How to Wipe Effectively (Fumes)

26 07 2009

Ever wonder why there aren’t that many toilets in the WoW universe? It is because not everyone knows how to wipe. *crickets*

May I have some toilet paper?

May I have some toilet paper?

So… yeah, let’s talk about wiping. A wipe is a term that is generally feared by people. It typically means a failure and isn’t always fun. We’re not gonna get into the analysis of a wipe. I’m just going to tell you how to wipe, just like your parents should’ve taught you a long time ago. Main Tank is dead, Healers are dead, no battle ressurection is availabe. Wrap things up as quickly as possible to get back in action as soon as possible. If you try to drag it out, you will more than likely irritate someone. It is just good manners.

Taunt the Boss: If you’re a class with a high threat ability or a taunt, and a wipe has been called, taunt the boss. Then, for added fun, go stand next to the Hunter that decided to Feign Death. He can’t res effectively, why should s/he escape death? Another method to “Taunt the Boss” is to just stand at the feet of the boss and wait for him to pick everyone off one by one.

Environment/Boss Mechanics: If you’re in an encounter like Thaddius, and a wipe has been called, just run into the opposite group. Even if you manage to get to the other side of the room, he will tend to hurl a giant ball of lightning at you, killing you. I recall a Hunter trying to FD in this room and locked everyone in combat, unable to zone in, for a decent amount of time, aggravating everyone in the group. Another example would be Ignis, Razorscale, or any encounter that has something you shouldn’t be standing in. Go stand in it.

Note: Yes, there are some encounters where you can get out unscathed (Freya will reset if you run to the door). Huzzah, you don’t have to pay a few paltry gold. The longer your antics drag any encounter out, the longer it’ll take to recover (people can’t zone in while an encounter is in progress), the less time you’ll have to work on the encounter, and the higher the chance you will get on people’s nerves. A lot of what I write is based on my experience with raids, both Guild and PuGs.

If a wipe has been called, one of a few things can happen:

  • Tanks shall switch out of stances/forms/presences and just kinda stand around.
  • Healers shall stop healing and just kinda stand around.*
  • DPS will run around with their heads cut off because when Omen (or any threat monitor) signals an aggro warning, DPS always run away from the tanks. It is just something that tends to be true.

*If you are a Shaman with Reincarnation off of CD, or a person with the ability to res others and have a Soulstone active on you, get as far away from the original point of the Boss to ensure you won’t pop back up in range of him to aggro onto you and waste your ability.

As players, we don’t raid to have a miserable time and waste our money. We do it to have fun. By dragging out recovery time and pulling at people’s nerves, you are making things less fun and wasting time. As one of my guilds used to say, “Less suck, more awesome.” Have fun and know when to roll over and die. Dailies are there to aide in repair bills, we all have to pay them at some point.

Tunnel Vision and You (Fiery Crash)

18 07 2009

I never thought it could happen to me. It was just supposed to be a normal boss kill. DPS DPSing, Healers healing, and the tanks tanking. Why did it have to go wrong? A pre-emptive /cheer. Time slows down… and an icicle/rocket/stalactite falls on your head. It wasn’t supposed to be like this! That is when I knew… that I had contracted Tunnel Vision, a deadly affliction that claims the lives of thousands of raiders in a lockout. Today we shall take an in depth (to the best of my abilities and attention span) look into the epidemic.

Tunnel... get it? (click for full clarity)

Tunnel... get it? (click for full clarity)

I’ve found myself wondering how certain people die, chuckling at the circumstances, and getting a bit ruffled when we wipe due to a completely dumb mistake due to someone being too focused. Examples, please come into the room. I’ve harvest… I mean, collected specimens that have been afflicted by Tunnelitis Visiondepravious. They’ve all lent their time so please show them a bit of respect. Their names shall be masked to alleviate any sort of identifying and ridiculing of them. It isn’t their fault… well, it might partly be that. But, that is for later.

