Thursday, October 22, 2009

My Sweetest Mistake?

Today I did something very strange in the name of haste stacking. I decided to finally break my 4pc Tier 8 set and split it into a 2pc t8 and 2pc t9. I've also picked up the 245 non-tier chest piece that has boat loads of haste on it as well. So I merrily take my 2 tokens over to the Tier 9.25 vendor and start perusing my choices and decide to upgrade the pieces that will give me the largest haste/spellpower/spirit upgrades. Next thing I know I've picked up the leggings and the hands. I'm ever so excited to finally have upgraded gear that I rush off to Dalaran and have everything immediately gemmed and enchanted to my liking. The next step in this sweet mistake is equipping my two new pieces and realizing that I'm not receiving my 2pc Tier 9 bonus! Lo and behold my gloves are actually of the moonkin variety! With everything being gemmed and enchanted I'm no longer able to refund the gloves and my initial reation was to open a ticket and ask for an exchange. But before I decide to make any more hasty decisions (awesome pun I do declare) I revisited the tier 9 vendor just to see what I'd be exchanging for if I were allowed to swap the resto for the moonkin sets. Much to my dismay I find that the only difference between the moonkin and resto sets are the resto set has 9 more spirit and gives crit instead of haste!! So...I'm now pleased to announce that I'm the proud owner of moonkin gear that I'm using in the pursuit of healing!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Week of W00T!

Rabble may be slow but we do get the job done. We cleared all of Ulduar and spent ~1hr on Yogg+3 which was new for us but alas could not slay the old god on Tuesday. Fortunately, we 1 shot him with fresh faces on Wednesday and I was able to get this nifty mace finished up. The beastslaying enchant was more than appropriate I felt since we were slaying the Northrend Beasts after Ulduar.

Then to top the night off a group of 10 of us stayed after the 25man raid and did some ToGC10 and finished with 48 attempts left which I was very pleased with especially since we had no bloodlust for Anub, let's just say the final phase was hectic.

I've been Reading up on the potential haste changes to us restos and I'm going to refrain from making too many judgements until the proposed changes look more likely to happen. I will agree that a nerf to rejuv is appropriate but I just hope blizzard doesn't go overboard with it.

Monday, October 5, 2009

What's new with Sunkist?!?

Hello 5 people who have this blog show up from time to time on their blogroll, it's me Sunkist! I've been neglecting the blog here pretty substantially but I thought I'd just step in here and give a quick update.

25's are going well. We clear ToC25 normal with one to two wipes per run. We haven't downed Northrend Beasts Heroic yet but we've also only given it ~5 attempts. I'm up to 25/30 legendary fragments so we've been doing full Ulduar clears in about a night. We're also slowly adding in hardmodes to the Ulduar mix. Just last week we did XT-002 and activated Thorim but didn't kill him that way.
I've been setting up the guild's 10man ToC runs which is a much larger hassle than I first anticipated but I think a routine is developing which is good. Soon I'll add ToGC10 groups in about a week or two but right now we've got a few groups doing that without the schedule. On the whole, raiding is good.

I hit 8k nerd points about a month back and even still the achievements trickle in. I'm at ~8500 atm which is nice. I finished Loremaster and here are a few tips I'd give for that.

1) Do in in Phases. I did all of Northrend way back in December or January. Then I did Outland about a month after that. Then it was in the past 2-3 weeks or so that I did most of Azeroth.
2) Do Eastern Kingdoms before Kalimdor. There are TONS of quests that send you running between continents and I've found that more often than not the quest originated in Eastern Kingdoms
3) Questhelper doesn't do it all. I had to go back to old skool research for quite a few quests and especially in Azeroth pulled out some useful tips that wowhead just couldn't.
4) Have checkpoint goals in mind. This was much easier for Outlands and Northrend where you could have the goal of 1 zone every day or two. In Azeroth it turned into "finish these 2 quest chains, get to 2500 total quests, etc." But simply having the goal of "Loremaster" is far too daunting to try and focus on.

Since finishing Loremaster and being completely done with Quest Achievements I've decided to try and fish up that pesky turtle and finish off another block of Achievements. With that turtle I'll be completely done with Professions which will be nice. So far I'm 2100 fish caught with no sign of him. My strategy for the turtle is to collect 100 of each of the Fish Feast fish at a time so that I can craft them for the guild and easily keep track of my total fish progress. After the turtle shows his ugly face I think I'll try and focus on some PvP achievements.

WoW has it's ups and downs. I've managed to keep myself pretty upbeat with projects and such and with a 2 day 25man raiding schedule I don't forsee burnout in the near future. In addition to my achievement goals I've also started dabbling in the AH within the past week or so. I found it rather ironic that the week I decide to start trying to make money off the AH that MMO-champ ran his extensive AH gold making guide. One thing I did pull out of his posts though was the Quick Auction 2 mod which has been EXTREMELY useful.

