucky enouth to make it that far) and will likely have a ninja as a raid leader"

The last statement annoys me the most as if you have a gearscore that high odds are you'll never have to set foot in totc10 ever again, I find most of these statements to be true aswell.
Be perticularly weary of groups that are spamming trade again after pauseing for 20 minutes, it usualy means they have just wiped and anyone left is made of pure fail.

Friday, 11 June 2010

How a Tank is born

Due to some recent luck i've managed to get my warrior in a guild as an off-tank and while the DPS certainly need to improve before we can start easy clearing hard raids i'm finding it fun to mess around on my new tanking class.

This recently lead to me wondering exactly how I choose to roll a tanking class in the first place, what made me leave the comfort zone of my mage, priest and rogue and play a class thats designed to go first in combat.

I think one of the key contributers to my new fondness of tanking is quite honestly haveing been a specialist tank on raid encounters on my other classes.

My priest and mage have both tanked mimirons head before and i've had quite a lot of fun working out exactly what spells that lie dormant in my spell book would help me furfil this roll better.

My mage has even tanken it one step further as i've actively tanked the zombie spawns on gluth in naxx before and this was a realy hard task for a arcane mage to do but i somehow managed to pull it off after a bit of practice.

From these specialist tanking roles these cloth casters have created a small seed inside me making me wonder why i havent choson to play the role of the tank.
Looking back at it the responsibility and high entry barrier certainly put me off in the past but haveing taken that responsibility in special cases it becomes a lot less scary.

I had a lot of spare time so I decided to play a plate class and do a bit of experimenting into the whole tanking aspect of wow, this led to a very poor choice in playing my DK up to 80 while leveling with friends, hitting the def cap was much harder back then especialy for a class with no shield slot and the squishy nature of DKs was a bad stigma to have.

Needless to say that this charecter was scrapped, it wasent so much because of the whole cap issue thing it was more that the class did not agree with me, the rotation while tanking felt clunky and badly done so i never managed to master it very well.

I'd tried tanking on my paladin too but that felt equaly misplaced as i ran out of mana incredibly quickly in low level dungeons and that essentialy put me off playing the class as a tank at all.

My warrior on the other hand seemed to agree with me from the get go, the aspects of the class seemed to just click with me and i found myself playing protection as if i was in a state of constant fury.

Everything was kept quite simple from the start and new tanking abilities were added at just the right pace to keep me learning, it's no wonder the warrior was considered the only tank back in vanila wow as it seems just so well suited to the roll.

So i managed to get the class evolved right up to the point that I could start seriousley considering raiding with him, i'd learned the encounters for most boss fights and have managed to aquire much experiance from running dungeons while gearing.

There seems to be a sense of nervousness that I get when i'm tanking using the warrior class which is quite scary for the first raid that i did but everything managed to work well.

So from humble beginnings of being a specialist tank in raid encounters a new tank can easily be formed with enouth time and effort.
I'd encourage most players who are experianced at playing the game to roll a tanking class as it's one of the best ways to experiance encounters and a very nice experiance to have.

I can almost envision me taking this class and role into cata with ease and manageing to play it properly as a main, but wether it can stand up to my love of healing is another matter.
At least it'll keep me a lot to do when i finally manage to get round to leveling alts to 85.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Undergeared Healing Experiance

Haveing run with undergeared for awhile now i'm gradually strating to pick up the art of healing at low gear levels, because of the differance between the strength and regeneration healing becomes far more technical at low gear levels.

The main point that all our healers have to go on is quite simple, the correct use of cooldowns (both tank saving and mana restoring) at the correct time.
Even when i've been DPSing as shadow i've always payed attention to the mana of my fellow healers and have timed my hymn of hope and divine hymn spells when they needed it most.

A big example is on one of our saurfang wipes i managed to time my hymn of hope to restore the mana of both the shaman and paladin healers (and to lesser extent the Arcane mage) by a small bit which helped them plug along for another 30 seconds or so.
When the paladin healer went down at around 15% I immediantly brought out the big guns and hit Divine hymn to stabilise the raid then I started using Flash heal until i ran out of mana, in my atempt at a cluth healing situation we managed to get to 6% on that wipe.

Of course healing is a very complicated game and something I have to ask is what point does the game end?, one of the best experiances i've had healing for Undergeared has undoubtfully been jaraxus in totc10.
while the fight may have been one shot it was by no means an easy accomplishment as when our 3rd leg healer fell down at 25% things started getting hairy and then we ran out of mana just as the boss was at 10%.
Both of us (me and the shaman healer) had no mana and had to keep a group of 9 people alive for at least 30 seconds before the boss went down, in my opinion it is at this point that the healing game begins neither healer can just throw mana at a problem anymore as they don't have any to spare.

Basically what happens at this point is that you have to cast a heal every time you've generated enouth mana to cast one and you damn well better make sure you cast the right one or else it's basically over at that point.
Due to the lack of raid health healing spells like Circle of Healing become considerable more potent as they can hit multiple targets for the full amount, you can also throw any surge of light procs where they're needed immediantly as it won't effect your mana regen (5 second rule).

The tanks represent a completely differant problem as they will always need a steady flow of heals to live, needless to say that all of my surge of light procs went here and I also made sure that circle of healing would always hit him too.
Other then that I also hit the tank with Greater Heal (it heals the most and has a higher mana efficency then flash) whenever I had generated enouth mana to do so.
Sometime during the last 5% I managed to throw Guardian Spirit on the tank too which both of us simply let proc and then followed up with a few heals to keep the tank going when were realy hitting rock bottom.

The DPS were almost abandoned and left to their own devices, if they couldent live on the rare Circle of healing and Chain Heal spells we throw out maybe every 10 seconds at best then they would just have to die as we just couldent spare the mana for them.

I remember haveing a similar experiance in naxx25 at the very beginning of wrath and most veteran healers know what I mean when I say that healing dosent realy begin until your out of mana, because when you just come down to it these days healing involves wasting a lot of mana and being in a situation where it's just you, tirage and your most efficent healing spells can make you panic greatly.

Nothing is more exciting to me as a healer then pulling through what at first appears to be an enevitable wipe though nothing but serenity and the best application of your spells.