24 September 2009

Shadow is fine (for now)

Thank god for blue posts, otherwise I'd have no time to post today (WTB civilisation without work commitments).

Confirming what we already suspected, devs think shadow dps is fine:

In the case of shadow priests, we thought damage was a little low and made a very small adjustment. [i.e. The twisted faith/improved spirit tap buffs.] Many shadow priests think their dps is still unacceptably low, but we don't agree. (That also doesn't mean we won't make changes in the future. We do change our minds.)

I want to meet the person who says it's fine. Not to shout at them (although that would be my first instinct) but to try and learn from them. Logic says Blizzard knows the game better than I do, so when they say dps is fine it probably is — in theory, even if we don't see it in practice. Knowing how Blizzard conducts these tests, and under what circumstances, would be hugely informative. Do they play the class in raid situations to do the tests, or are they based on mathematical models? What tactics do they assume for each situation? Are they lumping AOE capability in with single target? Do they factor in stat variations, buffs, debuffs, lag, frame rate, what skill level do they balance around? How do you even quantify skill level? So if you have any contacts at Blizz, please drop me a line.

23 September 2009

Mind flay fail

Patch notes: glyph of mind flay no longer reduces the magnitude of mind flay's movement reduction

Not patch notes: talent tip shows mind flay's movement reduction as 15 per cent

Thank you to Alazais of Skullcrusher for flagging this.

Before you fly off into a nerd rage like I did, the spell's tooltip still shows 50 per cent and the movement reduction with the glyph, while hardly scientifically tested, does *feel* like a 50 per cent reduction.

Mind flay is still the most mockingly limp glyph ever designed, but the movement reduction appears to be as promised.

21 September 2009

Yogg win

My guild got Yogg down in 10 man last night for the first time. I wasn't there, but I'm not too broken up about it. On all of my previous attempts, we hadn't even made it to phase three. Proudly, I've never gone mad, but I have been known to run away from the red beam. Why is it you always get linked just before you're feared?

Yogg, to an averagely skilled and experienced player like me, is tough. Phase two is hard to dps, harder still to heal. Which is very odd, because we had Anub'arak down in the second week of his release. Now I don't want to join in the chorus of complaints about the relative difficulty of content in Wrath, but c'mon. The colliseum is a higher tier of content. Can you imagine any guild farming Sunwell that couldn't kill Kael'thas convincingly?

I don't know whether Yogg is too hard or Anub'arak is too easy - but given that both these encounters have harder modes, I suspect it's a bit of both.

Either way, I'm rambling a bit now because the purpose of this post wasn't to add my voice to the chorus of elitist complainers but to share this staggeringly awesome Yogg strategy guide by Kae of the Dreambound druid blog. Words don't do it justice, you've got to go see for yourself.

18 September 2009

To the edge and back

My normal blood elf elitist bravura has taken a bit of a pounding over the last few months. A perfect storm of conditions have aligned to beat the confidence stuffing right out of me.

My raid performance as shadow has, and continues to be, very lacklustre. Gear is a bit limp in several slots and we often run very melee heavy, which means I'm low on optimal raid buffs, especially in 10 mans. I make mistakes too, which contribute both to a poor performance and a general feeling of inadequacy. You can't help but wonder, when you are 2k below the top dps in your raid, and they can beat the boss with you face down on the ground for most of the fight, why you're there. I know I can play my class better, but I also believe the class is underpowered.

Unfortunately, I don't get that much time to practice. More often that not we are struggling for healers these days, so I end up healing. I never did pluck up the courage to go holy, by the way, although I went as far as to buy the gems and glyphs. I decided I loves me bubbles too much. Bu that doesn't mean I enjoy raid healing as disc any more than before. Merlot, at heart, is a hissing, remorseless, unwavering death bringer. Every time he throws a heal, a kitten dies.

I have turned instead to my shaman Golan, a tauren, an earth lover and a life giver. I love shaman healing, the mix of spells feels right, the talents and glyphs varied enough to keep shaman healing interesting and effective. When I heal as a shaman, I feel like I am pulling my weight.