Example A: Threatius Nullioculus – This person happens to fill the DPS role and they do it relatively well, usually exceptionally well. However, they tend to die due to pulling attention off of the tank, attacking the wrong mob in the kill order, or not using aggro-shaking abilities. This person’s TV strain tends to feed from their need to be top DPS or their lack of measuring aggro. Many will accept that they have TV and never correct it, blaming their death on the Healers not healing a 40k melee hit, blaming their death on the tanks not generating enough threat. Where ever the fault may land, it is best to not argue the point. You have an debilitating disease, but there is hope. Example A, please stop crying, because I’m going to give you a few tips later on, but for now, please do the following:

  • Make sure to keep aggro-reduction abilities (Cower, Wind Shock, Feint, Feign Death, etc) on your action bars or an easily reachable keybind.
  • Assist off of the tank using a macro or an addon such as oRa2 (or anything that has a tank window) to ensure you are attacking the proper mob.
  • In AoE pack situations, allow the tank to gen a bit of aggro before going ape on the mobs.

If you follow these steps, Example A, you shall live a long and prosperous raid life and only have to worry about repair bills when you wipe. Well, you can have a seat. We’re gonna take a look at Example B, so if you could step forward.

Example B: Firus Standinum – This example can be any sort of role, no one is left out. This strain of TV is a bit more vicious, as it generally stems from weariness or a general cavalier attitude. Many bosses have the ability to cause nightmares for anyone standing where they shouldn’t. Kel’thuzad has his Shadow Fissure, Hodir has his Flash Freeze and Icicles, Mimiron has his Rocket Strike. Each of these abilities is avoidable, but if one has succumbed to TV, there is little hope. The healer that is watching their healing frame to not notice the swirling animation of death around their toon. The tank focused on positioning of the boss, watching CDs, and watching those creeping on his/her threat. The DPS making sure they are putting forth their best effort, watching Threat (if they aren’t a Threatius Nullioculus), etc. Example B, how is your periphery? Do you have a clear vision of what is going on? I ask because I’ve seen some UIs that block and obstruct view, or draw the eye far away from where it should be. Here are some tips:

  • I’ve found it helpful to place my unit frame, healing frame, and target frame near the bottom of my screen (generally around my feet). This centralizes my focal point, allowing me to be able to quickly scan my eyes around for environmental changes.
  • Also, I have removed my party frame (due to having raid frames open) to clear up the left side of my screen, giving more room for things to display on my screen (allowing me to warn others).
  • Any sort of chart that isn’t necessary, generally will be a DPS meter, has been toggled off. Does not need to be looked at until after the fight, if at all. Same thing for quest tracking. If you’re raiding, you aren’t questing.

I understand that you can become tired and frustrated while working on a new boss. As time progresses in a raid, TV becomes more and more lethal, so it is best to stave it off as much as possible. Example B, you may sit down.

Now has come the time to bring the hammer down on TV once and for all! If you are able to recognize that you are currently carrying the virus, please note the following:

  • It is just a game. We all get into it and it is awesome to succeed. The more you die, however, the less of a change for success that the overall raid has. If you continually find yourself under the effects of Firus Standinum, you may even be optioned out for someone who has more situational awareness. It isn’t that you are bad at your role, but your lack of vision clarity is stymieing the raid group’s progress.
  • Make sure to take a break every once in a while. If you continually are going for long periods of time doing the same thing, mistakes will start to occur more frequently as you get tired and weary of the same things over and over again.
  • Make sure to have eaten or drank some form of liquid. Fatigue will definitely exacerbate the effects of TV.

Remember, we are all susceptible to this virus, but we can’t let it bog us down. We will prevail! We shall rise! We will put an end to Tunnelitis Visiondepravious one day, don’t fret. Just work together and have fun.

Hairline Fracture (Trial of the Champion, PTR 3.2 pt.3)

11 07 2009

The new 5-man dungeon is playable on the PTR. When I say playable, I mean it isn’t playable.  I wrote my feedback in to Blizzard, which I am sure they are literally inundated with currently. Was looking over my Twitter and saw one from @WoWInsider looking for people on Broxigar (I do believe one of the actually players was Michael Sacco). I hopped on quick and decided to lend my healing talents. Sadly, there really wasn’t that much to do for me in the way of healing, ah well.

Oh default Blizzard UI... how long has it been?

Oh default Blizzard UI... how long has it been?

