Purely Penance!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

CC, Where Art Thou?

I was almost able to squeeze this post into January, but I suppose February will do! I've been thinking about what topics to write about that are helpful but not extremely opinionated at this point in Cata. One point I think that we can all agree on is that Crowd Control makes dungeons of any difficulty much easier to handle! Unless... you're a fan of frantic healing and drinking after each pull or are lucky enough to out-gear a lot of the easier content already!

As a healer that uses the LFG Dungeon tool quite often (unfortunately!), I've come to realize that a few things:
1) It's better to just assume that unless asked, no one will silence.
2) It's better to just assume that no CC's will be marked if the tank doesn't initiate it on the first pull.
3) It is unfortunately very likely that you're going to get a group that doesn't acknowledge stuff on the ground, air, or realize when the boss is targeting them.

As for number 3? Mmmm, there isn't much you can do about that unless you want to point out every time a member takes excessive damage. Before each pull I try to throw out a simple reminder, like: "Always stay away from the Light! And remember, birds are not our friends!" Something easy and light hearted as if you're Jiminy Cricket :]

However! I've found that MOST people are more than happy to use CC's and interrupts.

So. You have a group that silently agrees to use CC's/interrupt... because no response means "Yes." right?... So now it's up to you to mark and call out who is doing what. But... who CAN do what? Is a very good question I've been asking for a while now. Instead of having to ask, "Okay, who can get that ugly monster dude." and have a Shaman volunteer only to realize that it's a Dragonkin and he can't after all, can be frustrating.

So. Here's a list of class specific CC's/Interrupts I've compiled, so that you'll never go wanting again! (This will include targetable and untargetable CC's.)

This table is all fine and dandy and can be a big help when instructing classes to CC.
But here is a little more inside information that will help:

DEATH KNIGHTS: Hungering cold is a great ability, if another pack gets pulled on accident you will be able to have 10 seconds to finish whatever mob you are on and get some CC on the new mobs. It also can act as an interrupt on non-bosses.

DRUIDS: You can range all the trash in this game, or LoS them, so if you are forced to root a caster you will still be able to prevent it’s damage. Sometimes this method can be tricky. Natures Grasp also allows you to have a second set of roots up at any given time, but remember that it isn’t easily recast-able.

HUNTERS: Because you can only have 1 trap at a time doesn’t mean you can not have two things trapped at once. It may be tricky but after the first trap goes off, you are able to place another trap down to get a second enemy in a freezing trap. This may take some time to get used to.

PRIESTS: Mind control pulling is a fun way to do trash and can be very effective. This allows you to sometimes kill an entire mob by having its friends kill it then immediatly mind control another mob.

MAGES: In a few situations Ring of frost can be godly. Use it in ideal situations for great control.

ROGUES: Should your CC become in danger of running out you can Vanish and reapply sap on the mob before it wakes up

SHAMANS: Earth Elemental totem can be used in a pinch to off-tank a mob, but beware, this elemental has very bad AI.

WARLOCKS: Your succubus is very strong, and glyphing it makes it better. This expansion you are kings of CC.

I hope this can be of help to puggers around Azeroth! I know I've definitely found it useful!

*Information for this post was taken from various WoW sources, including:*

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Don't Lose Your Mind In The Level Grind! [Cata Post]

So, you've started trudging towards 85. (Yes, some of you 1337 people are already there!! Congratulations! However, this post won't be of much use to you ^.^)

You've quested a bit and DING! 81! Niiiiiice! So you queue up for a Cata dungeon! Yes, queue popped. Accept! *adrenaline rush* Buffs. Salutations. Pull. Man, what was all this complaining about Priests not being their awesome selves? I'm spamming heals, dps-ing the boss all while dancing and jumping around! Muahaha. Bubbles bubbles bubbles.

Ding! 82! This isn't so bad at all! Deepholmmmmmm! Man, this place is BEAUTIFUL! The colors! Can't look away... Oh right, new dungeon. STONECORRRE! Queue. Accept. Buff. Salutations. Pull.

... From this very first pull you will find out just how smart of a tank you have. What you will also find out is..

OOM. What is this? Where did my mana bar go, does anyone see it? Hey tank, are you just wearing your underwear against these guys? Hey, DPS - I let you die because the tank is more important!

------------------------- Do Not Despair --------------------

Take a deep breath...
Here is Vih's Little Make Shift Plan To Get To Lvl 85.

Rule #1. Accept the fact that people are going to die. Especially if you are paired with people still stuck in WotLK mentality [aka Tank and Spank, Round-up and AoE, Burn-it-before-it-gets-to-me Aggro Pullers, etc.] It's inevitable. So, make like toilet paper and get ready to wipe.

