With no marks.
/flex Disc muscles
And what did the lovely Deathbringer leave for us in his cache?
Mag'hari Chieftain's Staff.
However, despite how much I drooled all over this staff in my attempt to claim it, I was outrolled by our resident Arcane Mage. I pouted a little bit to myself, but I wasn't too upset. An upgrade for someone in the raid is an upgrade for the whole raid, and the haste and spirit are pretty yummy for Arcane Mages. You could probably even argue that an Arcane Mage will appreciate the Spirit more than a Disc Priest.
Although, maybe I was feeling a little bitter and passive aggressive, because not long after that I told all the meat in the room to hurry the hell up and get their butts up to Stinky.
A few minutes later, MissMagey whispers me and says she's going to hand the staff over to me, because it's not as much of an upgrade as she thought. For as much as I didn't get too upset that I lost the roll, I sure got excited that she was giving an item over to me that she won fair and square. So I ground the entire raid to a halt (ah, the power of being a raid leader) while she traded it to me.
After we put in 5 attempts on Festergut before calling it a night, I popped open Rawr and drooled some more over my fab-staff. After adjusting some filters, Rawr announced to me in no uncertain terms that I was wielding my personal BiS weapon. I imagine there may still be some superior main hand + off-hand combos, but I don't yet know how to work that out via Rawr. My glee is indescribable.
Do you believe in loot karma?
Last week a very nice weapon dropped from the ship fight for which all three healers rolled. The Famous Third Healer was not actually healing for this run since we were able to two heal everything, but it was still a solid upgrade for his DPS set. He had, however, already won something, so the roll really came down between me and my Druid fiance. The Druid rolled the highest but then hemmed and hawed. I couldn't care less - Saurfang was before us and I was plotting our attack.
"This would be a really nice upgrade for Third Healer... I mean, this weapon combined with that off-hand he won earlier would make this a great night for him, loot wise." Says Druid.
"Okay, sure whatever." Say I, whilst fish feasting and checking everyone's buffs.
"But if I pass, then it goes to you." my fiance notes.
"I don't really care. I pass too. Just give it to Third Healer." Hmm, crit food or spellpower food for this fight?
Now I'm just ignoring fiance, because seriously, he keeps talking, and I'm really trying to focus here on what's actually important... a super awesome fight for Disc priests. No, I'm not paying attention to raid chat... I'M STEELING MYSELF FOR STRONGER BUBBLES.
Then I get a tell from Fulguralis. "Uhm, what's the deal with that loot? Why is Third Healer getting it?" Then I read the screen. In guild chat, Third Healer is expressing his slight discomfort at Druid and I bypassing loot for him. Druid has announced in raid chat that the item is going to Third Healer. People seem confused that Druid is passing the item, and instead of it going to me, it's going to Third Healer.
I seriously need to learn to stop making vital decisions with the Druid sitting next to me IRL without communicating it to the other people in the raid.
Irritated, i hamfist my keyboard "OMG I PASS YES FINE JUST GIVE HIM THE DAMN ITEM AND LETS MOVE ON ALREADY YEESH"
Our Third Healer is not a man of many words, so when he does speak, everyone listens. And his excitement and pleasure is evident in guild chat, and I feel all warm and fuzzy for a moment, before telling him to just shut up about it, take his purples, and let's slaughter Saurfang. Seriously people! It's just loot!!
But when my Dwarven fingers caressed the fine wood carving of my new Mag'hari Chieftain's Staff, it didn't feel like just loot. Softly it whispered to me "Best in slot J-Bizzle! You've never had a best in slot in your entire raiding career...". BTW to all of you who want to tell me it's not BiS, just go away and let me have my dream.
I don't know if I would have appreciated Mag'hari Chieftain's Staff nearly as much if I had won the roll. Sometimes, the purple is a little shinier when someone else had it first - and then willingly and happily hands it over to you.
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And then how we Texans went about attempting to rectify matters.
I shall start by presenting you a basic grammatical... spreadsheet. Because even my grocery lists are in spreadsheet format.
Remember back in elementary school, where you learned the basics of first person, second person, third person? Oh sorry... well if you didn't go to school in THE VASTLY SUPERIOR TEXAN PUBLIC SCHOOLS maybe you didn't learn it until High School. Mah bad.
That is the basic conjugation English speakers have been using to direct their verbs. Do you see the problem? Now I shall present you with LATINOMGLOVE so you can see why Latin is superior.
Latin makes the difference between YOU SUCK and YOU (plural) SUCK plainly obvious. English, however, does not.
This is simply not acceptable. Therefore, we Texans got together in the cafeteria one day, and suggested a solution to this problem.
Now I can differentiate between YOU SUCK and YOU ALL SUCK. And then we have this wonderful thing called a "contraction", and YOU ALL transformed into YA'LL, which again, is perfectly acceptable in the English language, so suck it. Some people choose to say YOU GUYS instead which is somewhat okay, but potentially sexist, ya'll.
To take this even further, we have possession. For instance, YOUR (singular) DOG IS ANNOYING versus YOUR (plural) DOG IS ANNOYING. I mean, this is a very important distinction - and the English language lacks the capacity to address such a situation.
So then some of us super-smart Texans got together over steak and potatoes, and decided that this flaw in language needed to be corrected.
Therefore, I present the following word to you: YA'LL'S. That is a contraction for YOU ALL'S in case you weren't following along.
So, if you listen to the Twisted Nether Blogcast on February 5th, and hear some strange girl using words like YA'LL and YA'LL'S, just know that I am using these words because my English > Ya'll's English.
