Raid, it kills bugs.

March 12, 2009

This week’s raids start off with our Wed. night OS/VOA 10 man with a side of 25 pug.

It went much smoother this week than our first week did.  One of our healers wasn’t able to come and we’re short on backups for anything (save tanks) so we decided after waiting for a PUG healer that never came, to just 2-heal them.  It worked alright, a wipe at the beginning of OS due to nobody moving and our lack of a raid healer when the AOE fire came down fromt he skies – we learned the lesson and started moving out of the way of such things.  But after that it all went smoothly, from OS to VOA 10.  Then we picked up 15 more for VOA 25 which went quick.

Caluah a hunter of KAF’s got a couple upgrades (fist/leggings) and Isaaru our mage got some leggings as well.  It was a decent night for the guild, even though no Shaman worthy gear dropped save the fist for Enhance offspec, heh.

Hopefully Naxx will render me some more upgrades on Friday!

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World of YOU ARE A DIRTY WHORE…craft?

March 8, 2009

I’ve had terrible luck with WoW since last night when I got home from work.  Note that everything was running fine when I went in that morning prior to leaving for work.  I came home and it wouldn’t let me log into any level 80.  Kept giving me an error message and crashing the computer, saying it couldn’t read a file – looked like the file was a Mage robe level 80 epic of some kind that kept doing it.  I could login elsewhere, probably because no mages with epics on were around.  So I did that and talked to teh guild for the night, I decided that I should move my directory off of my external because that could be the problem I/O errors or something, even though I’ve been using it that way for a long time without any problems.  That just messed things up further, so I figured I’d just move it back – not as simple as I’d like so I just did a system restore.  That didn’t work either, so now not only is my WoW hating me, but I can’t even LAUNCH the game.
So what am I doing now?  About to leave for work as my World of Warcraft reinstalls.  I’ve deleted all caches, etc.  So if  a fresh install doesn’t work I might consider going back to Warhammer or EQ2 sooner than I had hoped.


First Guild Naxx – Pt. 1

March 8, 2009

It was painful, it was tiring, it was depressing – it was great! 

I can’t say I’m not a little disappointed.  I went in thinking that a lot of our members had at least pugged Naxx before but turned out once we got in that our main tank hadn’t even attempted it, let alone got in a worthy distance.  Luckily we have a few others with the experience to explain the fights – our main tank couldn’t use vent because the codec wasn’t Apple compliant.  Which made it that much harder to get everyone on the same page.  We also had to pick up 3-4 DPS to fill our empty slots which made things nerve wracking a bit more than they would have been had we all been guildies.  At the end of the day we got 2 of 4 quarters clear (Plague/Arachnid). 

We’re supposed to take the rest down tonight – supposing none of the DPS we rotated out hijack it during today’s off-time and finish it off without us.  That’s the worst part about picking up pug fill-in’s.  Hopefully their inability to comit while actually IN our group is a taint on the rest of their sad lives so getting up the nerve to do so is just not in their cards.

I got boned out of a waist drop because one of our scrubs add-ins looted while I was out of the instance repairing during an unfortunate death when they downed the boss.  I got a leather head piece that I probably won’t even use. 

I did get a nice caster trinket and before that my wrist finally dropped in DTK so all in all my +Heals are up over 1800 with Earthliving 1900+ with Flametongue down.  Progress is going…if we do get to finish up Naxx tonight I’m hoping I’ll get some shoulders off of Patchwerk and another chance at some T7 tokens.

That’s about it.  Over all I think a lot of us learned a ton and the next week’s run should be MUCH smoother!  Good times.

Tips Learned:

  • Don’t rely on DBM for timing your heals on Loath in the Plague Quarter.  It doesn’t work well – watch the debuff timer.

Gear Progression: Day 3-10ish?

March 6, 2009

Well, I’ll probably go more in depth later but let’s say I have a two set bonus (10 percent more effective Water Shield)  and I’m at 1713 +heals right now with earthliving.  I can hit close to 1900 with my Flametongue Totem down.  It’s a little lower than I hoped it would be by now, but I am progressing at any rate.

We downed 10-man Obsidian Sanctum, 10-man VOA with a (mostly)Guild run and tonight we’re scheduled for our first (mostly)Guild 10-man Naxx run.  We’ll see just how ready we are for raiding tonight on something slightly challenging.  Wish <Karate and Friendship> luck.

I’m still farming DTK for bracers and I may start farming HOL for the belt.  I’m also working on Ebon Blade rep for the leggings they have, I should have done them first as I replaced the gloves from Wyrmrest Accord almost immediately.  Oh, well.  We’ll see what drops tonight!