Rule #2. Prioritize. The lives of your tank and yourself are vastly more important than the DPS. They might argue with that fact, but - it's true. Obviously keeping everyone alive is preferable. So, decide what you can afford with your current mana situation. Examples are given below.

Rule #2a. Subject: DPSers. During trash pulls, if a gung-ho dps takes a hit when no one else in the group does they get a renew. If they take two hits they also receive a bubble. If they are set on tanking whichever add they've aggro'd let them. It costs less mana to rez them than to try and heal them through their tank-osterone phase. ;] If there is AoE damage - set off a Prayer of Healing (I try to pair this with Inner Focus as much as possible.)

Rule #2b. Subject: Tanks. During trash pulls, I keep a Power Word: Shield, Renew and Prayer of Mending on the tank as much as possible. At this point in time I don't find Heal to Heal for enough (ironically), so when more damage comes than my Renew and PoM can handle I use Penance and Greater Heal. I avoid Flash Heal like the plague. I have now put Flash Heal in the category of emergencies only.

Rule #2c. Subject: Boss Fights. I use the above mentioned priority while healing boss fights as well, with the minor exception that I try to keep all party members alive at all times. Even Mr. DPS who doesn't know the fight but doesn't want an explanation. ;]

Rule #3. "But I still am going oom!" Don't be afraid to use cooldowns on cooldown! Shadowfiend + Hymn of Hope, Arcane Torrent - Whatever ya got! And if you're fresh out? Do NOT be afraid to stop the group and drink. You are worth so much more with full mana :D

Other Words of Wisdom:
* Get used to seeing people below full health.
* Get down for your "High Gearscore" Horse and realize that this isn't WotLK
* Make a playlist to remedy the frustration that's sure to come.
* Take on the challenge! Don't turn into a wet noodle because things are difficult!

I hope this helps you in your level grind!
If you think you have something that needs to be added - post away!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Cata, Come Quickly!

Cata is breathing down our necks! I'm frantically trying to finish up a 2-part Spanish Presentation for my final tomorrow and keep getting all sorts of distracted.

First of all:
For those of you who don't know, Tales of a Priest got a make-over! Go take a look at Derevka's GORGEOUS new site and helpful posts!

I'm both apprehensive and excited for Cataclysm to start. Apprehensive that Disc might be as "weak" as many of the frequent forum doomsday posts say it is. Excited that you might just have to learn to play it WELL!

I'm frustrated that Blizz decided to dump Cata right during finals week(s). But, I'll survive and pass my classes :] I thought I'd post a list I came across on the official forums for Pre-Raid Cata Gear!!

[Posted by Memoryz, Credit given to Malic from MMO-Champion, Elitist Jerks]

Head: Mask of New Snow : 2200 JP
Neck: Amulet of Tender Breath : Vortex Pinnacle : Altairus
Shoulder: Mantle of Loss : SFK : Godfrey
Back: Solar Wind Cloak : Halls of Origination : Rajh
Robe: Anraphet's Regalia : Halls of Origination : Anraphet
Wrist: Baron Ashbury's Cuffs : SFK : Baron Ashbury
Hands: Dolomite Gloves : Stonecore : Corborus or Gloves of Purification : 1650 JP
Waist: Belt of the Falling Rain : 1650 JP
Legs: Leggings of Charity : 2200 JP
Boots: Hekatic Slippers : Halls of Origination : Rajh
Ring #1: Veneficial Band : Lost City of the Tol'vir : Augh
Ring #2: Kibble : Blackrock Caverns : Beauty
Trinkets: Tear of Blood : Stone core : High Priestess Azil & Witching Hourglass : Blackrock Caverns : Ascendant Lord Obsidius
Main Hand: Scepter of Power - Halls of Origination : Setesh
Off-Hand: Prophet's Scepter : Stonecore : High Priestess Azil
Wand: Wand of Untainted Power : Grim Batol : Forgemaster Throngus
Stave: Soul Releaser : Halls of Origination : Ptah

Halls of Origination
Blackrock Caverns
Vortex Pinnacle
Lost City of Tol'vir
Grim Batol

THANK YOU! To those who put the time and effort into making this list, it is surely going to help guide many of our decisions!

Happy Questing to you all!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Hurt to Heal? Smite Discussion

First off, Happy Veteran's Day yesterday! I'd like to personally say thanks to the Vets. Thank you for standing up for something and for giving me my freedoms. Thank you for leaving your family and friends to keep this country safe. Thank you for dealing with the effects from war long after you've returned home. I hope 'home' will once more feel like home to you.