ETA: Uhm, except when it comes to apostrophes. I could go back and correct all my errors, but after the OCCULUS/OCULUS debacle, I have decided to just own my fail and go with it.
I figured the best way to settle the socket bonus debate was to simply math it out. So, I turned to BobTurkey for the source numbers (because that is definitely waaay beyond my capabilities) since I trust him, and figure his weight values are pretty good.
So I could try and explain what I did, but spreadsheets are way cooler. Please note, these numbers are for a Discipline Priest - the numbers for a Holy Priest are different, and you should go clicky the link to BobTurkey's Theorycrafting House of Pain to figure it out (also, he does not call it House of Pain - that is merely a reference to my brain hurting).
This is what my current gem setup looks like. As you can see, Spellpower was my priority. Whenever a socket bonus required a blue socket, I used a nasty, dirty, death knight birthing Purified Dreadstone. Whenever a socket bonus required a yellow socket, I used either a Reckless Ametrine or a Potent Ametrine, depending on what boss I had just wiped on and current prices on the AH.
As a side note, if you're wondering why I choose Spirit over Mp5, the answer is simple. Both are blue gems - however, Spirit scales with Blessing of Kings, whereas Mp5 does not. In addition, though Mp5 and Spirit are roughly equal in value to a Disc Priest, Spirit is far better for a Holy Priest, and I would like to be able to use the same gear when I run Holy.
All in all, it's not bad. The total item value number thingie is approximately 454. I have no idea how BobTurkey got his numbers, because everything he wrote about that translated into "BWUH??!" in my head. Since I primarily heal the MT in ICC, I might argue that Haste has a slightly higher value to me, but I can in no way quantify that, so I don't even want to open that can of worms.
Okay, now you've seen teh maths about my current gem setup. What if I ignored all socket bonuses, and simply put a Runed Cardinal Ruby in every socket? Please note that you still need to make sure to fulfill your meta gem requirement. Since I am using Ember Skyflare Diamond, I don't even worry about it, but if you use something different (and many do), that is something you should consider.
Here is the magic spreadsheet I generated. If you want to try this method, please note that you need to check your socket bonus requirements. Unfortunately, NONE of my current gear had a socket bonus that could be satisfied purely by Red Cardinal Rubies. That is why in the (Bonus) row, every calculation is zero.
See that super yellow and red number (that hopefully matches my website)? That number cries "HAHA UR RONG NOOB" and taunts me with its additional 6 points.
The differences between these two gem setups come down to this: Ignoring socket bonuses gains me 34 spellpower, at the expense of 30 crit, 20 haste, and 20 spirit.
Unfortunately, BobTurkey has not yet provided weight numbers that quantify the amount of hair I will rip out and gold I will spend and expletives I will shriek trying to change my gems YET AGAIN. If I were a min-maxer, I would probably care more. If you are a min-maxer, maybe you DO care, so there you have it.
Does that mean that all Spellpower gems is the best solution? Not necessarily. I'm sure someone much smarter than me can come up with a formula that will tell you the best gems to pick, based on your current soft caps and raid buffs and all that jazz (I believe it's called RAWR), but now you're just being picky. I threw together an alternative gem selection that would be better than both of the previous, just to give you an example.
So here you go. If I assume that BobTurkey's numbers are ideal, the gemming for crit, spellpower, and spirit is still superior to gemming solely for spellpower. The magic number 468.594 tells me so.
It's actually a pretty simple spreadsheet to throw together if you feel so inclined, but this is the part where I give you the disclaimer.
I have the utmost faith in BobTurkey's theorycrafting abilities - but nothing changes the fact that this is theorycrafting. It assumes certain variables. If you're raiding without Replenishment for whatever reason; If you are primarily raid healing and not MT healing, and find yourself nearly always under the influence of Borrowed Time; If you don't raid and stick to 5 mans; If you raid with 24 Druids - all of these factors can change the value of these numbers for you.
If I think about all that too much, my head esplodes so I just... don't. Contrary to popular belief, I like numbers even if I am not as capable as BobTurkey and Codi in figuring out what the best numbers are. But I am also the kind of person who critiques others' research and statistics as a hobby, so I am all about encouraging people to read the numbers with a healthy dose of skepticism and realistic consideration. Dont drink and theorycraft!
ETA: One time, I made a post on the forums that some other priest disliked, so in order to pwn me hardcore, I guess he checked me out on armory in an effort to find something glaringly wrong and nooby. In the end he pointed fingers and lawled at my gem selection. At first I was insulted, and then after thinking about it, I was rather flattered. Aww, that's so cute. You couldn't find anything to criticize me for, so instead, you turned to the default criticism that you can use against anyone: YOU GEM LIKE A NOOB.
The fact is, there are several different "gemming philosophies" (though I suspect I'm one of the few people who would call it that). What people have a tendency to forget is that these gems are very small amounts. They are nice additions that you don't want to skip, but at the same time, choosing a Reckless Ametrine over a Potent Ametrine doesn't actually make that big of a difference.
The way you choose your gems will differ depending no gear level, what you are currently healing through, and whether or not you are pushing up against the hardest content available. If you are trying to conquer hard modes, you will likely have to do some min-maxing. Otherwise? It doesn't really matter, as long as you pick stats relevant to your class and spec for gemming (i.e. no strength for priests, no hit for healers).
Why am I adding this? Because I don't want you to think I am suggesting everyone should put together a spreadsheet and try to figure out the "ideal" gem selection based on stat values. My point in this little experiment was merely to show that it is completely legitimate to gem for socket bonuses - and you can even use math to back it up if you like.