For the Shaman Noob: A Starter Guide

March 3, 2009

I’ve been getting quite a few hits on my blog that are from general informational searches.  Things like rotations, “noob guides”, etc.  Due to the popularity (hit wise) of my Nexus guide, I’m going to try to keep putting guides out that will hopefully be helpful to a lot of Shamans out there looking to heal.

Introduction

This guide is my attempt to cover a lot of general information that will help new Resto-Shamans, or just some Resto-Shamans looking for some general information to help them succeed or simply get a different outlook on the class from someone else’s perspective.  Remember these guides are from MY perspective and are my opinion on the class, they aren’t set in stone, nor will they always reflect what a lot of other Shamans think.  So read and take it in knowing that.

Table of Contents

  1. Rotations
  2. Statistics
  3. Tips & Tricks

I. Rotations

  • 1-39

Your primary heal for 1-39 is going to be your Lesser Healing Wave, much as it is through the entire game.  However, you will lack your Chain Heal until 40 so you really don’t have anything else to choose from other than your regular Healing Wave.  Lesser Healing Wave should be all you need to be honest, most of the content up until 55 is really easy now days.

Lesser Healing Wave, Lesser Healing Wave, Lesser Healing Wave

You will get your Nature’s Swiftness in your mid-late 20’s probably which is still a good back up plan when things are getting hectic when combined with a regular Healing Wave.

  • 40-50

Thing will get a little more fun at 40 once you get your Chain Healing spell and can do some multi-target healing.  But your rotation is situational like any other healing class.

Melee Groups:

Lesser Healing Wave, Lesser Healing Wave, Chain Heal, Lesser Healing Wave, Lesser Healing Wave, Chain Heal

Regular Groups:

Lesser Healing Wave, Lesser Healing Wave, Lesser Healing Wave, (Chain Heal Ranged Group), Lesser Healing Wave

You’ll want to basically spot heal the melee if you only have 1-2 (with tank) no need to waste too much mana on Chain Healing unless the melee are getting hit hard by AOE’s.  Use your chian heal on yourself and the other casters who should be close enough to get hit with it as well.

While targeting your main tank I’ve found that the above rotation is a pretty safe bet when you have a melee group and are fighting a group of mobs.  It’s pretty mana intensive but you will keep your group alive for sure.  You will hardly ever have to cast this hard on this level instances, you should be able to sporatically cast your LHW and keep your tank up with an occasional Chain Heal during fights with AOE damage.

  • 51-68

Healing will be much more intense from about 55 and up when you are starting to heal the Burning Crusade instances and have Riptide in our arsenal.

Regular Group:

Riptide, Lesser Healing Wave, Lesser Healing Wave, Riptide, Lesser Healing Wave, Lesser Healing Wave

Remember your Riptide speeds up your next two castings of Lesser Healing Wave by a lot.  So it’s key that you keep Riptide’s “Tidal Wave” up for quick LHW’s – it’s going to be key to your rotation for the rest of your Shaman’s forseeable future.  It’s amazing for spot healing when you need to keep a DPS or your tank topped off and there’s no reason you shouldn’t have Tidal Wave up 80-90 percent of the time unless you are in a really hectic situation and need to heal a lot in a short period of time (boss fights, over-pulls). The following rotation is a safe bet if you need to cover AOE heals with the same rotation modified.

Riptide, Lesser Healing Wave, Lesser Healing Wave, Riptide, Chain Heal, Lesser Healing Wave, Lesser Healing Wave, Riptide…

  • 68-80

Not a lot will change between the 58-80 range to be honest, you’ll be using your Riptide + LHWx2 a lot to keep focus heals on your tank, with a regiment of Chain Heals tossed in when AOE damage is avid or you are heavy on melee in your group.  So long as you use your arsenal correctly and get your patterns straight and have a keen situational awareness nothing should be too hard for you.

  • Heroics

Heroics at 80 (or 70 as a 70) are when things are going to need to be varied and will start getting tough for the first time in all honesty.  You will have to put Healing Wave into your rotation a lot when you are FIRST starting heroics trying to get higher +Heals.  When your tank’s HP is dipping hard and you need to keep him up…

Emergency Healing:

Riptide, Lesser Healing Wave, Lesser Healing Wave, Riptide, Healing Wave, Healing Wave, Healing Wave

The quick boost of heals at teh beginning of the rotation should keep him up despite damage taken and keep him at least even, then the Healing Waves should catch him up to full HP.  I recommend you use this a lot when you are first getting into the tougher heroics like Utgarde Pinnacle because your LHW just isn’t going to heal enough at first to keep a tank up when you are below 1600 Bonus Healing.