Now onto Disc things...
I've been playing with two different Discipline specs over the last few days. One which includes the [Evangelism]/[Archangel]/[Atonement] [Spec]. And of course, for those leery of Smite Spamming - the non-terrifying-seemingly-normal spec. *Note, I have also been playing around with the difference between putting points in Darkness vs. Divine Fury - but those discrepancies aren't really related to this topic.

Due to school obligations and end-of-semester professors showing their evil sides, I haven't been able to test these in ICC. So, although 5-man heroics are NOT the place to test much of anything - this was where it has been done.

A few things I've noticed:
Archangel Spec:
Obviously, in 5-mans everything dies relatively quickly. But during a long term fight I can definitely see how one could weave in smites between heals. I also think it's going to be nearly impossible to skip come Cataclysm, especially if mana is going to be a precious resource as Blizz has already promised. It's definitely going to take some practice; but, if patterned correctly, it seems as though you can almost always have Archangel active. Yay to more heals!

Sin-Archangel Spec:
Again, this was tested in 5-man heroics. But after logging about two or so hours in each spec I've noticed drastic mana differences. Even in a stage of the game where mana shouldn't matter. I found myself only casting the heals that I needed while in this spec to conserve mana, where as in the Archangel spec I was bubbling and spamming all my heals to my little healer heart's content! I have a feeling that, come Cataclysm, Disc priests are going to have to focus on regen stats much more whole-heartedly if they don't pick up Archangel and learn to use it effectively.

Have any of you wonderful Priest players fooled around in these specs and found some cool things out?

Upcoming: For those of you who know me, you know I'm crazy about mods, UI's and had a great line of tutorials going. I'm going to try to update those and get them up and running!

Best wishes!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

To Disc or Not To Disc

I may feel like a traitor for writing this post... but I'll live life on the wild side!

"To Disc or Not To Disc..."

It's been on my mind a lot recently! I've been Disc for all my raiding experience. I was even specc'd double disc (PvE/PvP), though with patch 4.0 I couldn't help but feel that Disc was a little lack luster. I've tried to be optimistic about our new talents, doing damage in order to heal. But it's leaving a sour taste in my mouth.

Don't get me wrong, I am SOO glad that Blizz is taking steps to stop bubble-botting. That was incredibly boring to me, and even when I tried I never could quite just spam bubbles. Sure my "numbers" were higher when I just ignored all situational healing and spammed Power Word: Shield, BUT - I'm pretty sure I could train my Chihuahua, Wookiee, to do that... (Granted she is a VERY smart dog, but - you get the point.)

So, I took a small hiatus from disc-ing and put together a very patchwork gear set for shadow. What was this feeling? I don't have to watch everyone in the raid? I felt so selfish, but powerful! After shadow-ing it up for 2 weeks or so, I've been yearning for those glorious double bubbles and sparkling penance.

I love healing. Tanking terrifies me. DPS is dull. Healing is Heaven :]

But back to my original concern, Disc seems a bit lack-luster compared to our cheesed-up Chakra sister spec. I wonder if things will change at 85... What do you all think?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Hello and Welcome!

Glad you could join me! I've decided to designate a spot for future World of Warcraft ramblings and theory crafting! I am no longer raiding hard-core, but who knows how long that will last for! I started playing WoW during WotLK and hadn't a CLUE what I was doing. I had never played any other computer games - I simply saw a commercial on TV with a dwarf talking about how he played a gnome mage and decided to give it a try!

The first toon I started was my beloved Priest! She started out as Artimesia, a Night Elf Shadow Priest. After 8 months I finally dinged 80! (10-3-2009) I had no idea what addons were, or what this Questhelper thing was! Anyway.. to make a long tale short, I had friendly people help me get to where I am today, including the amazing bloggers at ToaP, Ava and Derevka!

Somehow I was able to transform from the noob running around with stamina gear, to Vihmera the Disc Priest who was able to raid ICC. As of right now I am 11/12 Hardmode on both ICC10 and 25, and have received my 10-man Vanquisher.

But, I also try to enjoy all aspects of the game (meaning, yes.. I Roleplay as well as PvP!)
I've also been Alliance and Horde, and I have to say that Horde is definitely home for me! However, which race I pledge my allegiance to changes as often as the wind! I usually bounce between Undead, Troll and Belf. Currently? Belf ^.^

Anywho, thanks for dropping by! Check back for more posts soon :)