This is actually from yesterday, but this forum post was pretty funny. Since you may not be able to hit up the forums from work, I'll C&P.
Please Remove the World!
Seriously, everybody just afk queues in Dalaran all day long to get teleported to their instances or else join raids to get teleported too, so please let us uninstall everything in the game but that town once we reach level 80, and add an auction house in it.
And you also could give the option to never install the rest of the game at all and just install Dalaran and instances on our hard drive from the start! You can level from level 15 to 80 with random instances anyway!
That would be a great save of disk space! There is no World PvP and no World PVE to do anyway, just solo daily quests that are, I think we all agree, completely dull and boring.
Why did you create a World blizzard? We don't need it! Please let us save disk space!
What made this really great was Zarhym's response.
"Is Monday when a bunch of aspiring Jonathan Swifts hit the World of Warcraft forums? "
"After a night of heroic Anub’arak, our poor healers are rendered catatonic on the floor, blood seeping from their ears as the infinite abyss of sub 30% health bars claw at their fragile hearts.I can almost hear them weeping over the sound of my keyboard. A thousand lamentations of a thousand inadequate renews."
I lawled so hard I broke my bubble.
All weekend long, my forsaken socket bonuses haunted my dreams. "Why hast thou forsaken us?" they cried. Also, they looked remarkably similar to my evil!cat when she was slightlylessevil!kitten. I can't resist kitten wails.
We ran Ulduar10 last night (I never completed the place), and without a source of Replenishment in the group, I was having significant mana problems. Not that I think the extra 40 spirit is going to make a huge difference (if any) but it was really bothering me to not maximize my potential stat bonuses anyway. It did strike me, however, how much I rely on Replenishment in a raid.
I was thinking about sharing some of my advice and thoughts on building your own 10 man raids. I am not in a raiding guild, nor have I ever been, but I do still enjoy raiding fairly regularly. I've heard a lot of people say that they can't really raid because they don't know how, or they aren't in a raiding guild, or that they don't ever get invited to raids. My response is always pretty much the same: "So why don't you start your own?"
Since I hate telling people they should do something, without helping them figure out how to do it, look for some upcoming posts about organizing raids. Personally, I'm not really the raid leader type, but I very much enjoy organizing and maintaining them. I think I remember a post from Matticus where he suggested he felt similarly.
I'm almost ready to start making more Know Your Blue posts. I've been stockpiling bookmarks of various blue posts. Any suggestion on whom I should feature next?
Thank you for all the wonderful comments on Friday's post. I was so floored by the response, I didn't even really know how to respond, but I will say this: Never before have I been so pleased that I haven't turned off anonymous comments.
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I was going to write an About Me page due to a very exciting invitation for an upcoming event, but I didn’t know how. Due to the nature of my subject, WoW is supposed to be the place where I can escape being me… not talk about being me. That’s why it’s a Role Playing Game.
And then I read Tam’s “serious” post, and after crying for far longer than I care to admit, it occurred to me that if a Brit can expose so much emotional underbelly, then really, as a soppy American given to truly heinous and embarrassing acts of sentimentalism, why shouldn’t I feel free to do so as well?
So here you are. The truth is, I play WoW because I am depressed.
Does that seem anti-climatic? Maybe a disappointment? Are you rolling your eyes? I don’t really blame you. It's incredibly embarrassing for me to admit it out loud, let alone broadcast it on the internet. I'd love to deny it, that I'm not one of those gamers. It sounds like the same old boring story, pathetic and cliché. But it’s not. It’s a hobby I actively chose in an effort to allow myself, however ironically, to just be me – and in a very primal way, it was a last ditch attempt at survival. I used it to escape my life, but not to escape being me.
It began as a place to hide. Years later, it became the neighborhood bar I visit to catch up with friends and have fun. In “real life” I am not yet able to do this easily, but after a few years of playing WoW, I am determined to try again – with new friends. The ones I made in WoW. I want to go to Blizzcon and meet up with other bloggers. I want to take road trips to different places to visit with friends I've made in game. These are positive changes for me.
When I first started playing WoW in January of 2007, I was in a downward spiral, and this alternate universe, devoid of all the things in my life that left me feeling helpless and hopeless, provided a stepping stone to survival. No, it doesn’t really propel my life further. However, it does help me from sinking deeper. It’s the boulder jutting out from a sea of complete and utter despair that keeps me from being consumed by the hurricane in my own mind. It’s the bubble, the Divine Aegis proc. This is srs bzns.
I’m not depressed in some beautiful dystopian Picasso-blue-period sense. It’s not just a funk. It’s the clinical version, and yet there is nothing about it that feels clinical. The type that has been there your whole life, and just gets worse as you age. The kind that’s hereditary. The kind that explains why some of your relatives seem to drop off, one by one, into alcoholic or drug-induced self destruction, if they even last that long. The kind that translates into this heavy disease that calcifies into your bones, and makes the concept of moving your feet off the side of the bed and standing up on them in the morning tantamount to an Olympic competition. I know how pathetic it sounds, but this silly game is the tiny boost I sometimes need to help inspire me to at least get out of bed. After the first step, everything else gets a bit easier.
I don’t sit around feeling sorry for myself. I don’t try to bring down people around me. Every day most of my effort (and believe me when I say that every single tiny action seems like a gigantic effort) is funneled into keeping all of it contained within me, so that I don’t systematically destroy the threads that connect me to others I know I love.