My experience: So we zone in there and we are the arena that you can see from the outside, slightly larger to accommodate the span of battle. Minimap is busted. Equip my lance, mount up. Yes, it is a vehicle fight based around everyone’s favourite: Jousting. Talk to the due in the center and sit back, because you’ll be there for a good minute or two. Each toon is introduced and their respective faction cheers, then the 3 other champions come in and are introduced.

  • Bug #1: One of the champions was targettable and attackable. Killing him would probably bug the instance, or even attacking him can bug the encounter. We tried a few times with him at 10% and at 100%, but both outcomes were the same.

So after everyone is introduced, Tirion will commence the fight. Making sure to keep Defend up as much as possible did little to help, because the opponents hit like semi-trucks. You are able to swap out to another horse.

  • Bug #2: If you die on a horse, you will critically error, DC, or bug the encounter and make everything despawn. If you swap horses at the most inopportune time (being targeted, just being in the zone), you will cause the mobs to despawn.

Once you’ve down the 3 minor adds of the particular faction for each of the factions, the actual boss champions will engage. Once you knock down their HP enough, you have to trample them to stop them from getting to their horses.

  • Bug #3: If you don’t trample down the enemy and they reach a horse, the encounter will bug, enemies will despawn, encounter will reset.

Thanks to all of these bugs, I didn’t get to see past this first encounter. I’ll try again when they’ve retooled it. I’ve no idea how people actually got to see loot from the Black Knight. That was such a horrible experience… now I understand how frustrating the PTR can be. /sigh

Dismantle Me (Tidal Waves in 3.2, PTR pt.2)

7 07 2009

Since Khadgar happens to be down for Super Mega Death Maint today, I decided to hop onto the PTR and screw around with one of my questionable Shaman changes in 3.2, which happens to be the change to Tidal Waves. In good ole live servers, Tidal Waves procs from Chain Heal and Riptide with 2 charges, expended upon cast of Lesser Healing Wave or Healing Wave. Currently it carries a 30% haste to both spells, which makes it awesome for very quick heals (lowers the cast of LHW to around 0.8-0.9 for me). In 3.2 it is only going to haste HW and instead of haste for LHW, it will give a 25% crit boost (proccing Improved Water Shield, Ancestral Awakening, Ancestral Healing).

I’ve noticed that on live servers when casting Riptide and then two quick LHW I sometimes clip the GCD and am left with a “Spell is not ready” error message. Rather annoying.  So with an extremely simple healing setup on the PTR (Grid, Clique, default SCT) I decided to take it for a spin.

On my premade, I’ve got this stat setup (full T8.5, Guiding Star, Pulsing Spellshield, various 226 equipment, Eye of the Broodmother, Pandora’s Plea):



They gave me shit for enchants (resilience enchants on PvE gear? Srsly?) and my meta is garbage. So, here we go. With the current amount of haste on this toon my HW is a 2.08sec cast (with Wrath of Air Totem up), LHW is 1.25sec cast. Tidal Waves proc pushes HW to a 1.46sec cast for around 10k (16k crit) [with Healing Way] and 1044 mana and LHW still at a 1.25sec cast for around 4700 (6700 crit) for 626 mana with a 55.53% chance to crit.

Logged in to my live toon on the PTR to test it out with proper meta and enchants:

Live Epoch.

Live Epoch.

With the Meta gem proc, the mana stealer that is HW seems to diminish quickly. With less haste, HW cast is 2.14sec cast and LHW is 1.28sec cast. Lost around 4% crit, but gained around 120MP5. HW is hitting for around 8.5k and critting for around 13-14k (missing the Healing Way talent on this build). With LHW glyph, LHW is hitting for around 5.5k and critting for around 8.5k. I relaly need to get something like Sif’s Rememberence or Soul of the Dead for one of my trinkets… I’d like to be able to throw mana around willy nilly.

So if HW crits on the 30% chance it will have a total mana cost of around 600 (500 with Totem of Misery, the totem I DEd a while back) 100% of the time, making it heal for around 2-3 times more stronger than LHW for the same cost, but is only that way 1/3 of the times cast. Whereas LHW hits for 2-3 times less than HW but crits 55% of the time with a 60% chance to proc IWS on crit, which lowers its mana cost to around 200. Mind you, I have no glyphs so LHW would be healing for around 20% on ES’d targets.

