Archive for May, 2009

I have been a Bad Raider this week, with a combination of work, family, and PC issues making my attendance abysmal.  Being a Bad Raider makes me, in turn, a Bad Blogger.  Yet people seem to stumble across Shadow Weaving regardless of my raid activity, so googlers, let me answer some of your queries:

“crit discipline”

Crit has long been seen as an important attribute for Disc Priests as it not only increases the size of one’s heals but also procs Divine Aegis, one of the class’s shields. A raid-buffed Disc Priest in Ulduar will have well over 30% crit, which is roughly the diminishing returns point for crit.  Do not stack crit at the expense of other attributes (haste, intellect, spellpower).

“disc healing ‘grace'”

Ah Grace. Once you were a nice little talent, and now you’re rather lackluster. When a Disc Priest heals with Flash Heal, Greater Heal or Penance, the target is blessed with Grace, increasing all healing received by that priest by 3%.  Unfortunately, this ability can only be active on one target at a time, which can make it a bit clunky if one is maintaining heals on multiple raid members.   Honestly, I don’t pay much attention to Grace, due to this mechanic.  I’m certainly not going to heal Tank B with Renew, for example, just to maintain the buff on Tank A.

“recount absorption”
“amount absorbed shield disci priest”
“calculating priest bubble absorption”

This is what most people seem to want to know:  how can one calculate what a Disc Priest is doing when most damage meters fail to count shields as heals?  

There is an add-on for Recount, RecountGuessedAbsorbs that tries to track this.  And both WoW Meter Online and World of Logs count PW:S and Divine Aegis as heals.  If one is trying to assess a Disc Priest, steer clear of WWS as it’s an  inferior tool in this case.

“discipline priest gear trinket ulduar”

I wrote a blog post a while ago about Ulduar trinkets.  And frankly, the trinket that Sartharion drops — Illustration of the Dragon Soul — remains one of the most attractive for us.  The other trinket I covet is Pandora’s Plea — the Intellect boost and spellpower crit make this very desirable.

“grid debuff in ulduar”

I love Grid.  I write about Grid here and here.   I really cannot stress how valuable this add-on is for healers.  While it might be daunting to set up, there are tons of guides, including this great How-To video.

“wow discipline priest, rapture”

Rapture once ensured that Disc Priests ended every encounter, even the dreaded Sarth3D, with full mana.  So a nerf to Rapture wasn’t a surprise.  Now rather than restoring mana on heals, Rapture returns mana (2.5% of total mana) when PW:S is completely abosrbed or dispelled.  The talent will also give the shielded target 2% total mana, 8 rage, 16 energy or 32 runic power — once every 12 seconds.   

“mimiron rockets”

Mimiron’s rockets do 5 million damage.  There’s a warning, of course, in the form of a giant red circle on the target.  And so there’s time to “run away, little girl!”  But inevitably someone dies to this.  I laugh when it’s the person who, in the previous attempt, said something like, “How the hell could you die to laser barrage?!”

“spell warding over divine fury”

I recently took 5 points out of Divine Fury and put them into Spell Warding.  YMMV.  I don’t cast Greater Heal enough to make the talent point investment worthwhile, whereas there is enough AOE spell damage flying around in Ulduar to make that 10% damage reduction quite nice.

“holy priest healing vezax”


“overhealing as a druid”

This isn’t really a druid blog, although I did play one in BC.  I know that overhealing can be a contentious issue and can sometimes be used to both praise and/or lambast certain healers.  Personally, I don’t think it’s a big deal most of the time (Vezax encounter aside), and I’m not sure that judging a healer by their overhealing alone is particularly helpful.  Some healers will overheal by virtue of their class and their healing assignment.  Paladins, for example, as tank healers with big heals will have a lot of overhealing.  Druids, on the other hand, tend to have very low overhealing as HoTs don’t heal if the target is at full health. 

“which embroidery for healers wow”

I dropped tailoring when it became clear that jewelcrafting was the profession-of-choice for min-maxing.  (Damn you Blizzard.)   Healers can choose between two embroideries:  Lightweave which boosts spellpower and Darkglow which restore mana.  When I was a tailor, I found the mana returns from Darkglow underwhelming, and were Khaeli a tailor now, I’d definitely choose the Lightweave.  

“how to get emblem of heroism fast”

Emblems of Heroism drop in heroics, which of course have the one-day lockout, and Tier 7 raid zones, with a one week lockout, limiting the number you can pick up.  Minute-for-minute, I’d say Obsidian Sanctum provides the fastest emblems — but of course this depends on your group’s ability to avoid flame waves.  Violet Hold, Draktharon Keep, and Utgarde Keep are the easiest heroics, in my opinion.  Violent Hold and UK will give you three emblems; DK four.

“discipline or shadow 3.1”

I am partial to Disc, what can I say.  But I think that any of the three priest talent trees are very viable right now.  Which is preferable is impossible to answer.  What are your goals?  Do you want to run instances?  Are you leveling?  Do you want to raid?  Are there other Disc Priests in your guild?  Do you like to heal?  Are you going to PVP?


