Posts Tagged ‘shadow pew pew’

I think most of my guildies have reached this point, which saddens me a bit, because I’m trying to keep on enjoying this game, and it is a little difficult when everyone else is having trouble too. I keep getting frustrated because there’s a lot of goofing around and stupid wipes that could be easily prevented, but I don’t feel like I really have a place to complain about it – I’m not perfect either, after all. For reference: ToC last week when I kept moving while trying to cast Mass Dispel.

It really does make the anger bubble up when you feel like you’re doing just the right thing, but the group keeps wiping anyway. Last night we attempted Freya, where we got stuck last week, and we hit a wall. We even wiped on trash several times. There was one pull that involved me getting one shot after I bubbled the tank, which is just … what the hell. We weren’t on the ball and I was grumpy about it, especially because I switched to shadow, and having failures in a role that isn’t my main one makes me very defensive. Being lumped into the dps group with comments about how the dps is not performing makes me RAWR when I know that I’m doing my part.

Oh, and I discovered that it’s a little difficult to play without lag when your better half (who came up with that phrase anyway? /cough) is downloading torrents at “lightening speed” and hogging up all the internet. I’d press a button and approximately 10 seconds later, casting would begin! Except … sometimes not because by the time my screen caught up, the silencing trees were rampaging about and I wasn’t under a mushroom. /shakes a fist (… Also, that kind of sounds like someone’s bad acid trip.)

Burnout has even made me want to get my paladin up to speed and bring her to our runs instead of Celaeno, because we have a lack of holy paladins lately, and because jokes about how many priests we have used to be funny, but now rub me the wrong way.

At least I’ll be taking a little break over the next week. With any luck, the patch will be up and running within a week or two, which I can only hope will cause some changes.

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One of the first things that I did when dual specs were released was to pick up shadow as an offspec for Celaeno (achievements tell me I got it for her before I even picked it up for my main at the time). Until recently, the only thing I’d ever actually used that shadow spec for was to do dailies and grind mats, because it’s a lot faster at killing things than either my holy or ret specs on my paladin. But thanks to the fact that we have a lot of healers, and because I just get bored of doing the same old thing all the time, I decided to make a decent shadow set and l2play, noob. Thanks to some offspec pieces from heroics and my mighty draenei aura, I have enough gear to get me to the hit cap, though swapping it out makes me lose a bit of crit and spell power.

But even with non-optimal gear, I’m managing to do decent dps, and thanks to a bit of research I’ve realized where I’ve been going wrong previously. I managed to hit 4.2k dps in a VoA pug, which was a significant improvement for me. I just want to share what I’ve learned in case there are any other primarily healy priests who would like to see improvement from those times when they need to deal some damage instead of healing it up.

The most important thing about shadow dps? Do NOT clip your DoTs. Clipping is what happens when you see that a DoT is near to the falling off point, so you go ahead and refresh it. It seems like a good idea in theory, because YAY 100% DoT uptime, but it could actually be harming your damage. DoTs apply damage in 3 second tics. The very last tic of damage hits as the DoT falls off, and after recasting it takes 3 seconds for the first tic of the new cycle. If you recast your DoT in the 3 seconds to ending range, you effectively lock yourself out of doing any damage for 6 seconds. The best way to be certain that you’re not cheating yourself out of all the possible damage from your spells is to install a DoT timer, and if you’re obsessive like I am, you might use more than one (but I totally realize that I’m weird here). My preferred timers are ClassTimer, which I primarily use in disc spec as a very visible indicator of Weakened Soul, PW:S, Divine Aegis, and all those other wonderful spells, and ForteXorcist.

What I love about ForteXorcist is that it stacks timers on top of each other right in the middle of my screen. The center around my character is where I like to keep all the important information, like Grid when I’m healing, and having these timers there ensures that I will be paying attention to them, even when I get distracted by having to move out of fires or when I have a debuff and want to go give Amber explodeyhugs, because she loves that. Fiddling with Forte’s settings makes it possible to have the timer that will expire first on top, so I can go ahead and hover my finger obsessively over that keybind while I cast my filler spells.

As far as shadow rotation goes, open with Vampiric Touch, followed by Vampiric Embrace, Devouring Plague, and Mindblast. I usually toss in a SW:Death there in order to get another stack of shadow weaving, though it occurs to me now that it would be better to just Mindflay once to reach 5 stacks, then use SW:D if Mindblast isn’t off cooldown yet, since it tends to be my filler when there’s only a second or so before I can cast Mindblast. SW:Pain only goes up after you’ve reached 5 stacks of shadow weaving, and should be reapplied if you get a temporary spell power buff, such as Lightweave Embroidery or a trinket proc. After that point, it’s just a matter of refreshing DoTs right after they fall off, using Mindblast when it comes off cooldown, and Mindflay and SW:Death for filler. Then curse the gods when the boss becomes immune or you have to switch targets because YAY, you have to start all over. Especially annoying when those stupid worms burrow in ToC.

Until the next patch when haste and DoTs go hand in hand, spellpower appears to be the best stat to have after the hitcap, which is nice for me because I stack primarily spellpower as disc, so I just swap a few things out until I’m at 10% hit. I’m waiting until 3.3 to see if haste will make a huge impact.

In related news: if you’re in a 25 man raid pug as a shadow priest and you’re in the top 5 in damage, yay, you’re doing a great job! \o/ Well, provided that you’re not in the top 5 with something like 2k in ToC, but you know what I mean. BUT. If you’re also in the top 5 of healing in a group with 6 healers, you might want to be a little worried. /facepalm

ETA: I forgot the most important part of being shadow. Are you doing trash and there’s more than one mob? MOAR MIND SEEEEEEEEEAR.

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