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Archive for December, 2008

The Third Glyph

It goes without saying that Discipline priests will use one of their
major glyph spots for the Power Word: Shield glyph as the spell is a
cornerstone of our build.  And as Flash Heal triggers Grace,
Inspiration, Rapture and Renewed Hope, it's a safe bet for major glyph
spot number 2
.

Based on the recommendations at Violaceous Mana, I took the Prayer of
Healing glyph
as my third one.  However, having read some discussions
over at Matticus's blog
and on the PlusHeal.com forum, I wondered if
I'd chosen incorrectly.  Some Disc Priests were recommending the Holy
Nova glyph
instead, and so with a few hours left before I can escape
work, I thought I'd do some math to see if I should re-glyph.

(Warning:  I suck at math.  Hard.  Core.  Which makes theorycrafting probably pretty darn futile on my part.)


Holynova
HOLY NOVA
Heals:  At level 80, Holy Nova heals group members within 10 yards for
713-827.  Holy Nova benefits from 30.35% of your spellpower, so with
1700 spellpower (Khæli's current level) and with the Twin Disciplines talent, it'll heal each nearby party member for roughly 1260-1410. 
Mana Cost:  Holy Nova costs 25% of base mana, which translates into 965 at level 80.  With Mental Agility, this is reduced to around 870 mana.
+/-:  It's instant cast, and therefore benefits from Twin Disciplines
and Mental Agility.  It deals damage (398-462 base damage to all
enemies within ten yards).  It does not trigger Inspiration.  The ten
yard radius requires party members to be near me to benefit.  
Glyphed:  Healing is increased by 40%, while damage is decreased by
40%.  This increases the heal to around 1047-1215 per group — around
1562-1730 at 1700 spellpower.


Poh

PRAYER OF HEALING
Heals:  At level 80, Prayer of Healing heals group members within 30
yards for 2091-2209.  This spell benefits from 80.68% of spellpower, so
with 1700 spellpower, it'll heal party members for roughly 3462-3580.
Mana Cost:  Prayer of Healing costs a hefty 48% of base mana, which at level 80 is 1854.
+/-:  3 second cast time.  This spell does trigger Inspiration.  The
thirty yard radius allows for more distance between healer and tank
(and encounter).
Glyphed:  Heals an additional 20% of original heal over six seconds. 
At 1700 spellpower, this would add a HoT of 692-716 to the heal.


Total Amount Healed:
Glyphed Holy Nova:  1562-1730
Glyphed Prayer of Healing: 4154-4296

Heal Per Second (Total Heal Divided by Cast Time — or by 1.5 in the case of Holy Nova):
Glyphed Holy Nova:  1041-1153
Glyphed Prayer of Healing: 1384-1432

Heal Per Mana:
Glyphed Holy Nova: 1.82-1.98
Glyphed Prayer of Healing:  2.24-2.31

For group healing then, Glyphed Prayer of Healing wins on all accounts,
even (and somewhat surprisingly I guess since I've always considered it
to be such a mana-heavy spell) in terms of HPM.  That it heals for
more, for less mana per heal, at a larger radius confirms Violaceous
Mana's assessment
that PoH is the way to go for the third Disc glyph. 
(It's not like I really doubted her in the first place, just for the
record.)

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My current list of WotLK pet peeves:

♥ 1K DPS hybrids that decide mid-encounter to heal when the group desperately desperately needs to kill faster, not heal more.

♥ When skull dies last.

♥ Feral druids who stay in bear form or DKs who stay in Frost Presence when they aren't tanking. 

♥ Paladins, shamans, and druids who "need" cloth gear.

♥ Yellow recipes that don't give skill-ups.

♥ Ret Paladins. 

♥ Lag.

♥ Gnomes or Draenei with the Deathcharger.

♥ People in their upper 70s that haven't replaced their Kara gear because purple > all.

♥ All the fights in instances that seem to occur on stairs.  Sometimes you can get LoS; other times you can't.

♥ Inner Fire.

♥ A week-long cooldown on Northrend Alchemy Research.

♥ Sons of Hodir faction grind.