Thoughts on the State of Resto Druids:
I've been pretty happy with our healing capabilities for quite a while and with the Patch 3.3 notes out I don't forsee any major shifts away or to the resto druids. With the incoming Rejuv "bug fix" I couldn't help but laugh and think of the movie "Office Space" where the managers decide to "fix the glitch" regarding Milton's paycheck and they figured things would just work themselves out naturally. Nice try Blizzard. Even still, a nerf to Rejuvenation was bound to happen and luckily this one shouldn't be too devestating.

Kind of a long post but here it is.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Tier 8 to Tier 9 leap

Recently I've been debating when exactly to start going after the Tier 9 set pieces. I've been extremely hesitant solely because the 4 piece restoration bonus is soooooooo good. Since getting 4pc I've had a noticeable jump in my healing and when looking at meters for fights I see that the bonus heal itself constitutes ~10-15% of my total healing. For a single set bonus that is absolutely godly. But just the other day I saw a blue post concerning a nerf to the set bonus coming with the next patch that reads as follows:

Druid Tier-8 Healer 4-Piece Set Bonus: The amount of healing this set bonus grants on the initial cast of Rejuvenation has been reduced by 50%. In addition, this set bonus no longer has strange interactions with Harold’s Rejuvenating Broach.
So now I've been looking into when I should make the leap from Tier 8 to Tier 9 items so here's a stat comparison of the sets as well.

Full Conqueror Tier 8 Stats:
Stam - 381
Int - 386
Spirit - 318
Crit - 174
Haste - 107
Spellpower - 525
Sockets - 1meta, 4red, 1yellow, 2blue

Full Top Tier 9 Stats:
Stam - 520
Int - 520
Spirit - 418
Crit - 256
Haste - 170
Spellpower - 719
Sockets - 1meta, 3red, 1yellow, 3blue

Stam - 139
Int - 134
Spirit - 100
Crit - 82
Haste - 63
Spellpower - 194

While the differences are noticable I wouldn't say they are overly compelling by themselves to go breaking the T8 4pc bonus as your first opportunity. Personally I'm going to focus on getting other gear upgrades (ring, back, feet, belt, etc.) before collecting my Tier 9 set pieces. I don't know if I'll wear the Tier 9 set before the 3.2.2 patch but with the nerf to Tier 8 4pc my goal will be to have the Tier 9 set ready and waiting in my bank and I'll make an abrupt switch in my gear come patch day.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Pointers on Lord Jaraxxus

Did the fight first on 10man during the afternoon and surprisingly 1shot him. Came back with 15 more peeps later that night and took 4 attempts. Not too shabby.

Here's a list of the basic abilities performed by the boss:

Now for some healing and general pointers about the fight:

1. Grid Users will want to add the following debuffs to their center icons in order to track them

Incinerate Flesh
Legion Flame
Fel Fireball

2. When you see someone with Incinerate Flesh, that person needs to receive as much healing as possible over 15 seconds. I'm not sure the amount needs to be 60k as sometimes we were able to remove the debuff within 3-4 seconds it seemed. But that person needs to have the debuff taken away or else some major raid damage will ensue.

3. Legion Flame is good to have on your grid especially if you're leading the raid. I'd usually call out on vent if someone needed to start running around to avoid the fire

4. Fel Fireball was only cast on our tank and only cast during our 25man attempts. This needs to be dispelled away immediately by a priest/pally. We had a ret pally with some quick fingers do it for us

5. The Chain of Fire spell wasn't overly devastating unless the boss also had his "Nether Power" buff up. So while it's a good idea to spread out for multiple reasons, fire on the ground, chain fire, etc. Not spreading out perfectly won't generally be a cause for a wipe

6. Purging of "Nether Power" is absolutely vital. Whenever a new mistress spawns out from her portal the boss will receive 10 stacks of a buff called "Nether Power." Each stack provides a 20% bonus to his spellpower and pretty quickly destroys both tanks and raiders alike. This buff needs to be offensively removed with a combination of spellsteal, purge, tranq shot, remove magic, and shield slam. 2 of our 4 attempts ended very quickly because we weren't aware of just how important Nether Power was.

7. Curses. I actually did a lot more removing of curses in the 10man and removed 0 curses during the 25man. Not quite sure why.

8. Spawns. If the range dps is high enough just have them handle taking down the mistress and infernals. If you want your healers to work a bit harder go ahead and let the melee go in and kill adds as well. The infernals also channel their hellfire and that can be interrupted.