For normal situations in heroics you aren’t going to stray far from your Riptide+2LHW rotation, though a lot of fights in the heroics are going to be AOE intensive and you will simply have to resort to a Chain Heal spam rotation with a Riptide tossed in for good measure (and increased heal on the next Chain Heal on that target).

Such As:

Riptide, Chain Heal, Chain Heal, Chain Heal, Riptide…etc

As you can see, once you get Riptide, it is going to be used a lot – so find it a good spot on your action bars.

  • Raids

In raids your Chain Heal is going to be focused on a lot more though for single target healing nothing gets better than your Riptide+2LHW.  Depending on what roll you take on your rotation will vary.  The main focus is going to be looking and seeing where everyone is positioned, especially if you are going to be the raid healer (rather than MT/OT heals).

As a raid healer, chain heal is going to be your main focus, even if one person has taken damage, you may as well toss a Chain Heal on them just in case.  As a single target healer you will focus on LHW’s and keeping Earth Shield and Riptide up.  A big focus is going to be trying to recognize who is standing where and by who during your raid healing time.  So that you can strategically cast your Chain Heals to heal the max amount of needed targets.  If you’re lucky the raid will recognize that by standing close to you not only do they get easy heals but they also get totemic buffs.  Spot healing with Riptide and the quick LHW’s make this easy as well.

Statistics

What statistics do I need to concentrate on?  Why?  Sigh!

Yes, I know.  Things can be complicated in the world of min-max MMORPG’ing.  And it doesn’t get any easier the higher you get.  But, I’m here to help as best I can, so read on!

  • 1-50 (Pre-BC)

Up until a certain level of instances you will be a rag tag healer.  You will wear hardly any mail starting off as most of the good healer gear is Cloth or Leather.  MP5 will basically be non-existent until the higher levels.  The following should be your priority in light of that fact.

  1. Intellect – The larger you can get your mana pool the better – not to mention the SP bonuses you will get in return for stacking Intellect.
  2. Spell Power – Lucky for you they made Spell Power a general stat that covers both damage and healing, so a lot of that DPS gear out there at low levels is just as good for us healers.
  3. Spirit – In response to the utter lack of Mp5 for a long time, Spirit will be your friend, helping you regen mana in between fights and so forth a bit faster and adding to other key statistics as well.
  4. Stamina – Why Stam?  Well at these levels soloing is going to take a lot of your level grinding time, so having the health to deal with mobs before you can simply just pop Riptide on yourself is going to be key.

Not too difficult to understand, if it looks like a healer piece, it probably is.  You will find you wear a lot of cloth up until a certain level.

  • 55-80

When the sky’s finally open and grant you some Shaman gear you will be concentrating on the same stats all the way to 80, that’s the good news.  The bad news is finding the gear isn’t very easy until about 62-65 and most of it’s going to be in instances.  Once you hit Northrend at 68, you will start off with a few nice drops and quest pieces but after the first couple zones you will be cussing Enhance Shamans and Hunters for all of the AP Mail quest rewards.  You will find yourself running instances to make ends meet on the statistics below.

  1. Intellect – This is still the base statistic for anything that pew pews save hybrids like Enh. Shamans and Hunters.  More Int = More mana and Spell Power.
  2. Spell Power – Bonus healing is your friend, the higher you can heal per cast the less mana you will need to cover a tank’s HP as you will have to cast fewer times.
  3. MP5 – Taking the place of spirit as there is actually gear.  Shaman spend most of their life casting, Spirit doesn’t do much in terms of Mana Regenerated While Casting, but MP5 does – which is why it is valuable for Shamans where as it may not be as much for other Healer classes.  The problem is Blizzard haven’t built this need for MP5 into our talent tree save our Water Shield usage. Take a look at your Mana Regen stat, pop on MP5 and then replace it with a Spirit.  Your general mana regen will sky rocket as a result of having the Spirit item on – but your Mana Regenerated While Casting will plummet by comparison to the MP5.
  4. Spirit/Haste/Crit – These are your back up stats.  You don’t need Hit as you won’t be missing your friendly targets.  But Crit helps a lot as well as haste.  Don’t bother worrying about haste until 80, crit is more important.  Spirit is the stat you can look at when you just can’t find MP5 – or simply when an upgrade is just that much better in every other area.

To Be Continued…


Shaman Healing Guide: Heroic Nexus

March 1, 2009

I figured I would start off with the easiest heroics considering this is what most will start with and what most people will end up having the most experience in.