If you’ve read my blog at all over the past year, you may have noticed that I take on the Happy Hippie Healer Hat. It’s true that I try to be a very cheerful and optimistic person. When changes happen in the game, I do try to look at them from the positive side, attempting to be bright, and warm and welcoming. By nature, I am a cheerful, outgoing, exuberant person. When you meet me in person I hover back and forth between giddy playfulness and self-conscious awkward moments. The first part is the genuine me, the second is the part I try to overcome. If I were to try and separate the clinically depressed version of me from the version that has trouble finding a reason to get out of bed in the morning, then this is what I get.
Tam pointed out something that really struck home with me:
And I know anonymity also makes us susceptible to the Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory, but there’s a flip side to this – the shy can be outspoken, the awkward can be flirtatious, the insecure can find acceptance, the followers can lead and the anti-social can be social. I don’t necessarily believe virtual spaces miraculously turns us into people other than we are, but I do think it can allow us to tap into aspects of ourselves that may not find much expression in our chosen lives.
And there you are. The person I am here, in this silly little game, over vent… that’s the real version of me. The person that others may see day in and day out, face to face? That is the diseased, sickened persona. It’s twisted and backwards and completely counter-intuitive, but there you have it.
I often think of depression like a cancer. It’s this tumor that grows and manifests in weird ways. It covers up portions of your true self. The tendrils of that tumor intertwine into my very nature until even I start to get confused, and I don’t know where I end and the tumor begins. It’s like a snobold on my head. You see the snobold, and maybe you confuse that snobold with me. I wish I could ask all the DPS to switch to the snobold on my head, take it down, and everything would be alright.
This is why I get frustrated when I hear people say that depression isn’t real, that it’s just people feeling sorry for themselves. It is real, it does exist, and pretending it’s not has lead to an epidemic of people seeking alternate realities in which they can escape the tumor. Some people chose alcohol, others drugs. Well. I chose World of Warcraft. When I felt like I was collapsing, I reached out and grasped onto something that would still allow me, in some strange way, to connect to other people.
I’m not a Psychologist. But it does seem to me, from my 25 years of experience with this disorder, that depression has a physicality associated with it. By that I mean that it manifests differently depending on the environment. We pick and choose our comfort zones, and in certain comfort zones, we can “trick” the tumor. We can escape from beneath its heady weight, and breathe freely. The weightlessness is like flying. I can be in top form in a raid, without getting caught up in worrying that others are thinking my gestures too wide, my face too animated, my exuberance too obnoxious. While I still retain some of my self-conscious nature, it is not as extreme. Occasionally my fiancé tells me I laugh too loud in vent, but that’s about as far as it goes. Can you ever really laugh too loud or too much? When you don’t find yourself laughing much on a day to day basis, then you treasure each chuckle.
In Azeroth, we’re all on an even playing field. It is very clear what is reality, and what is not. The world in which we play is a fantasy, it is not a true translation of the world in which we actually exist. However, the social interactions within are – or at least, can be if you choose to make them so. You might be a former cheerleader in the real world, working at a fashion magazine, whereas I could be an overgrown goth chick, who works a sex hotline number in off peak hours (well, okay, I'm not, but the point stands). But none of that really matters, because you tank, and I heal, and somehow, despite all the real world details that would keep us from becoming friends, we both chose to roll female Dwarves. So we must have something in common. And somewhere along the line, we became friends. What might have stood between us IRL is no longer there in game.
Anything can be self-destructive, if taken to the extreme. What some people call an addiction is actually a propensity to latch on to one thing and focus on it, single-mindedly, for a great length of time, to the detriment of all other facets of your life. One summer I was so wrapped up in my own misery, I tucked in with yet another Tolstoy epic and refused to speak to anyone… or sleep… or eat… until I felt like I wanted to jump under the train with Anna Karenina herself. Many years later, during one particularly devastating winter of personal failure, I latched on to World of Warcraft to keep myself from going back to my self-destructive Anna Karenina obsession. At least if I sank down into Azeroth, I wouldn’t be alone.
I’ve known a great many number of people who, in their downward spirals, grasped a bottle of Vodka in one hand, and a drug dealer in the other, and sank deeper and deeper until they simply disintegrated. Depression lends itself to self-destructive behavior simply because subconsciously (and sometimes consciously) you do want to destroy yourself. You want to push everyone else out, be alone, and just dissolve. I never allowed myself to get sucked into a drug or drink binge; instead I opted for an alternate reality that still enabled me to keep people in my life. The game forced me into social situations, without the physical awkwardness that usually inhibits me.
It doesn’t matter where the threads of connection between you and other people take place; What matters is that they exist, somewhere. I don’t need my Pally Tank BFF to talk to me about how I had yet another grotesque nightmare and today is officially a Bad Day. I don’t need her to come over and have beers with me to cheer me up. What matters is that she’s there, somehow, some way. That is a thread of connection that sustains me; It is an obligation to another human being, and an unspoken expectation from them that I keep on keeping on.
I'm not writing this to procure pity or sympathy, or even understanding from others. But I know I'm not the only one who has used WoW as a way to stay afloat. I suspect I speak for many people when I explain why I believe that MMOs don't make us depressed - we come to them when we are already depressed. I want you to know - you aren't alone.
It is, after all, just a game. But the relationships within it are real. And trust me when I say, it’s not the game mechanics that help me stay afloat in some small way. It’s the social threads that hold me up.
Cue ICC10 raid last night. As we begin clearing the trash, I get a whisper from the master of Discipline himself, Paolo.
"We need to have a chat about your gems."
Oh no... I'm caught. Apparently all the Death Knights I birthed have been whispering into Paolo's ear and telling him about my badness.
