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Posts Tagged ‘the dumb’

l2shadow

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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My second week of screenshot Tuesday and already I fail! I guess nothing particularly interesting enough to screenshot has happened in the last week, with one notable exception.

I felt bad about the fact that my poor warlock has been sitting at 77 for longer than I can remember. Pre-patch 3.2 I leveled her up to 77 so that she could fly in Northrend and be my gatherbitch. After dropping herbalism for Engineering and spending most of Saturday and Sunday leveling it, I got myself into gear and got her to 80 yesterday afternoon. Now for the mind-numbing heroic farming for badges to gear up. Currently she’s hitcapped, but still rocking some old level 80 epics that I didn’t find upgrades for, and getting measly 1.4k dps at best.

The story behind this screenshot is one of fail, because I wasn’t fast enough with my Command + Shift +3 (that’s right, Mac in the house) to get the actual awesomeness here, which was that my little dragon form was holding a mining pick. I was squealing too hard for a timely shot, so you get this plus a story instead.

Amber already blogged about yesterday’s fail raid. Usually we get through ToC 25 without much trouble until we hit Anub, who we still haven’t managed to down, despite spanking him weekly in 10 man. But last night, there was just an aura of bad, I guess, because we were making a lot of noob mistakes. I definitely saw a certain person who our healing channel is named after standing still and letting all the orbs hit him in the butt on the Twins, while I was running around trying to soak up what I could, like, you know, you’re supposed to. Not to say that I was blameless – I started off the night as the shadow priest bitch (which I’m surprised to find, I don’t mind! Rejoice!) and was asked to switch to healing on Jaraxxus after we lolflailed and wiped a time or two. I switched specs but left on my +hit gear, which really gimped me mana-wise, though I never went completely dry. /facepalm

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A long-standing tradition (maybe I’m making up long-standing, but it sounds good and it’s been a few months at least, so there!) at WoW Ladies is Screenshot Tuesday, something to fill the time when we’re all bored from maintenance. I’ve decided to carry it over to my blog, though whether or not it’ll be something I keep up with is questionable. *coughs*

Up first is my UI in action. So far it’s been great for healing because it tells me everything I need to know. No, seriously, EVERYTHING. It’s not quite as good for dps, though, so I need to work on something for my shadow spec that places my DoT timers slap in the middle where Grid is for healing.

Have I ever mentioned that I love purple?

Because standing in things is generally a good idea, ever.

Aaaand last on today’s journey, am I the only one who always has my mind in the gutter?

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Why be a disco priest?

When I decided to switch from my holy paladin to my discipline priest for good, I had no idea that Beacon of Light (you, like me, may know it better as Bacon of Nom) would show up in a new form. Sure, it’s not in my spellbook, but I know it’s there: Beacon of Dumb.

I’m not someone who PuGs constantly, because I can’t imagine why you would join a guild and not save yourself for guild runs (though that’s a whole ‘nother rant for some other time /shakes fist at guildies), but every now and then just about any WoW player can find himself sitting out on a guild run that’s too full on dps (not in BoO though!), having something come up on a regular raid night, or simply not getting any interest from your friends for a 5 man. So generally I find myself pugging maybe one heroic a day, sometimes a holiday boss, and very rarely a raid. Yet with the infrequency that I pug, I run into a wall of dumb with surprising frequency. Sometimes it’s just general dumb not related in any way to me or how I play my spec, like last night when a guy got into my group for the Headless Horseman and tried to tell us that he couldn’t pick up the daily but he definitely hadn’t used his because he’d never done the Headless Horseman on this character, and that maybe if we went first he’d be able to get it. Yeah, excuse me sir, but I’m not too stupid to go to the armory, type in your name, and see that not only did you run it first on 10/18, you’ve run it subsequently since then to have gotten your pet/helm achievement on 10/20. Nice try at being a cheating twatwaffle, though! Today it was a tailor busting out the CAPSLOCK RAGE to yell at me for also rolling on one of those green quality workman shirts that drop in Northrend instances. “DID YOU REALLY NEED THAT CEL, I MEAN SERIOUSLY!” I needed it just as much as you did because I’ve never learned it before? Let’s not get worked up over a shirt pattern neither of us will ever use, please.

I’ve been there with the Mage who tells us he’ll do dirty things to our mothers when we ask him to drop a table, the group members who want to kick our blood specced Death Knight tank because “only frost is tanks, NOOB”, the DK tank who thinks he can handle HToC in blood presence and barely more than 500 defense, aggro grabbing hunters who think it’s cool to feign death next to a healer (oh wait, that wasn’t a PuG >_>). Any sort of dumbness you can run into, I probably have, and for the most part I laugh about it because it doesn’t have any impact on me and how I play. The big fat honking exception, is People Who Do Not Understand Disc Priests. You know, the ones who link the meters after a wipe in VoA that was caused by gratuitous standing in the pretty fire and ask “y u so low, scrub” and demand that you be kicked. The ones who see you bust out a sweet penance and immediately start asking in raid chat why anyone would ever heal as discipline, don’t you know that’s a pvp spec and completely gimped and worthless for pve?

So why heal as discipline? Because currently there is nothing else like it in the game, no other healing class that works to prevent damage instead of just topping it off when it happens. Druid healing is similarly preventative in a way, because you keep your HoTs rolling so that the damage is healed as it happens, and has the advantage of being extremely mobile, but nothing else just blocks damage the way that talented Power Word: Shield and Divine Aegis can. Disc also has the amazing Penance, which slaps people with holy light and is one of the fastest of the big heals, making it an excellent OH SHIT button, when it’s not on cool down (Blizzard, I have some words for you about this). But of course, damage absorbed does not need to be healed, so disc priests are never going to be meter toppers, because we’re there for other reasons than pure throughput. If meter maids would just back off from trying to judge healers in a way that doesn’t work, they could possibly see the benefits of a spec that a lot of priests have embraced in Wrath. Thousands of bubble priests can’t be wrong!

The main reason that I heal as discipline is because it’s FUN. I enjoy throwing bubbles around, smacking people with penance, making shiny soap bubbles pop up on critical heals, and doing something different. People mention healing as a stressful job, but as disc I don’t see it that way any more. As a holy paladin, it felt like I was constantly pressing a button as fast as I could to keep people topped off. No seriously, I think the number is wearing off of the key that I had Flash of Light bound to. Some people enjoy being holy paladins and seeing the big numbers, for me it was just stressful. Some people enjoy the mobility of druid healing, the amazing versatility and AoE capabilities of being a holy priest, the buffs and AoE of shaman healing (sadly the only class that I haven’t played). Me, I love my pew pew LAZERS and the feeling that I get from popping a shield on a dps who’s getting pummeled, possibly preventing them from going down before chain heal can hit them. And you know what, I think it’s wonderful that in this expansion healing has changed to make various specs viable so that there’s something to fit the play style of just about anyone.

And okay, if I’m completely honest with myself, I love being a disc priest because it means that I can tab out and check twitter or play Bejeweled during heroics. PW:SHIELD HOOOOOO.

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