That's really about all the nuianced things I can think of about the fight right now. I really should try and start making actual guides but for now I don't mind just putting in my own initial thoughts about fights after we complete them as they come out

P.S. I'm trying to get my hands on some Fraps to see if we can get some movie action jackson up in here!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Pointers on Beasts of Northrend

Tonight the guild brought these pesky creatures down on 25man normal mode. I'd say the first phase was pretty easy, 2nd phase was the hardest, and the final phase was around the same difficulty as the first.

For those of you who are grid users like myself here is a list of the debuffs I added to show up as center icons for the fight.

Phase 1:
Impale - tracks the DoT debuff on the tanks
Snobolled! - tracks who in the raid has a snobold vassal on their back

Phase 2:
Burning Bile - tracks the fire debuff that does around 3-4k damage every 2 seconds and is the only way to remove the Paralytic Toxin from players
Paralytic Toxin - tracks the poison debuff that slows the person then completely freezes them down and stops the person in their tracks. Also does damage.

Phase 3:
No debuffs to track

Phase 1 Tactics:
Have the range spread out if not simply to avoid the fires that are periodically shot onto random players. The melee takes a pretty big hit every once in a while but that's easily healed up before the next AoE attack on the melee. Most of the healing should be focused on the Tanks. At first on 25man we tried with 2 tanks but then found it easier to do with 3 tanks. Once a tank took 2 stacks of the impale debuff another tank would taunt it away. Make sure that all of the Range dps and even some quick melee dps have the following macroed and put onto their hotbar.

/tar snobold vassal

The boss also received a stacking buff that increased his damage by 20% per application. At first I thought this was due to too many snobolds being alive but now I think it has to do with either how long the fight has gone on or else how much HP the boss has left. Either way, we always got to 4 stacks or 80% increased damage and it wouldn't go any higher.

Phase 2:
Definitely the most difficult part of the encounter. There are 2 giant worms that come out and one will be mobile while the other will be stationary. Every minute or so the worms switch so the mobile and stationary ones switch. Acidmaw is the worm that deals primarily nature/poison damage and most importantly casts a debuff called "Paralytic Toxin" which can only be removed by having someone with the complementary debuff "Burning Bile" to burn it off. Besides that the range needs to remember to spread out to avoid everybody receiving the debuff and the tanks need to remember to kite the mobile worm around since since it will periodically poop out a green cloud that looks similar to Grobbulus' poison clouds.

Phase 3:
Pretty easy phase overall. The boss has 2 knockbacks. One is for people within 15 yards and it also interrupts the school of spells that was being cast during the time for 8 seconds (stay 15 yards away, duh). Then a big knockback that hits the entire raid, after which the boss will "charge" into one of the raid members and smash his head into the wall. After smashing his head the boss will do 1 of 2 things: enrage which must be tranq shotted by a hunter asap, or else knock himself out for ~15 seconds where he will take 100% more damage at the time. Another important ability of this boss is that he casts a frontal cone that is exactly like the freezing breath from the giants that are a part of Hodir trash. Just make sure your healers are spread out enough to cover this and it should be fine. One tip for the tank: have them move towards the center about 3-4 seconds before his "knockout" period because generally right after he comes to he'll whirlwind followed by a melee hit which K.O.ed quite a few of our tanks. But luckily the boss is tauntable so the tank can simply wait in position in the middle of the room and draw the boss to him that way.

All in all a pretty fun and not too challenging fight. I'm sure the heroic version will prove otherwise but I found it to be a rather enjoyable first encounter for the new 3.2 Colosseum.

My 3.2 Spec

Here is the spec I'll be using for raids from here on out since 3.2 came out today.

3.2 Raid Spec

Prior to today I've had the exact same spec except I've put one of the points from Empowering Touch into Gift of the Earthmother. Recently I've come to the decision that my haste is probably good enough that I can take a point out of GotE in order to boost my nourish by another 10% of my spellpower. My rationale is that if the amount of time reduced to cast rejuv and wild growth given by 1 point of GotE is less than my latency inherent in the game, I can probably live with shifting a point away from the cast time reduction and put it somewhere I can see visible effects.

Although the math gets a bit hairy, EJ forums has led me to believe that I'll need somewhere in the neighborhood of 541 haste in order to reach my 1 second GCD for rejuv with 4/5 GotE. I'm at 363 currently and if I find that there is a huge difference in my rejuv casting speed due to the loss of 1 point in GotE I may reconsider switching some other talents around in order to make sure I have my 1 sec GCD for rejuv and WG. If I do have to do some switching around my initial reaction would be to next try out healing with 4/5 Nature's Bounty in order to keep 2/2 Empowered Touch. Time will tell if I need to test that out as well but I'm fairly confident that I'll be happy with the spec I've first chosen.