"But Paolo, I just can't do it... I can't give up my socket bonuses. I can't handle those pretty little numbers being... GREY."
"You know what you really ought to do? Socket for Agility."
Oh COME ON. That's just low Paolo. Low. /weep
Sigh. He's been wearing me down slowly but surely. For months I have stubbornly held on to my pretty little orange and purple gems. Over the past couple of weeks, he's been tapping my fingers with a hammer, gently but steadily ensuring that I lose grasp on these gems.
But the real kicker tonight was Saurfang. That's right, we have yet to down him (to be fair, we have been resetting our ID, and we only raid one night a week for a couple of hours). And as I watched in horror as Saurfang's blood power slowly increased, knowing that it was my fault, that my bubbles just CAN'T TAKE THE PRESSURE, I lost the battle.
I am tearfully weaning myself off of my multi-colored gems. Every grey colored socket bonus is like a punch to the throat. But I can do this. I will prevail. I will be strong.
Tonight I replaced all my gems that added any intellect or spirit with a runed cardinal ruby. I recently picked up the Sliver of Pure Ice, so I don't feel too worried about the loss in mana regen... yet. I will keep my +Mp5 on my chest for now until I feel a little more confident about my mana regen, and then switch to the +10 Stats enchant. Scouts' honor, Paolo. True story.
It's painful to switch from Holy to Disc. It really is. You'd think it would be easy, but it's not. It's painful to let go of all the things you thought you knew about playing a priest. My type A personality is twitching all over the place about the socket bonus loss. And now as I look over the gems I did manage to replace, I'm slapping myself in the forehead. I prioritized replacing +Intellect and +Spirit gems over maintaining my socket bonuses anyway. Guh. I could have at least kept my +spellpower socket bonuses, but instead, I held on to the Haste and Crit gems. I just can't get rid of them yet. Haste and Crit are so yummy.
So in conclusion: To everyone who looks at my gear thinking that I should be some model of proper gemming and enchanting... just stop. Really. I cannot live up to the expectations. Miss Medicina is here to give advice to NEW priests of any spec. If you want expert advice, go talk to Paolo.
Because one day, Paolo will suddenly appear on your server. And when Paolo tells you to fix something, you'd better listen. Paolo KNOWS THINGS.
I don't know when exactly it happened, because I'd been absent from them for about 6 months. The snarkiness and constant bickering over Flash Heal versus Greater Heal, the accusations of people gemming like an idiot, blah blah blah really got on my nerves. To me, the forums should be a place to really provide some info and advice for new players of your class, and to be a fun community place for people across different servers to get to know one another - and instead it was becoming a giant snarkfest.
But when I started popping over there a couple of weeks ago, the entire attitude was different. I discovered Paolo was a regular poster, that Nethaera was there offering up advice and general goofiness as well, that all these people on the forum felt they knew one another. Half the time they aren't talking about Priesting per se... they are just socializing.
And that, my friends, is part of building a community.
I attribute a lot of this to Nethaera, though I may be wrong and just be showing my fanboi colors. However, I think it's her job to foster a sense of community as a community moderator. I don't know if the CMs have "assignments" of different portions of the forums, but the Priest community seems to be hers. 6 months ago, there were never any Blue Posts in the Priest community, and now Nethaera posts little comments, and joins in on fun Priest discussions on a near-daily basis.
And then there's Paolo (who sent me an in-game tell the other day... I was completely starstruck or something. Also, terrified he was going to lecture me on my DK-birthing gem selection >.<), who is very involved in the Priest forum community. There's even a facebook group just for the group of Priests who goof off in the daily @DayoftheWeek thread.
Now, I don't know what the forums for other classes are like. But the one for Priests is unbelievably awesome. It is exactly what Class Forums are supposed to be - a Class based community.
If you're a Priest, and you haven't stopped over at the WoW forums for awhile out of pure reluctance, dip your feet in and at least say hi to Paolo. Go post in the @Tuesday thread and join the party. Everyone is welcome!
What if the Priest bloggers completely took over that place? Would we clean it up? Or have Nethaera and Paolo and countless others whose names I do not know already done that? Put aside whatever you may have thought about the WoW forums, and walk in with an open mind - just try reading and posting there for a week, and see if the recent changes can change your opinion of the WoW forums.
No, it's not the tank.
Not the raid leader.
Also, not me (I'm second though; Nice try you brown-noser!).
It's the Third Healer.
See, the Third Healer is the magical person who agrees to bounce back and forth between a healing and a DPS spec at your every whim. When you're testing out new strategies and logistics on new bosses, that Third Healer is the lynchpin to success.
When I'm running a raid (I use the word "running" because I don't technically lead, because that requires me to click things like "give people assist" and mark people and that's totally hard, and also, I get really mad when people talk over me, and then I shut up and pout, so it's usually better if someone else takes the official leading role, even if I'm bossing him around from the background... ahem), I like to try new bosses with an eye for surviving as long as possible on our first few attempts. I don't care about enrage timers; I want everyone to live as long as possible so that they can see as much of the boss fight as possible, and get into the swing of things.
And that, my friends, is where the Third Healer comes in.
Our Third Healer is a Resto/Elemental Shammy. He is the perfect Third Healer. What does it take to be a great Third Healer?
- Ability to do solid DPS in one spec
- Ability to do awesome Healing in another spec
- Ability to properly gear both specs
- Patience with a very annoying RL who keeps telling you to switch things around
- Total flexibility
This shammy is the best at all those things. The other two healers in our raid DO have off-specs, of course. We *could* DPS if needed. I have a very nice Shadow set, and though I'm not going to top any meters, I could probably... well, still come in dead last but not by a huge margin. The druid healer who sits next to me, however, isn't even hit-capped on his off-spec.