As with all heroics, your tank is going to play a big part in how easy or hard it’s going to be to heal.  You may as well sign the “Wipe Warrant” if he isn’t defense capped (540 at 80) or close to it.  Nexus is doable however, with a new tank.  There are only a few notable difficulties that you should probably look out for.

Introduction:

Let’s start this off with a basic idea of when you should feel comfortable starting heroics.  1600 bonus heals are ideal for starting your endeavors into healing heroic instances.  However, I believe you can make due with around the high 1400 to 1500 range on the easier instances.  Easier meaning this one (Nexus), Utgarde Keep and DTK.  This is a general rule of healing heroics – at least as a resto-shaman, have to know your limits.  Just keep the water shields up, the riptide ticking and the crunk juice flowing.

General Trash:

Trash is pretty easy in this one, though there are several different types as you move through the varied branches of The Nexus.  Your first enounters will be casters and mage hunter hounds – which will silence their targets.  Keep your casters back.  Considering a lot of the damage being done in these encounters are spell-based, your tank is going to take a pretty decent amount of damage, so keep your Riptide up for HOTs and quick Lesser Healing Waves.  There are other groups of 4 casters.  Generally you want to keep the AOE’ers silenced, you can generally help out by interupting them with Earth Shock as you see them casting, but otherwise you should be able to heal through them.  Keep melee up with chain heal if this becomes an issue.

Once you reach the “ice-block hall” this is one of the easier segments.  You’re able to pull 2-4 mobs at a time.  Kill the healers first, the only worry for the most part are the archers, try getting a party member to silence and if that fails have your tank LOS pull around the doorway you enter from.  That is until you get to the Commander (Scroll down for boss strategy).

After this segment it’s mostly mages so keep your interupts on stand by and your chain heal at the ready if your group is melee heavy.  If you have a DK who has spec’d into Anti-Magic Zone, these are helpful but I would save it for the boss fight to come, just focus fire and your group will be fine.  Chain heal is a good idea for spam, to make these encounters easier (Scroll down for boss strategy).

Once you get past the Magus and her mages you will enter an area with Dragonkin mobs and Rifts on platforms.  If you see a Rift with Dragonkin around it you can have your ranged DPS (and yourself) DPS the rift down before you pull to save yourself some trouble, this won’t pull the Dragonkin as they don’t like the Rifts either.  Your tank will likely take some grouped damage dipping into his HP pretty hard when he pulls the 4-dragonkin’s at a time whcih there are several on your way to Anomalus.  So keep your heals running, you shouldn’t need more than a constant flow of LHW’s to keep him that way b ut if you don’t feel comfortable pop your Riptide, do the two quick LHW’s then follow them with a regular HW, then go back to LHW’s (Scroll down for boss strategy).

After you beat Anomalus up you will have 1-2 more pulls before you enter the “glowy-plant” hallway that leads you to Ormorok the Tree-Shaper.  This hallway is filled with what you might expect.  Glowy-tree stuff.  You will mainly be facing small plants that die fast and are meant to just be annoying and make this hallway as slow as possible without making it difficult.  Pull through them to your real targets (treeants and patrols).  Patrols will be seen a few times on your way, they will be made up of Treeants and a Healer centaur type (dryad) creature.  Kill the dryad first as she is a healer, then take the treants down.  keeping yoru AOE’s up in your group is a good idea to make this hallway easier/faster.  Just make sure you aren’t pulling adds because things are tight and can get hectic quick if you pull one too many giants in with your regular pull.  Giants are the other worry, they can hit hard but for the most part will be straight forward and easy, nothing a LHW regiment can’t fix.  They will do an AOE on heroic mode, so long as you keep your group topped off it won’t be a huge threat (Scroll down for boss strategy).

I recommend saving yourself the hassel of more clearing and taking the shortcut after you take down Ormorok (there’s a ramp off to the right of where you enter his pad that lets you skip a whole branch of the hallway) you should only have to kill one more patrol and possibly a giant on your way back to the center area.  There is only one more Dragonkin patrol you will need to slay (you can avoid a couple roving guards on your way in if you wait them out) who is inside of the room with Keristraza.  Take him down and you’re ready to kill the beast (Scroll down for boss strategy).