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Grumpy1The long holiday weekend involved, as to be expected, a lot of heroic
instances.  Sadly, despite what seemed like a solid start to Kaleyen
and Khæli's adventures at level 80, as the two of us got better geared,
the dungeon-runs seemed to get worse.  It was so bad on Friday evening
(every heroic involved wiping on every boss) that we spent quite a bit
of time on Saturday playing the druid and hunter instead of our mains. 
The thought of tanking and healing heroics made us shudder.

We
are still the only level 80 tank and healer in our guild, and so we
shoulder the responsibility of running everyone else through zones. 
And as the tank and healer, we also shoulder — rightly or not — the
responsibility for the success or failure of a group.  As such, the
requirements for the tank are obvious:  reaching defense cap is
priority numero uno, followed by (and surely he'll correct me on the
order of importance here) attaining suitable stats for expertise,
stamina, dodge, and parry.  For the healer, there is less of a clearcut
requirement as there is with the defense cap, but nonetheless, I need
to have enough juice to keep everyone alive, and that comes with a
combination of spellpower, mana/mana regen, intellect, crit, and haste.

So defense cap, check.  ~1700 spellpower, over 17000 mana, and ~400 mp5, check.

And yet, the heroics were horrid.

Kaleyen figured it was him.  I figured it was me.  "It's not you; it's me."  "No, it's me.  Really."

I
found myself out of mana on almost every fight.  We died on trash.  We
gave up on the last boss in Azjol Nerub.  We gave up on the last boss
in Ahn'kahet.

We were miserable.

Grumpy2What were we doing wrong?  Was it gear?  Was it my spell "rotation"?  Was it an abherrant strategy for the encounters? 

Or was it something else? 

(We know the answer.  We just don't know how to fix it.)

● ● ●

K- admonished me last night for
being too critical of guild members.  "Just let it go," he said when I
tried to explain in guildchat why a certain glyph was a bad choice. 
And yeah, I do feel lately like I am being the resident bitch.  So let
me list some happy accomplishments in lieu of more griping:

  • Khæli
    hit 441 tailoring and 435 enchanting.  Although there are still five
    skill-ups needed in the latter in order to learn all the recipes
    available in Dalaran, I've learned the big things I needed:  my
    spellweave robe and the titanweave enchant for Kaleyen's cloak and the
    armsman one for his gloves. 
  • I bought a 22" monitor yesterday,
    which means I actually have space on my screen for all my UI goodies. 
    (A post on that will come once I get some good screenshots)
  • When I make my Ebonweave gloves and robes, I'll be at hit cap.
  • I'm 10K away from exalted with the Wyrmrest Accord and the Reins of the
    Red Drake
    .  Of course, I'm a long way off from having the gold required
    for the riding skill… but whatever.
  • Best of all, I'm really getting a hang of the Discipline spec, and
    despite my initial misgivings about healing in WotLK, I am enjoying
    myself immensely.  And I can laugh at the impending nerf of Circle of
    Healing and Wild Growth.  Or wait, is that being a bitch?

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Gearing Up Shadow

Even though I'm currently specced to heal, it's not altogether clear if I'll be Discipline or Shadow once the guild starts raiding.  My focus right now is on healing gear, but I'm also accumulating gear with +hit so I can be ready to return to the smoking purple form if need be.

Here is my list of (pre-Naxx) shadow priest (hit) gear:
Head:  Hood of Hexing (I have this right now, but I could always regem for +hit)
Neck:  Necklace of Taldaram
Chest:  Ebonweave Robe
Hands:  Ebonweave Gloves
Waist:  Plush Sash of Guzbah
Pants:  Trousers of the Arakkoa (these don't have +hit, but have a gem slot)
Feet:  Cleric's Linen Shoes (likewise, no +hit, but gemmable)
Finger:  The Prospector's Prize
Trinket:  Mark of the War Prisoner
Off-hand:  Ward of the Violet Citadel
Wand:  Wand of the San'layn

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I have several ideas for what to blog about today, but all of them are
rather dour.  You see, yesterday was one of those days that makes you
wonder why the hell you play MMOs.  You know those days:  when the MM
stands for Massively Moronic or Millions of Mouthbreathers or
Multiplayer Monstrosity.  The day involved a heroic where the DPS could
barely break 1K and a pickup raid with 3 tanks and 3 healers and again,
piss-poor DPS (and of course, in both instances, the healer was the
reason for the failure, amirite?).  With such frustration over low DPS
and with the firm belief that, really, the role of pewpewpew is pretty
damn easy, K- and I switched over to Khree and Kinolas and ran Utgarde
Keep and the Nexus on our alts.  Sadly, Kino's DPS on his level 70
hunter was comparable to some of the 80s we've been grouped with as of
late.  (Nerf hunters!  O, wait.)