It's not without its drawbacks. Nobody can keep a tank up like a disc priest; there have been times when I just couldn't put out enough heals quickly enough to keep them alive. And I've lost count of the number of times I've pushed out a chain heal on a target too far away for it to bounce. WORST. FEELING. EVER. It's a huge challenge to try and keep track of people around me and know where on grid they fit together — but it also forces me to lift my head up more than I would otherwise.

Don't worry, I'm not going to start blogging about shaman. Too many people do that too well already. It just means that Merlot's identity crisis is over. No more healing, and no more fretting over how well he heals. From now on, the only lasers I'll be firing are killer purple ones. I'm going to get better, I'm going to dish out more pain and suffering than ever before. And if anyone asks me to heal them, I'll curse them into next year. NO. MORE. MR. NICE. GUY.

15 September 2009

Five reasons why I won't be joining your pug

If you want to guarantee that skilled, well-adjusted players avoid your raid pug like Stratholme at harvest, just tell them to queue up for a gear inspection first.

I'm not even that skilled or well-adjusted, and I wouldn't lift my skirt to you for an epic mount.

If you ever despair of the quality of applicants, please consider:
  • You are offering no evidence of your own competence, while amply advertising your asshat credentials
  • Gear does not guarantee success
  • Gear is hardly a requirement to success, particularly in Wrath's entry-level raids
  • I can't take anyone who demands gear inspections seriously
  • If there wasn't something catastrophically wrong with you, you wouldn't need to pug a raid to start with, loser
Now please stop spamming trade, I can't keep up with the flame wars.

14 September 2009

Some more on spirit

WoW blogs are more promiscuous than viagra spam. My feed reader is already stuffed more solidly than a turkey at Christmas and each day I have to elbow extra into it. But I do my best to keep on top of all things priestly, if only in the hope that I can nick a good idea.

A Priest Blog is the latest to grab my attention, thanks to this nifty post that does the maths on the incoming spirit buffs (I'd love to know how a priest blog ended up with the "nerfdruids" subdomain!)

You perhaps won't be surprised to know it's not a huge buff. As Lyn concludes: "Spirit is still bad but now not quite as bad by a small amount!"

To be honest, that's good enough for me. Spirit should have a function in dps, but it doesn't have to be of critical importance.

What I'm itching to know is why the developers have taken this action, and why now. What was going through their minds when they decided to boost the utility of spirit to shadow priests? The motive is crucial, because this might be a loose end, spirit-wise, or it could be the simplest and first in a series of balancing acts. The big question: will haste ever benefit dots, and if so, will we see it in this expansion?

10 September 2009

/Clap! /Cheer! /Dance!

Buffs incoming!
  • Twisted faith now increases spell power by up to 20 per cent of your spirit, up from 10 per cent
  • Improved spirit tap now additionally has a 50 per cent chance to trigger from mind flay crits
Not mind-blowingly awesome, but super small improvements to dps. Every little helps :)

8 September 2009

Merlot meets Sara

Four titans and ten epicly geared heroes versus some old bird in a dress: this'll be a cake walk. Shield tank, frisbee, penance blah blah. Seriously, what god looks like Anne Robinson? No respect. That reminds me of that episode of Doctor Who when... oh bugger, move from green cloud. Move, move... phew. So yea, the old bird's going down like a sack of spanners. Wonder what she'll drop? I only need three more badges for my... WHOA where the hell did THAT come from? OK OK, we can do this. Nearly full mana bar. Shield tank, frisbee. That is one UGLY tentacle. She'd seriously better not put that thing anywhere near me... DO not... I said do NOT... omg she DID. I feel violated. This bitch is going down. Shield tank, frisbee, penance... penance? Why am I not shooting gold sparks? Oh, not enough mana. That can't be right. How the... omg, I have NO mana. It just VANISHED. OK, don't panic. Cast shadowfiend. Wait, no, use hymn. OK, channelling n... omg, feared. We're screwed. Why am I RUNNING? OK, it's OK. Drop a pot, stay calm. Shit, sanity is super low, better just jump in this nice green light thingy... great, feared. Breathe, breathe. OK, shield tank, frisbee, run back to green thingy... 70, 80, 90... Thank you Freya :) Hmm, is someone shouting at me? Why would someone be shouting at me? What does that red beam do? Why is my health dropping? Can we bring the old lady back now please?