The Shammy in question, however, is never a waste of resources. He can top the DPS when that's his assignment, and he can also top the effective heals when he's healing. He can tank heal if needed. He can raid heal if needed. As a shaman, he is not particularly strong on the mobility front, but that's a feature of his class - not him as a player. And I don't fret about that too much, because the Disc Priest and the Resto Druid have mobility coming out the... well.
Because he is constantly switching back and forth to help us out as we learn new bosses, I have a Third Healer loot rule. That means that his main-spec and off-spec are one and the same for loot purposes. We don't really have strict rules in our raid, it's mostly based on courtesy - if someone has already won something, they can still roll, but we'll give priority to someone who hasn't won anything yet (for the record, this is sooo much easier to do in a 10 man raid!). We do, however, give priority to people's main specs. For the Third Healer, however, he can roll on anything that would benefit either of his specs.
It sure helps that the person who made that rule, however, is one of the healers against whom he will be rolling for items. Not sure how well that would go over if the other healers didn't agree with this philosophy.
Anyway, the point of all this, is that if you are starting to put together some ten man raids, if you are learning new fights - bring someone who can deeps AND heal, and is flexible enough, and willing enough to do both. And don't screw them on loot - you WANT them to maintain a good healing set as well as a good dps set. And that's not always easy!
That Third Healer is integral to learning new fights, especially if you're a pretty casual bunch.
A toast to our Third Healer, who helped us learn every boss in ICC so far!
Sadly, I am not, as of yet, that important. However, thank you guy-that-hit-refresh-20-times-in-2-minutes. You made me feel pretty special. Don't worry, I'm still here. Some days my brain is just really fried.
A recent huge blowout with my parents got me thinking...
Why do people refuse to admit when they are wrong?
Why is it that when a raid wipes, and a RL asks what happened, no one wants to step up and say "look, I'm sorry, I didn't help DPS those snobolds. Obviously, I should have done so, so let's try again, and I will." Instead, so many times we are stuck floundering repeatedly, having to watch everyone else to see who is doing what wrong.
Look, if you do something wrong, if you screw up in a raid, just step up and admit it. It makes the whole thing go so much faster, really.
And you over there - if someone has the guts to step up in a raid and admit they did something wrong, then give them some respect for having the courage to do it, and shut up about it. If you have some tips to help them not screw up, that's great. But going on and on about what an idiot they are for making the mistake is just wasting time and is not helping anyone.
I'll be the first to admit when I screw something up, unless I'm just being grouchy, stubborn, and stupid. Yeah, that happens on occasion, surprise. What frustrates me, however, is when I'm the only one willing to step up and confess I screwed up. Usually the entire wipe is not just my fault guys, don't let me take all the blame. Step up yourselves and make it known. Don't put someone else in the position where they feel they have to call you out.
If you are having trouble healing someone and keeping them alive without running out of mana, you need to say something. Maybe your gear is weak, but does it matter? Maybe you should have a different healing assignment. Maybe the Druid can throw some hots on your target to help out. Or maybe you are a holy priest, and you just aren't really built to solo-heal the MT and the OT through TOC25.
ETA: I feel that in the interest of full disclosure, I should confess that one time Fulguralis was leading a ToC raid, and he called me out for not spreading out and therefore all the healers dying, and I totally threw a hissy fit... even though he was right.
God I hate admitting it when boys are right. Especially Warlock boys. They're so UPPITY.
See, I don't use Gearscore, though I certainly don't have a problem with it. If I'm trying to put together a raid, and I want an estimate on others' gear, I use wow-heroes. This gives me a pretty good idea of the content for which they are prepared gear-wise, and it's also a very solid interface for quickly determining if they have put forth the effort when it comes to A) Enchants, B) Gems and C) Sons of Hodir rep (oh yeah, I went there.)
But in a daily pugged heroic, I don't bother with this. I have a slightly more ingrained way of determining someone's "Gearscore", and it's called... your health bar.
It wasn't something I intentionally began doing, but truthfully, I spend so much time staring at your little green-light-indicator, that it just became a natural thing for me. Note that I did not equate someone's health bar with their ability. But if a DK tank walks in with 50k health, I know he's probably got some pretty purple gear... or at least a LOT of Stamina gems (which is probable).
I'm a Disc Priest with somewhere between 20-22k health when buffed for a five man. If the elemental shammy in my pug has 16k health, I know he's starting out his gearing effort.
Because Stamina scales with item level on gear, your health pool tells me everything I care about in regards to your gear.
The thing is, I really don't mind quick gear estimation tools. To me, it's sort of like Recount. These things are tools to help you estimate some abilities or your gear. If used properly, they can be solid indicators. Yes, there are ways to fool the meter, just as there are ways to "fool" the gear estimation.
But it actually IS important for me to have a rough idea of your gear in a 5 man. I don't really care about your DPS to be honest - I'm sure you'll do fine, and if you are slacking, someone else can pick up what you lack. But I do need to know what your health is like. If you only have 16k health, then I may just keep you bubbled all the time in an effort to keep you from dying too quickly. I don't mind doing this - but I do need to know before hand if this is something I should be doing.
Here at the Miss Medicina hippie-healer commune, we're all about hugging and spreading a positive message. No matter how much people may dislike my spread-the-love-not-the-hate attitude in my personal life, I refuse to back down.
So I think it's time to spread a little love to the DPSers.
