Sunday, September 11, 2011

Field Report - Time for something new

I'm in a new guild now. I was kicked out of the last one. I don't think the matter deserves more attention than that, but I know I had promised you a little more information. If you've followed this blog for some time you will know that I had quite a lot of trouble with my previous guild. Long story short, the GM finally had enough of me and kicked me during yet another huge argument that we had on the forums. He also kicked all my alts from the guild and removed me from the forums, so I didn't actually have any chance to tell people why I suddenly wasn't there anymore (fortunately I still saved the final thread so I can chuckle over the fun argument we had anyway, it's really quite hilarious in its craziness). Some actually thought I had left myself. But it doesn't really matter, the people I liked in that guild hopefully know so, and the rest... well, they hardly knew me and me them so no loss.

The sad thing about it is that I know I'm argumentative and even provocative at times, but this time around I really just had bad luck. I got into this position because the leadership punished a couple of people for not performing to standards, and when I pointed out other areas that needed improvement I was suddenly the bad guy. There was no way for me to know that this particular area, or rather this particular person, was completely off limits. And it only spiraled on from that. My boyfriend (Love) and a couple of irl friends left the guild and started a new one, which apparently the GM held me responsible for (eventhough I had discouraged Love to leave and stayed in the guild myself). Yet again, nothing I could do about it. And once I had realized that there wasn't really anything I could do, that they had obviously decided that I was evil (like they seriously believed I was some sort of spy for my boyfriends guild, that's just sad) and that I was to be pushed out of the guild somehow, I thought what the heck. What is there to lose? When I didn't leave the GM simply took the matter in his old hands, telling me in the process that it was something he had wanted to do for the last half year. Which would be well before my bf left and started the new guild. What had I done to warrant such a treatment? Questioned the wrong people. Take warning, don't ever question the GMs friends.

Some of you actually told me to get the hell out of there, and I should've long ago. Plenty of people in the guild told me they would've if they were in my shoes, and that they would've left the guild themselves if it wasn't for some thing or other. I can't be bothered about that whole thing anymore. I am out of there and first thing I get to do is join in on a server first heroic Majordomo Staghelm kill. How many server firsts did I have with the other guild? None. So that was definitely an upgrade. I find myself actually looking forward to raiding, actually being disappointed that it is not raid night, while in the other guild I was happy when I was put on standby so I could watch some more Star Trek or knit some socks. Believe it or not. In the end I just fought it because I didn't feel like they deserved my silence. And, I did get a Mimiron's Head out of the whole shabackle, so it was all still worth the trouble.My computer is also happy about the switch to 10 man, no more huge fps drops to 2 fps makes for better healing.

Something is wrong in Holy Land
Rushing on to other matters, I have been pondering the recent drop off in holy priests, something I am ashamed to say I've done myself. I removed my holy spec to get a shadow spec (more about that shortly) so for the first time since Vanilla (except for short periods while leveling) I no longer have two healing specs. I've been trying to put my thumb down on what the issue about holy really is, but I've had trouble finding the right words for it I think. But when doing Hc Majordomo, and now recently also hc Beth'tilac (although we haven't killed her when writing this) I definitely noticed what the problem was. Both those fights are perfectly designed for holy healing, they're all about handling shit loads of aoe damage. Both on Majordomo and Beth'tilac I really felt like I would've done a greater job healing as a holy priest. And yet, I stayed as discipline. Why you ask? Beacuse of the bubble. That dear people was the only reason I chose discipline over holy (and some extra point healing), and unfortunately it was an easy choice too. Because eventhough my aoe healing as holy is superior to disc, it still doesn't make up for the fact that I can mitigate all that damage. The bubble is just too much healing when used at the right time.