With this change and the change to Healing Way (giving a flat 25% increase to HW), I see is highly viable to use HW on Tidal Waves procs for MT healing, switching off with LHW during Tidal Waves procs for patching the raid or a bit better mana viability. I’ll have to see how it works out during a raid/instance situation. 2 charges isn’t a lot and I find myself casting LHW without Tidal Wave procs (especially on a 6sec CD with 0.8sec cast LHW). If I need to get a tank up quick, I can see HW being used a bit more often, but it won’t surpass LHW in the spotlight of Shaman healing. It is quick on its own, has a kickass glyph attached to it, and with new Tidal Waves will proc a bunch of awesome stuff.

Currently, LHW is a Shaman’s main heal and even with Tidal Waves as it is, I don’t find it used with HW, but the removal of the haste to LHW is going to be interesting, even if it is replaced with awesome crit. I enjoy the quickness of the heal, but it clips my GCD some of the time. Probably going to have to change my click-cast setup for healing to put HW in a more accessible place. I need to get to know more people on the PTR and actually run stuff. I need moar! Kinda feel like Blizzard is giving us a bit more toolage and pushing us a bit more towards Tank healing. Might as well give us Plate already. 😛

PS: If you are on Broxigar, let me know. I want to get into some stuff.

older crowd (Time to Ask for Help)

7 07 2009

So, you’re a Resto Shaman, but things just don’t seem to be going right for you. I guess this applies to any class, really. Unless you are me, the most mediocre and delusional Shaman in the world, and aren’t doing well, you are going to need to ask for a little help. I’ve had quite a few Shamans come to me and ask for help on how to heal better, how to DPS better, how to be an awesome Bird person, how to blah blah, etc. Every once in a while you will come across the person that wants to be a dick.

Nag: Howdy, may I have a minute of your time?

Person: Fuck off, scrub.

Nag: I love that show! JD is so hawt.

Person: Fag.

Nag: I don’t understand how a sexual orientation plays into this… but okay.

Person: *fap fap* I am so cool for being awesome on the intrawebs.

A lot of people have this kind of mentality, “If I help this person, they may become as good as me, so then I won’t be as good or notable on a video game which is srs bzns.” Hopefully you can find a good enough person. Growing up with my Shaman, I haven’t really had a mentor figure to ask for help. Anything I have learned for my toon has been from trial and error. And even from inspecting gear of various Shamans on Khadgar, I can’t really understand where some of them are going. Then again, you can’t use gear as an indication of a skilled player. I’ve outshined better geared players many times and I can rarely understand why, outside of the fact that skill and timing play a key factor in it.

If you find yourself doing poorly next to another someone of your own class, ask for their help. A lot of the time you’ll get a nice person who will tell you how to do something properly. If you are stubborn, learn to not be. Your performance directly impacts those around you and if you are unwilling to change, some RLs may be willing to pass on your inclusion. If you still aren’t getting it, continue to work at it. If it still isn’t working out, try a different spec. Then reroll, then quit WoW. Then leave the planet. Learn that your stupid Martian wife/husband can’t take out the garbage and kick her butt to the florgnagkh.

Though, I can also point to the fact that I never did anything past Kara back in BC. I actually only ran Kara 2 times while 70. I’ve done Hyjal and ZA at 80 and they both seemed like fun raids at the time, but were probably a bit more stressful back in the day. Ah well. I’ll never see any of those old raids outside of YouTube videos and to be honest, I don’t really care. Maybe I’ll do a post on my thoughts of the current status of WoW.

Sleep Now in the Fire (Elemental Shaman, eh?)

3 07 2009

So, healing just isn’t cutting it for you? No. You purchased Dual Specs because you love healing so much, but want to DPS every once in a while. Melee is dumb, so go ranged. Seriously. Let’s take a trip down the lane of learning and figure out this spec that was once absolutely stupid and never specced in to. Also, we can celebrate the Midsummer Festival since, thanks to WotLK, Shamans got an awesome Fire spell.

Oh noes! Someone put me out!

Oh noes! Someone put me out!