This priest does not think your job is easy. As everyone who has been reading this blog for any length of time knows, when I DPS, the only thing that dies is me. All you need to do is click that little "Stories of Fail" tag on the right hand side, and you'll see what I mean.
I stand in the fire just as much as you do. Probably more. True story. Coldflame kicked my ass three times Thursday night. The difference is that I can heal myself, hopefully before anyone else notices my stupidity.
I really did try to explain how the Lady Deathwhisper fight worked to my babyICC10 raid, but it wasn't until the DPSers decided to figure it out on their own and give me something shiny to look at to distract me that we were finally successful in taking the LadyLich down.
I can't give you a hard time for not using Lightwell. Because I always forget to use my healthstone.
IMO, you guys make much better leaders. I appreciate the fact that you are willing to let your DPS slack a little bit in order to direct the rest of us so that things actually get done properly. When I try to lead while healing, I end up barking at a lot of people, and get downright grouchy.
I don't really mind if you screw up here and there and take some avoidable damage. Even if you know the fights, such as in heroics, it keeps me from getting too bored staring at the wall. In a raid, when we're learning new fights, I understand that you and I are still learning.
If no one ever screwed up, this game would be really damn boring.
I understand that sometimes you get aggro, despite trying really hard not to. This is especially true for you Shadow Priests and Locks. I know that DoTs can be tricky to manage at times. It's cool, I got your back.
Thanks Mages, for everytime you've seen something coming at me, and sacrificed your super squishy self for me. Thanks for your arcane thingie that increases my crit. Thanks for the strudel. And most of all, thanks for the Intellect buff.
Locks, thanks for the summoning stone. Oh and the healthstone I never use. Most of all - thanks for the soul stone.
Hey death knights and pallies - thanks for yanking that mob off of me, even when you *aren't* tanking.
I could go on, but you get the point.
Ya'll can have the new gear. If it's a stamina increase for you, please take it. You having more stamina makes my job easier just as much as if I had better gear myself.
The Life of the Chinese Gold Farmer
Of course, by posting this article, I am not saying I approve of gold-selling, or that I disapprove of it. I do, however, find it fascinating.
Ever find yourself wondering what a job farming gold would be like? Sometimes my dedication to the game does feel like a job. Whenever I start to feel like that, I know I need to take a break, and gain a bit of perspective.
I would hate for my fun leisure activity to leave me feeling like a Chinese Gold Farmer!!
JackHole: Hey Blizzabeth. I think we need to have a talk.
Blizzabeth: Oh no, JackHole. That sounds serious. Is everything okay?
JackHole: Well… no. No, not really Blizzabeth. I'm just not happy in this relationship anymore. I feel you're being a kinda crappy wife actually. I want a divorce.
Blizzabeth: What?! JackHole, say it isn't so! Surely we can work through this; You're very important to me, our marriage is very important to me… Look, I'll do anything to save this marriage. Please, you must tell me: Why are you so unhappy? What can I do to salvage our relationship?
JackHole: Okay, fine. Some changes will definitely need to be made around here for certain though.
Blizzabeth: I'm always open to suggestions, JackHole. Please share them with me.
JackHole: Well, see, you say that. But just last week I asked you to grow a third breast, and you completely refused.
JackHole: See? You don't even try to deny it. You keep saying you'll make an appointment with the surgeon Soon™, but I'm sorry. I want that third breast NOW.
Blizzabeth: JackHole, I tried to explain to you… these things take time. I mean, I'm not sure if I'm comfortable having a third breast, but I am willing to at least look into it if it means so much to you. It's just that it's a pretty big endeavor, you know. You just need to have a little patience with me for such a huge change.
JackHole: Oh please. Pre-teen girls can grow TWO breasts, and you're an adult woman – I'm only asking you to grow ONE. Stop acting like it's such a big deal. Also, you're too tall, and I want you to be shorter.
Blizzabeth: I'm too tall? JackHole, that's the sort of thing that just… defines me. I mean, I can't exactly chop off my ankles!
JackHole: Why not?
Blizzabeth: … Well… because that... I mean that's not even… wha?
JackHole: Oh c'mon. You don't need to walk around that much. They DO have wheelchairs, you know. Oh, another thing. I don't know exactly how to say this, Blizzabeth, but… well, you're kinda a whore.
Blizzabeth: !!! I beg your pardon?
JackHole: It's just that, you're so easy. I mean, you are always there when I want you, always accessible, and there's just no challenge to get into your pantaloons anymore.
Blizzabeth: JackHole, just two years ago you told me I was too difficult and stand-offish. You said you felt like there was a whole realm of me that you never got to experience, and that it made you feel as though you weren't getting the most out of our relationship. I've tried to become accessible and available specifically because you asked me to!
JackHole: Yeah, well, it seemed to be working fine until I realized that other wives were becoming more accessible to their husbands as well. I thought maybe I was going to be the only one, and that would have been cool, but it's not anymore. Frankly, I'm a bit peeved that you gave into my demands so easily. Actually, it's too late for that. I think instead, I want you to just be male.
JackHole: Yeah, this whole you-being-a-chick thing just isn't working out for me, and I'm bored and want to try something new. It's not really that hard to grow a penis, you know, you don't have to make it into this big "issue". Just the other day I saw a penis walking down the street.
Blizzabeth: JackHole, you can't be serious. This is what it's going to take to save our marriage?
JackHole: Mmmm, yeah pretty much. Look, you either change, or I'm outta here. Babe, you're competing with lots of other great folks out there, gotta tell ya. I met these two chicks named Eve and Aionia, and they are HOT.