Now granted, I know I have a
long way to go to gear Khæli like I'd like.  And I know that I have a
lot to learn about playing a Discipline Priest — for both 5- and
10-man instances.  But damn, Kaleyen and Khæli have been 80 for less
than a week, and we're playing alongside folks who've been level-capped
for a month now.  It's incredibly frustrating.

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K- and I were on our way to do our Sons of Hodir dailies when we saw someone advertising for an OT and a healer for an Obsidian Sanctum pickup raid.  "What the hell," we said and asked for an invite.  Of course, I think there was the automatic assumption that a priest that joins to heal joins as a holy priest, and admittedly, I was pretty nervous when assigned to raid healing.  But I think I did ok, and Kaleyen did phenomenally well tanking a zone he'd never seen before.

I won the gloves which was a very nice surprise.  I was really unsure which set to take — the Heroes' Handwraps of Faith or the Heroes' Gloves of Faith.  Although the former has a set bonus that makes it more of a shadowpriest item, it also has more crit… and hot damn, I love crit. 

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Healers know: it’s always their fault when a group wipes.  The warlock didn’t get out of the fire?  You should’ve healed through it.  The rogue pulls aggro and takes a face full o’cleave?  “ZOMG, heals!!!1111”  Warrior takes a 35K crit?  Healer sucks.

I felt the frowns and condemnation last night when we ran Heroic Azjol Nerub.  We breezed through the zone — Kaleyen, Khæli, our guild enhancement shaman, an elemental shaman, and an SV hunter — til we got to the end.  We were leary off the bat when K- inspected the hunter and saw that despite being specced survival, he didn’t have Hunting Party.  But it was midnight on Christmas Eve, so we decided to press on.

Of course, mana typically isn’t much of an issue for me, despite my gear.  And although I thought it was a bit silly to take the replendishment spec and not, ya know, take the talent that grants it to the group, I thought we’d be ok.  But for the final boss in the zone, I sure could have used it.

Part of the problem was the amount of damage the group was taking.  My strength as Disc isn’t in AOE healing, and although I can keep a whole group alive, it’s jolly hard when the DPS is taking exhorbitant amount of damage by not moving away from the spikes and by not focus-firing down adds.

Although, honestly, the adds shouldn’t have been that hard, they were because the DPS was wretched.  I was out of mana after the second submersion simply because it took so long for them to kill things.

When the hunter, our non-replendishment-providing hunter, asked “What’s your MP5,” I started to get a little irritated. “I’ll offheal,” said the elemental shaman.  And I appreciate the gesture.  Wait, no I don’t.  “I don’t need help with healing,” I retorted.  “I need you guys to kill quicker.”  (Folks, not including myself, were averaging 1200 dps through the rest of the zone, but were paralyzed in the end fight with a “get it off me! get it off me!” attitude, and their damage output plummeted.).

We did kill him on the fourth try (sigh) and the wand I wanted dropped (yay).  But I was so irritated that the DPS was blaming me for our struggles that it seemed like a very bittersweet victory.

For what it’s worth, here are some things I tried to do to compensate for the lack of AOE heals:

  • Mana Infusion + Prayer of Healing:  Prayer of Healing takes too much mana to cast a lot during a fight, so using Mana Infusion with it allows for a “free” cast and hopefully some Divine Aegises.
  • Holy Nova:  It doesn’t heal for a lot, but again, hopefully it’ll crit and proc some bubbles on my group mates.
  • Divine Hymn:  I actually did use this last night, although I was a bit nervous about using a spell that gave the mobs an exemption from the already pitiful DPS. 
  • Prayer of Mending on the aggro-pulling DPS:  I have noticed that PoM often doesn’t proc on Kaleyen as he’s usually shielded (power word or bone) or bubbled.  I’ll cast it on our enhancement shaman for a much better chance for a “bounce.”

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