All this time, I never thought the lack of a proper raid cooldown was an issue in my holy spec, we could still hold our own. We still had a our niche in the group. But now, that all healers have a raid cooldown, we're just left too far behind. Mitigating damage is just too powerful, and not having that option means you're left out. It's ironic because holy isn't broken. Holy is just fine. But Blizzard fixed all the other classes too good, so holy is lacking. Just being really good isn't good enough when everyone else has an IWIN button. The question is of course, what could Blizzard do to fix it? Some have said that maybe we should get lowered cooldown on Divine Hymn, just as Tranquility has turned into a raid cooldown for druids. Unfortunately, I don't think it will be enough. Far from to be honest. It will still have holy priests at the bottom of the raid cooldown list. Tranquility is currently seen as among the worst raid cooldowns, and mostly shines when you can't use the other cooldowns due to being too spread out. Divine Hymn is currently like a weaker Tranquility, so just lowering the cooldown on it won't do it. When I use DH, I often feel like I probably could've done better healing if I had just continued spamming PoH, that's how bad I think it is. What holy need is either something like a raidwide Guardian Spirit (because no other cooldown, except Divine Hymn, currently increases healing done, so that would still be in line with the holy priest feeling), or a completely revamped Divine Hymn, or something completely else of course. What do you think would be a good idea?

Trying something new
In any case, the current problems that holy have have made me turn to shadow, because being in a 10 man guild means you'll be of better use if you can offer two roles instead of just one. Last time I was shadow was in early Cata. At that time I hadn't really tried shadow for a couple of years (iirc) so I thought it was about time to give it another shot. I loved shadow in Vanilla, that was before Vampiric Touch was introduced. But then I eventually turned to healing, and for some reason I just never got back to shadow. Whenever I tried I felt that it was so very dull. I thought that if I wanted to dps I would play mage or warlock or anything really, rather than being shadow. My attempts at being shadow in early Cata failed miserably, and mostly because I didn't enjoy it probably. This time however I thought I would really give it an honest chance, because I am hoping that I might be of extra use to the guild, so there is that extra motivation.

Unfortunately, I don't have any gear whatsoever. Fortunately, I can use a lot of the healing gear I have as a starter set, because spirit turns into hit (which I need a lot of) and I am currently haste geared, which I should be as shadow as well. I've replaced a couple of my healing specific items, such as tiers, with shadow items, and intend to continue that way with trinkets and so on. What really cracked me up was when I was reading up on the shadow priest rotation on Elitist Jerks forums. Would you believe me if I tell you it hasn't changed the slightest since I last played it? We're talking some 6 years here. Start of with Shadow word: Pain, throw VT, Devouring Plague, Mind Blast and Mind Flay until something comes off cooldown. That is almost identical to what the rotation looked like when I stopped playing shadow (with the addition of DP as a proper dot, I used to have it back then too though since I was undead). I'm sure there are some differences in the specifics, but overall we're talking about a spec that hasn't changed noticeably in the last six years. So yeah, now you know why I think it's so dull. I thought it was all about Mind Flay spamming six years ago, and hey! It still is. But still, I will learn it and master it and damn me if I won't love it too.

Oh, the fun.

I've also, for the first time since I created this char somewhere early 2006, thrown Herbalism out the window. I suppose I've always found some pride in being that crazy old herbalism lady who had what isn't an awesome raiding profession, but I've finally had to let it go. Instead I am going to get myself Enchanting, so that I can get those extra 80 intellect on my rings. It also holds more practical value because eventhough I did use my Lifeblood cooldown on occasion, I will surely enjoy being able to disenchant stuff on this character more (although I already have an enchanter). It still feels like an era coming to an end though, so I am still kind of sad that progress raiding demands me to leave a profession I liked. Or did I only like it because it's been with me since forever? I've still got my alchemy, and I'll be damned if I abandon that!

