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Archive for January, 2009

We didn't feel like raiding last night, and so we spent the evening running heroics for badges and wintergrasp shards.  Knowing that I've been both stressed and undervalued as a Disc priest lately, K- suggested I respec Shadow for the evening.  My DPS was pretty lousy (in order to reach the hit cap, I'm wearing a real mish-mash of gear, including a helm from ZA), but I had so much fun.

And my new warlock (twink-to-be) alt now has shoulders and a trinket.

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  • I won the Robes of Mutation last night, a nice upgrade from the
    Spellweave Robe.  Unbuffed I'm at 25% crit, so now it's time to start
    looking for some more haste.  I'm hoping for some new pants as the one
    Khaeli wears now are abysmal. 
  • I had a really great conversation with our guild leader last night
    about being Discipline.  He agreed that there are still folks who don't
    understand how Discipline works but assured me I shouldn't worry. 
  • I wasn't last on the healing meters last night.  Hooray for gear
    upgrades.  Boo for slacker healers that get beaten by a Disc Priest.
  • I am still working on overcoming my reluctance to use Pain Suppression
    on the tanks.  I did cast it more last night — during Loatheb and
    during the insect swarm on Anub'Rekhan.
  • Continued lag, latency, and disconnect issues are frustrating.  Nonethless, I
    actually lived through the Heigan fight last night despite wretched FPS.
  • Kaleyen respecced back to DW with the fix to Howling Blast.  Seeing his name on the top of the DPS charts makes me proud.

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/Monday

It's a Monday, and I come home from work on Mondays both grouchy and exhausted. It's a good thing we don't raid on Mondays. After all, K- has House to watch. But after House, we logged into our mains to run a few instances and get some Stonekeeper Shards (I want heirloom shoulders for my new warlock alt) and instead got invited to a semi-PUG/semi-guild 25-man OS. No biggie. Quick raid. Badges. Meh. But then, I get assigned to raid heals. WTF. Raid heals. WTfuckingF. I send a whisper to the raid leader, reminding him of my spec. No response. "Respec shadow," whispers K-. And I'm strongly considering it. Because despite my enjoyment of playing Discipline, I really don't know if there's much point fighting the "Hey, Disc is a valid PVE spec" battle if the raid leader assigns the druids to MT heals and me to raid heals. WTfuckingF indeed.

K- rightly pointed out that we're elitist, and indeed, we do take our gameplay seriously. We notice things like the shaman buffing his own weapons with windfury when no other melee gets a totem. We notice when someone spams volley or CoH.

But it's Monday and we're grouchy. So we bite our tongues and hope we're in better moods for Tuesday's raid.

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So I'm playing my little level 45 shaman this morning, thinking "Damn, elemental really isn't a good leveling spec, is it?"  Mana is horrid; damage is pitiful.  Then I look at my talents:  zero spent.  And I remember that shamans had their talent points refunded in 3.0.8.  Doh.

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Last night was my first time in-game for a week, having been /afk for a trip that I'm loathe to call a "vacation."

The guild ran Heroic Naxx, and I was pleased to finally get my T7 shoulders.  The best bit of the night was a whisper from the raid leader, assuring me that while I was the first Discipline priest he's raided with, that he was learning about the spec, that he would give me appropriate healing assignment, and that he knew to "ignore the meters."  The latter was particularly encouraging since I heard him tell one of the tanks in vent to "take the effective number and double it."  I know there are rumblings about "my numbers" and I'm glad that the raid leader and several of the officers want me there as Disc.

Although the bugged mind flay with 7.4k crits is awfully appealing.

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While many healers agree that healing meters are a poor judge of a healer’s performance, there needs to be some way to assess whether or not a healer is doing his or her job well, and like it or not, meters are probably the tool that’s used to do so.  As a new recruit to a raiding guild, I’m very aware of how my performance as a healer is being judged.

Last night’s fresh 25-man Naxx made me feel like that judgment wouldn’t be too favorable.  People were dying right and left.  We wiped a lot  The OT died on trash.  And while I’m loathe to utter the “blame the healers” mantra, it really did feel like last night’s healing was weak.  And if one looks at the meters, right or wrong, I was the weakest:  seventh out of
seven in terms of overall healing done.

Heal1

Of course, a Discipline healer will typically be low on the healing meters as these tools are not designed to calculate our talent-tree-defining abilities:  Grace, Power Word: Shield, and Divine Aegis.  During last night’s raid, for example, Grace hit about 800 times, but I get no credit for that reduction in damage.  Divine Aegis hit about 470 times.  If my heal crits averaged about 5000, that means Divine Aegis absorbed approximately 730,000 damage over the course of the night.  But again, no credit on the reports.  I cast Power Word: Shield over 300 times, shielding approximately 2  illion damage — again, uncredited.  If I add these bubbles to my healing, I’m third for “healing.”

But I’m the one doing the math, and I really doubt anyone else is.

There is, of course, other information to be gleaned from a WWS report other than just “effective healing done.”  My focus was the lowest, as a designated MT healer, that’s good, right?  My overhealing was higher than I’d like (although admittedly, I’m not sure if overhealing is a good or a bad thing.  I have no shortage of mana when raid-buffed, and casting Penance on the tank in order to get the three stacks of Grace seems worthwhile, even if he’s not particularly low on health).  I know that I need to be casting Power Infusion more (I did finally make a macro that’d whisper my target to inform them they’d been infused).  And I should cast Pain Suppression more as well, not just on the aggro-pulling DPS, but perhaps more frequently on the tanks themselves.  And in general, I need to work on improving my spellpower, as I can see my PoMs healed for around 500-700 less than the other two Holy Priests.  But other than this very general sense that I need to do better, and after pouring over the WWS reports for a good long while this morning, I’m not really sure if it’s a matter of “Disc — yer doin’ it wrong.”

 

Heal2

Oh, and for the record, I fucking hate the Instructor Razuvious fight.  WTF taunt?  WTF melee?  Blah.

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Unlike several other classes and talent trees, Khaeli will be largely
unaffected by Patch 3.0.8 (which didn't go live today, but still —
it's on everyone's minds, it seems).  I'm very much looking forward to
the fixes to Rapture, as I'm still on the low-end of the gear
requirements for my new guild, and I can use the mana regen.  But that's a
bug fix, not a mulligan, and so unlike DKs, Holy Priests, and Hunters
(to name a few), I'm not terribly anxious or worried or eager about the
changes.

I am, however, a wee bit curious to see how the 6-second cooldown on
Circle of Healing impacts the Holy Priests in the guild, as before my
arrival, it seems the policy has been to require Priests to spec for
it.  (A couple of priests have let me know they're thrilled to see
someone get to play Discipline.)  When I was asked to respec for
Malygos, it was definitely a reminder that the guild relies heavily on
CoH (and not Wild Growth or Chain Heal) for AOE heals.  In fact, in the
raids I've attended thus far, the healers have been exclusively
Paladins and Priests.  I don't know yet if there's a regular Tree Druid
or Resto Shaman; but it doesn't seem that way.

And ah, the irony, as my alts are a druid and shaman.

Now that K- and I are on a PVE server and I can actually, you know,
play, I'm really looking forward to leveling both of these toons, and
it's a bonus that I can do so in order to provide the guild with some
alternative heals.

Yeah, I said it:  heals.

The thing is, I'd rather play Khaeli as Discipline than respec to AOE
heal as Holy.  If the guild needs AOE heals, I'd rather play as a Resto
Shaman.  If the guild needs a resto druid, then I'm confident I could
fill that role.  Because if indeed the mantra is "bring the player,"
then bringing me means bringing a hybrid healer.

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