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Frikkin’ New Egg.  Your open-box deal on a new graphics card was apparently too-good-to-be-true, as when it came my turn to open the box, I found the card had a little white mailing label attached and the words “physical damage” scrawled on it.  Several other little pieces — important pieces?  I dunno — lay in the bottom of that super-protective plastic baggie they ship computer parts in.  Bastards.  Now I have to deal with shipping it back in order to get a refund, and I have to weigh how badly (pretty badly) I want to upgrade my video capabilities.  I did manage to add some RAM to my computer, but meh.  I want to raid with something other than Mario Brothers settings.

Unable to raid then, K- and I helped my brother with the last bit of his Paladin mount quest.  I’ve only done Scholomance maybe once or twice, so it was a bit of a clusterfuck.  Caution:  don’t let me tank.  I’m horrible.  Despite several deaths of K-‘s poor priest (level 61 Scourge really hate level 50 Night Elves), we managed to complete the zone, getting my brother not only an armored pony but his first epic:  Destiny.  (K- and I both rolled on it, because we’re shitty like that, but gave it to my brother nonetheless.)  My brother’s subscription runs out today, and Baby #2 is due any day for him, so I’m not sure if he’ll keep playing.  If he does, I think I know a good guild for him, because he managed to consistently stand in the zombies’ Green Cloud of Doom last night.

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I love gaming.  I love raiding.  I love writing.

I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about gaming, thinking about raiding, thinking about what I’ll write about on this game-related blog.

I had some rather bitter and jaded and, truth-be-told, harsh things to type today about the state-of-the-game and the state-of-my-fellow-gamers, but I’ve opted to /backspace /backspace /backspace and bite my tongue.  So in lieu of a diatribe against facerolling one’s way through raid zones, I’m going to cross my fingers and hope that tonight I’m able to faceroll my way through the installation of a new graphics card.

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Yikes!  It’s been a while since I blogged!  But there’s nothing like being back in the office to prompt me to ignore the 200+ emails in my inbox in lieu of a quick update here.

In a nutshell:  This weekend was glorious.

I have no gear upgrades to boast about, no insight or tips-n-tricks on healing.  I have no kills to tout or raid anecdotes to share.  

This weekend, K- and I played alts:  my DK hit 80 and his priest hit 50 (gaining almost 10 levels over the course of the long weekend).  We ran Sunken Temple at least half a dozen times and Stratholme and BRD twice.  We (finally) helped my little brother on the Stratholme and Dire Maul parts of the paladin mount quest.

It was a good break — from raiding, from Khaeli, from a really shitty IRL job — and it was a good chance for K- and I to refuel.  Time with each other, time with family — these get lost in the shuffle of a busy work- and raid-schedule, and it was so nice to be able to game together, to relax, to laugh.

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The key to faking out the parents is the clammy hands. It’s a good non-specific symptom; I’m a big believer in it. A lot of people will tell you that a good phony fever is a dead lock, but, uh… you get a nervous mother, you could wind up in a doctor’s office. That’s worse than school. You fake a stomach cramp, and when you’re bent over, moaning and wailing, you lick your palms. It’s a little childish and stupid, but then, so is high school.  — Ferris Bueller

General Vezax and his Aura of Despair seem to induce just that:  an aura of despair among some of the healers.  They panic.  They mysteriously DC.  They announce, “Oh damn!  Mother-in-law just showed up, gotta go.  Bye!”  “Oh snap, look at my latency.  Friggin’ Comcast.  You should replace me.”  While these are all good excuses, they’re only useable once, maybe twice.  To avoid the Vezax fight permanently one needs to display more than just mediocrity, one needs to display sheer incompetence.

Top Ten Tips:

1.  Insist that Hymn of Hope works.  Repeat this incessantly.

2.  Use your Shadowfiend.

3.  If you have Mark of the Faceless,

run towards the tank


run towards the person responsible for killing Saronite Clouds.

4.  Stand in a Shadow Crash zone to wand.  (Bonus points if you do this with Mark of the Faceless.)

5.  Use Divine Hymn.  Yes, it’s 63% of your base mana.  But the sooner you’re out of mana, the better.

6.  Suggest the healers downrank to save mana.

7.  Stand in the Saronite Vapors for 8 ticks.  When you die, complain you “got no healz.”

8.  Use Guardian Spirit on the Ret Paladin on the pull.

9.  Ask if anyone has mana pots or a MP5 flask to spare.  Admonish the paladins for not buffing Wisdom.

10.  Be a Holy Priest.

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shieldAnecdote:  A couple of years ago, The Kid and I were at Toys R Us, shopping for a gift for my nephew’s first birthday.  The Kid’s a teenager now, and so the demands to visit the toy department were long ago replaced by demands to go to the video game store.  But no matter your age, toy stores are incredibly fun, and I confess, I squealed with delight when I saw a display full of foam shields and swords.  “Oh my god, I’m buying us these,”  I said.  “Oh my god, no,” he said, and blushed with embarrassment as I grabbed one and proceeded to poke him in the belly.  I don’t remember what we bought my nephew that day, but The Kid and I came home with Nerf weapons.  He had a long sword; I had a dagger and a shield.  We ran around the backyard dueling, and I quickly learned several things:

  1. Laughing hysterically makes swordplay nearly impossible.
  2. It’s hard to get up in someone’s grill to whack them with a dagger if they’ve got longer arms and a long sword and a much longer reach.
  3. Foam shields don’t do shit.