Trying something old
Speaking of tough raiding, I did Ascendant Council heroic the other day, and the difficulty of that fight really hit me. We had a free raiding night and decided to do some of the old achievements left in BoT/BWD/Throne, so some people could get some mount or whatever it was (I'm not really bothered with achievements or mounts). Halfus was faceroll obviously, he was pretty easy already when he was current, V&T turned out to be overgearable as well so I must admit I was pretty cocky when I first marched into the Ascendant Councils room. I had read that this fight would be pure horror, probably even more difficult than Sinestra and maybe even more difficult than heroic Al'Akir, but somehow I still thought that it couldn't be that difficult. And you know what, I think heroic Al'akir could be more difficult in that there are more things to think about, but one thing about AC was damn hard to get the hang of and we wiped due to it plenty of times before people realized that they probably would have to focus the most on that - I am talking about the frozen orbs.

Better late than never?

The first phase is pretty much like on normal, only perhaps more damage. In the second phase, everything is like normal except a frozen orb will spawn and randomly chase someone in the raid. If it catches up, it wipes the raid (it actually deals 200k or so damage so with cooldowns you can survive it). The problem is that the orb goes faster and faster the longer you kite it and the only way to get rid of it is to kite it through a patch of fire that spawns under someones feet. What killed us was when someone without speed boost (like me) got it and the fire spawned on the other side of the orb. Because that meant having to kite around the orb, which just never worked. Even when switching to Inner Will and using Rocket Boots (which is total cheat) I wiped the raid due to it a couple of times. Not to mention that you have to keep track of getting the regular buffs and moving with debuffs just as on normal. We quickly noticed that kiting the orb had precedence over anything else. The last phase was extremely healing intense, so I can only imagine how horrible it must've been back when the fight was current. That fight took the greater part of the evening, and we noticed afterwards that it was a server first. No one on our server had bothered killing them on heroic before!

It came, it saw, it left
Although I really enjoyed Atonement healing, and blabbered on about it quite a lot in my previous Field Report, I've now specced out of it (when writing this). It's lovely on some fights like Ryolith and occasionally on Shannox and Majordomo, but basically useless on fights like Beth'Tilac, Alysrazor and Baleroc. Since that is where we're currently progressing, I decided to try a couple of other talents, mostly some that reduce my damage taken. One thing Atonement really had me notice, or maybe perhaps re-notice, was how extremely annoying it is that your character turns when you use Penance. I don't know how many times I got the message "facing the wrong way" or whatever it is after using a Penance and wanting to start using Smite again. It also bothers me when I have to run somewhere and my character is facing the wrong way. Please Blizzard, fix this, it's very annoying.


  1. I'm glad that you've found a new guild, and I'm sure that your experience with them will be a lot better than the previous one. (Not difficult to beat though, I suspect ;) )

    I have a Priest that was my first Alliance character in late Vanilla and she's kept with me all since then. I hardly ever play her as Shadow though, instead she's a token healer. I guess it's for the same reasons that you mention, I just find that their rotation is kind of bland. Especially when compared to my Warlock which tends to keep me on my toes with all the DoTs and cd management.

    I will be interested to hear if you end up learning to love the Shadow tree anyway though :)

  2. Hiya,
    Thanks for the support :) I have included you on my blog list, so if you would like to do the same at any point it will be much appreciated. Thank you very much :)

  3. I have recently chnaged servers and for this reason guilds msyelf. I went home to the Horde side and thought it may sound silly, I am much happier as Horde than I was as allaince.

    My new guild is behind my old in terms of progression (last night was thier first Shannox kill as a guild), but it feels fresh and fun again. Its like having your old comfortable shoes re-soled, they are still your favorites, but now they once again give you a little pep.

    Anywho, I am still Holy and liking it. Of course we are NOT doing Heroic modes so spec may not even matter, which is fine by me. I was asked once about changing to Disc and I told them that if I had to due to Holy not being able to get the job done I would think about it, but I would need to fail a couple times and have it shown that it was due to my lacking that required teh change.

    Much to my happiness, the GM said he understood. Bonus points for my new GM!