Gyration… I mean, Rotation

As a DPS class, you are gonna have to use a rotation of sorts to have consistent DPS. Unless you are a faceroller.  The Elemental rotation is more priority based. It is “How many spells can I fit between Lava Burst CDs?” Lava Burst is a nifty spell, as it requires a Flame Shock DoT to be up on the Target at all times for maximum effectiveness. I use the addon Power Auras to track it, but I am sure there are many others that do a fine job. Flame Shock gives Lava Burst a 100% crit chance, but consumes the Flame Shock. So, the first thing you are going to need for this spec to work is the Glyph of Flame Shock. It’ll extend the duration by 6 seconds and make it so Lava Burst doesn’t consume the Flame Shock, allowing for 2 Lava Bursts per Flame Shock application.

Lava Burst = LvB, Flame Shock = FS, Chain Lightning = CL, Lightning Bolt = LB

Standard Rotation is: FS, LvB, CL, LB until LvB comes off of CD right as you finish casting LB, then LvB, CL, LB until 1 GCD before LvB comes off of CD, FS, rinse and repeat.

Now, it is really dependant on Haste. The butter zone for Haste is around 500-550 and at that point, you can easily fit 5 LBs into 1 span, which stops you from using CL (unless there are adds around the boss), and helps with mana consumption. Also, it helps to get the Minor Glyph of Thunderstorm for the mana regen in a PvE setting and work that in every once in a while. It is all about keeping the Flame Shock DoT up and you should be golden.

Statisticians wet dream… well, not really.

Hit Rating: If you’re a smart Shaman, you rolled Horde. If that is the case, check around to see if you have a Boomkin or Shadow Priest. If not, you are gonna need lots of Hit Rating, 368 to be specific. If you do have either of the two aforementioned classes, you will only need 289 if they keep their debuffs up. If you’re a Space Goat, you’re gonna need 342 to hard cap, 263 to soft cap. Anything more than that, you are hurting yourself. Extra Hit Rating won’t aide you and you are missing out on stats that you could stack instead… such as…

Spellpower: Spellpower is where your spells get power from… yeah, I’m a numbnut. Lightning Bolt scales the best with SP and it is the most cast spell in your little spellbook. Lava Burst does well from spellpower, but it is an odd spell. One cast for me can hit for 7k and the next can hit for 11k with no buffs changing on myself or the boss.

Haste Rating: Haste Rating is something that will general come from gear and you may need to hybrid gem it to get it to the butter zone (500-550, depending on latency). Anything under you are going to have to put in Chain Lightning to seal the spell rotation. Anything over you are gonna end up with the same as being under, that being a sloppy rotation.

Crit Rating: This is gonna come from Intellect on gear, as well as crit strike rating from gear. I wouldn’t implicitly stack it through gems. It helps with mana consumption, as having a good Clearcasting uptime will keep you from going OOM quickly.

Specialization, or as the cool kids call it, “Talent Build.”

This is what I roll with: Elemental DPS. To aide the healers, it might be a bit more beneficial to drop 3 points off of Convection and place them into Elemental Warding. If you are having mana issues and they haven’t been resolved from cooling it on the CL throws, it might be more useful to keep those points in Convection, thought it shouldn’t be an issue.

Glyphs, or how I learned to get Glyphs (I got nothing)

Major Glyphs:

  • Glyph of Flame Shock: Mandatory. Saves you a GCD and is made of win.
  • Glyph of Totem of Wrath: Gives you a nice 5 minute buff for a decent amount of SP. Some people swap out this one for Glyph of Lava and I believe you need around 4k SP for Lava to be the better Glyph.
  • Glyph of Lightning Bolt: Lightning Bolt is the best scaling spell of the Elemental Spec. This glyph used to be better, but it is still decent.

Minor Glyphs:

  • Glyph of Renewed Life: Die in a fight? Don’t make the Druid Battle Res you, res yourself… with no reagents.
  • Glyph of Thunderstorm: Increases the mana gain to 10% and removes the knockback. Bad for PvP, but your tanks will love you in PvE.
  • Whatever you want.

And that is it. Maybe. Might add more.

The Machine Girl (My Raid UI)

2 07 2009

Just an updated UI picture with full raid and all that goodness.

Howdy, Freya.

Howdy, Freya. (Click for full clarity)