Analysis:  Foam shields don’t do shit.

I feel like a broken record in raids sometimes:  “Please don’t shield the tanks.”  “Please don’t shield the tanks.”  “Please don’t shield the tanks.”  “Please don’t shield the tanks.”  I’ve long struggled to get my fellow priests to cease-and-desist, but with the priests’ 4-piece bonus now offering +250 spellpower for 5 seconds after shielding, it’s even more of a battle.

Hey, Holy Priests:  if you raid with a Discipline Priest, don’t shield, ok?  Please?  If you have the 4-piece bonus and want to take advantage of the spellpower boost, shield yourself.  Your job as a Holy Priest is to heal, not to shield.  While the boost to your throughput is nice, I agree, the bonus wasn’t designed for you (I know.  Startling concept:  a poorly designed set bonus.)  PW:S hasn’t been part of your rotation, and this set bonus shouldn’t change things.  It’s not what you should be using your GCDs or mana (~900 mana for you, and I know you don’t have much to spare) to cast.

I had several shields last night absorb 10K damage; most of the time, they absorb at least 8K.  A Holy Priest’s shield absorbs less than half that.  

And that’s not remotely strong enough to absorb my fury when I see your Weakened Soul debuff on the tanks.

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Faster Pussycat Kill Kill

Despite a slow start to the raid last night, we’re moving through Ulduar-25 substantially faster each week.  We took down Flame Leviathan, XT, Kologarn, Auriaya, Hodir, Thorim, Freya and Razorscale, with a quick trip over to Emalon before calling it a night.  I feel a Yogg kill is in the works this week.

KC & the Sunshine Band

Each time we return to Ulduar, we notice more and more nerfs.  There was less trash on the way to Freya, and she didn’t seem to spawn the green-seeds-of-Doom during her final phase.  I see from MMO-Champion that the mobs leading to Ignis will no longer cast Unquenchable Flames and that the Ice Turrets en route to Mimiron will do less damage.  And the void zones spawned when one of Auriaya’s cats dies no longer insta-gib you.  Not remotely.  I discovered this last night as I was feared through one, briefly had some weird camera-spin-mouse issue, ran back through the void zone — and barely took any damage.

Dead Milkmen

Despite the nerfs, there are people who die consistently.  I’m going to start keep score, because going back through my WWS reports, I swear there’s at least one person who’s never lived through Hodir.  Not once.  

Arrested Development

When I was nearing the level-80 mark on my druid, I knew it was important to have her raid-ready (or at the very least heroics-ready) as soon as possible.  I set my sights on gathering the necessary gear from the AH and from crafters so that “Ding 80!” could mean “Level 80 Resto Druid LF Raid.”

Now that my DK is almost 80, I’m approaching the level cap quite differently.  Khiiya won’t raid.  (Not that Khrii has really, either.  The release of Ulduar has made alt runs through Naxx non-existent.  Not that I’m in any rush to go back there.)  Unlike the gold I was willing to spend on getting the druid geared, I don’t want to invest one copper on the DK.  Instead, she will make due with gear from quests, from factions, and from the odd heroics.  She will just be my farm toon, assigned to do dailies and gather herbs.

When K- encouraged me to roll a DK, we purposefully chose the spec that is (/faceroll) least gear dependent.  Upon 80, I won’t bother to spec out of On a Pale Horse.  I won’t enchant my gear, unless it’s via enchants that help K-‘s priest level the profession.  *Gasp* I won’t min-max.  I won’t care; I won’t have to.  As an Unholy DK, I’ll still be able to (/faceroll) do just fine.

Right Said Fred

Mid-raid, my little brother whispered me.  “So…” he said.  “I need to run through Dire Maul, Scholomance, and Stratholme for my paladin mount.  Can you and K- help me?” he asked.  He’s been pestering me about a run through Scholomance and Stratholme for a few days.  And I want to be helpful and supportive, really I do.  But ewww.  Ewww.  I’d rather send him the gold to just buy the damn thing, to be honest, but he loves lore and loves questing and even though I keep saying “Go to the Outlands,” he’s determined to finish up his questing in the old world.  So in evil-big-sister mode, rather than responding, I enabled my auto-response with DBM, and figured if he asked again he’d get the “Khaeli is fighting Freya.  Leave her the hell alone” message — and he’d just pester K- instead.

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