    As for teh CD issue, I was wondering if the reason Holy doesnt have a diff CD persay is due to DH actually buffing everyone elses heals. Not to mention as Holy wouldnt even be mroe powerful healing wise?

    For the cost it is a very cheap spell and its a smart heal. Basically use when needed as ppl are grouped and other healer/healers use thier AoE heals to pump out healing.

    The biggest issue is the CD time, and in a 10 man run I am nto even sure you could use it twice even if backed off to say 3 or 4 minutes.

    As with shield its a item you use at a specific time to get teh most benefit. I think the thing that people cant grasp is that this CD is not really aimed specifically at making Holy heal better, but about buffifn the other healers around them at a crucial moment.

    Is it as powerful on its own as other CD's...perhaps not, but in conjuction with other healers it shines.

    I would absolutely love a raid wide GS, but it will probably never happen. You could basically ignore a mechanic if you had it, and I mean a raid wide ignore. Now thats would be snazzie though!

    DH is not bad, its just not a stand alone CD that other ppl have and hence ppl do not feel it is enough. Could it be tweaked, probably.

    I see arguements on throughput, mana efficiency, regen, and how we can do it as Holy, just not as good as other classes....what the hell does that even mean?

    If a druid on raid heals keeps the raid up then awsome. If I as a Holy Priest raid heals and keeps the raid up then awsome. How do you determine that one is better than another.

    Do you look at mana? Because I can tell you for what I have done, there are no issues.

    Throughput? I love when ppl use this one. Hell I have seen it made reference to as size of heals but in another blog as amount of healing done in a fight. These are not the same thing.

    I know we will now compare overhealing, because if you are Holy you should be way down on the meter, and I mean way down. If you are way over and its due to you spamming CoH/PoH, then you are doing it wrong.

    Tank healing....I have only worked my way through Shannox and we have started taking small bites on Beth, but I have tank healed through everything else as well as raid healed at times, and have yet to find it a job unable to be done by the Holy spec.

    I admit I am a die hard Holy priest, some would say fanatical to the point that I would defend it regardless wether I am right or wrong. The point is that for now, and yes it could change, I have not seen anything that shows a Holy priest cant get the job done.

    I am not talking heroics, as they are out of my league. Hence that part of the equation is not in my arhuement. If Heroics are the only part that is undoable by a Holy, then I bow out and withdraw my comments as they have no place in this.

    If its just easier with something besides Holy, then thats just that, the easier path. Its like a bloodlust, its not needed, but people like to have it.

    Okay, I have gone on way to much, and I apologize for such, I had teh bit in my teeth so to speak and was running with it.


  4. Heya Jinxed!

    Glad you've found a new home dear! that is all that matters right now, at least you can still raid and believe me 10 man is also fun and you can trust this 9 people that raids with you every week. I know it might be new to you of a change because from raiding 25 man you had a lot of experience and the fights is slightly different playing with more players around in every boss fights or less players but I know your a skilled raider so you can definitely managed it.

    But all I can say is Good Luck! and I am sure you also have fun with your 10 man guild now. As to changing spec, I gave up my healing generally and shadow spec now is my main since Cataclysm released, I find Shadow so powerful and really is useful in any fights. I just loving shadow spec now a days! so hope you too! =)

  5. @Saga & Amerence
    It turns out I enjoy shadow a lot more than I thought I would. Perhaps the fact that I don't think I suck as much at it now that I did in early Cata plays a part. I did get to try some in a raid for the first time ever, and I was last on dps, but still quite proud of myself ^^ So far so good!

    Oh thanks! I've been checking out your blog and I must say I really enjoy your writing so far!

    I think holy has a spot in normals, and I am very happy that you stick with it and don't automatically go with what everyone else find is best. For heroics I think a good holy could still do a big difference, but the cooldowns just make the fight so much easier that most people can't be bothered not to bring them - sadly enough. But you hang in there!