The Commander (Kolrug/Stonebeard)

Once you reach the half-way point of the “ice-block hall” you will encounter your first boss.  He is actually pretty easy to heal through.  Make your range stand with you in the arch of the doorway you enter the hall from and have the tank pull him back to the corner ACROSS from you in the ice hall (there is a indention where the tank can stand and you will be looking right across at one another).  Drop your tremor totem out in the hallway so when the Commander fears it will cut them off as they run.  Be sure your DPS is killing the two healer adds that come with him first.  The biggest issue with this is if you have a melee DPS or two along with your tank.  The AOE whirlwind attack the boss does is probably the only threat he has and it can tear soft targets up.  Being able to time your chain heals to cover this is makes this encounter extremely easy so just keep Earth Shield and Riptide up on your tank, keep them topped off with LHW and then be at ready with your chain heal once you you see him start to spin.  You shouldn’t need to queue up more than two of them.  If you have DBM this makes timing your chain heals easy, or simply having experience you should know approximately when the AOE WW happens.

Grand Magus Telestra

This can be the easiest or hardest fight in the instance depending on whether or not your group is on the same page.  You will probably end up using your Natures Swiftness cool-down so try to save it up until this point.  Tell your tank to make sure he picks up all three of the copies when she splits into three.  Your best bet is to either kill them Blue-Purple-Red or Purple-Blue-Red.  I prefer to burn down the Blue to keep the AOE damage down, it can tear up people on heroic mode.  Chain heal is your friend when she splits.  Most people will converge to kill them.  Get the ranged DPS to do the same so they can get caught in your CH bombs.  If you want to be a hero, Earth Shock the blue every time you see Blizzard running down your group’s HP.  You should huddle in the center of the three as well so y ou can self-heal as well.  Use Riptide when she flings you into the air to keep your HP so you don’t have to waste time healing yourself back up when she lets you down, so you can immediately pop heals on others.  LHW to get everyone back up.  As long as you have a competent group this fight shouldn’t be too hard.

Anomalus

This is actually one of the easiest fights unless you are going for the Achievement – I don’t recommend that unless you have a great group.  Get your ranged to gather around you at the ramp where you enter and stay there. Tank and melee will fight int he center of the platform.  They will kill the rifts accordingly and when the rift lands near your little group of ranged members you can cast the CH bomb so it will just heal the small amount of damage they do over time.  The boss itself doesn’t’ do much damage to keeping the tank up should not consist of too much more than keeping Earth Shield refreshed and casting Riptide and the quickened LHW’s afterward.  Remember to utilize your chain heal when the rifts spawn away from you and the melee’s are taking damage.  Like I said, the rifts don’t do that much damage to keeping your guys up through it shouldn’t be hard at all.

Ormorok the Tree-Shaper

This boss is another very easy boss.  The only tedious part is getting to him through the not hard, but annoying, adds in the hallway leading to him.  Be sure your group doesn’t pull tree’s accidentally.  Once you get to him make sure everyone is on his platform to avoid pulling extra plants.  Unlike in normal mode his ice-explosions don’t go out in an X pattern every time, so you will have to be on your toes to dodge it and to watch for your DPS getting launched.  Try to Riptide them before they hit the ground again.  The damage can get a little hectic near the end when he enrages so keeping away to his health and readying your LHW should be sufficient to keep your tank up.  He will do slight AOE damage to other melee so keep them up with a Chain Heal thrown into your rotation here and there.  Little plant adds will become a problem so keep a clear route to the tank and be sure he knows what’s up.  Run them to him if you get too many on you and assign a DPS to plant-duty to keep them dead/off of you.

Keristraza

Your final encounter is a little more technical than the others, but another easy one all the same.  The key idea behind the fight is that everyone has to move.  This isn’t a problem for melee button smashers but for those of us with caster times, management is key.  You will want to stick to Lesser Healing Waves if at all possible.  Make sure you know which direction the tank is going to have her facing, that way you can drop your totems accordingly.  Keep your DPS on the same side so you don’t have to heal across the way.  She casts a DOT on you that gains damage the more you let it stack, it will stack when you aren;t moving and dispell itself when you move again.  So jumping/shimmying is what your entire party should be doing.  I found that if you keep Earth Shield up and Riptide going it shouldn’t be hard, just jump once, cast a LHW, jump again, cast a LHW, jump – and so on.  This should keep the tank up and if you see the tank getting low pop Natures Swiftness and a regular Healing Wave, followed by a Riptide+Jump combo and then another LHW.  It isn’t a hard fight unless you have a hard headed member who refuses to move and wants to take a full on DOT from her.

Base Rotation for The Nexus (Heroic):

You really shouldn’t need to do much of anything other than: Riptide, LHW, LHW, Riptide, LHW, LHW – with a Chain Heal here and there to keep grouped targets taking AOE damage up.  Your backup plan as always is to pop Natures Swiftness and a Healing Wave on your tank if things get a little messy (or a Chain Heal if your entire group is getting pretty low).  I recommend making a macro for that.

/cast Nature’s Swiftness

/cast Healing Wave (Rank 13)