Blizzabeth: I thought you said you were no longer interested in chicks, and that they bored you.
JackHole: Well, yeah, but that's only with you, actually. Eve and Aionia are totally different. I mean, except where they are like, the same.
Blizzabeth: You know what, JackHole? Sounds like I'm just not the person for you anymore. I give you what you want, and then you come back and tell me that you no longer want that, and that I ought to reverse myself for you. In fact, it seems like you want me to change all these things about myself that just define who I am. If that's the case, I just don't think there is any way I can salvage our relationship in the long run. I am who I am, JackHole, and if that's not what you want, then maybe you should just leave.
JackHole: WHAT? How dare you! You're my wife, you're supposed to do exactly what I ask! The husband is always right!
Blizzabeth: I'm fine with you making some relatively realistic suggestions about how we could improve this relationship. But your "suggestions" are just completely out there. I've got a lot of friends and family who happen to like who I am, and I don't feel like changing, transforming, or redefining myself just to make one person happy – a person who will probably change their mind in another couple of months. I wish you well JackHole, but I'm not really sad to see you go.
JackHole: Blizzabeth you are so stupid! I hate you! FAILFAILFAILFAILFAILOMGFAILIRLFAIL YOU ARE THE WORST WIFE EVAR
Blizzabeth: You're allowed to disagree with me of course. But do it in a mature way. Insulting me isn't going to get me to change anything, and will probably make other people laugh at you, and will ultimately get you divorced. Next time, JackHole, ask yourself if a few seconds of venting are really worth it.
NB: Please note this is what some people refer to as a work of "parody" or perhaps even an "analogy", meant solely for laughs. I can't deny that even I, on occasion, have wished Blizzabeth would grow a third breast.
The thing is, that in spite of how many terribad comments I got, I also got some really great ones. And they really made me think. And then BBB posted about Oculus, and so did Leaf-Head and a bajillion others, and I thought to myself, there has just got to be a better way to deal with the Oculus/LFG debacle. So many people offered tips and encouragement and great responses in their comments, that I feel it would just be wasted if I didn’t put all that information together into an actually helpful post.
Seems there are several different problems for folks landing in Oculus for their random heroic.
- A large portion of the Oculus instance requires you to be on a vehicle, and know the abilities of that vehicle. Many folks just don’t know or understand the abilities.
- Some of us understand the drake abilities just fine tyvm, but we are really awful at flying, or handling the interface changes, etc.
- Some of us are great at both, and more than happy to help out those who struggle, but people keep abandoning the group before even giving it a shot.
There are other issues that people have, but for most of those issues, I have no easy solution for you. Oculus is different than other heroics, partially because before ToC it was supposed to be one of the most difficult Heroics – you can’t just pile up mobs and AoE-zerg your way through it. For many, this makes it a lot more fun and interesting. For others, not so much.
For the moment, I’m going to skip problem 1 and come back to it. Let’s address the other problems first.
If you struggle with flying, like me, I will tell you what I do in Eye of Eternity (which is actually my favorite raid).
- I ask who the most confident flyer in the group is, and then I tell them I am going to follow them. Create a quick macro that says /follow Superman, put it on a toolbar, and use it everytime you mount up. Ask the person you intend to follow to wait a few moments after mounting up before flying away, because there is a delay in the mounting/dismounting/follow mechanics. Hopefully they will be helpful and want you to not fail.
- Secondly, put the drake item (drake essence) that calls your drake on your toolbar as well. This keeps you from having to dig through your bags every time you have to mount up, and saves some time and frustration.
- Note that if you die, you will need to get another drake essence.
- Also note that if you die, you can use your ground mount on the opening walk, and ride on over to the portal on the other side to get to the NPCs who will give you your drake essence.
- And please also note that you can fall off the side of the walk into oblivion and die again. Why yes, I have in fact tested this. For informational purposes only, of course. >.>
If you are one of those people that has no problem with this instance, be a pal.
- If you’re sick of people ditching as soon as they see it’s the Oculus, try writing a quick macro that says /p I know this instance, and if you do not, I will help you! Or something less cheesy. If I knew when I jumped in that there would be someone patient and willing to help, I would be much less likely to bail.
- Recommend that people who struggle with the flying put you on /follow.
- Recommend that people who struggle with targeting drakes to DPS make a macro that targets you, and then go after whatever you are targeting. (If someone who knows how to write a macro for this that can verify it works with drakes would post this in a comment, I would be very grateful)
- Be prepared to give brief explanations of the drake abilities (see below).
- In short? Be prepared to courageously lead – and that requires patience. Earn your Patient title solely from helping people through this instance.
The Drakes in Oculus
Now, back to that first problem.
For some strateeeeegery, try The Oculus Guide at World of Strats. The author politely requested that the article be linked to instead of copy and pasted, so please go there to read the strat. The drake abilities are also listed there.
If you just feel ill-informed about the drakes and their abilities, I am listing them here for ease of reference. This is directly copy and pasted from WoWWiki, and all credit goes to them.
- Searing Wrath — Breathes a stream of fire at an enemy dragon, dealing 6800 to 9200 Fire damage and then jumping to additional dragons within 30 yards. Each jump increases the damage by 50%. Affects up to 5 total targets. Instant.
- Evasive Aura — Allows the Ruby Drake to generate Evasive Charges when hit by hostile attacks and spells. Instant. Passive.
- Evasive Maneuvers — Allows your drake to dodge all incoming attacks and spells. Requires Evasive Charges to use. Each attack or spell dodged while this ability is active burns one Evasive Charge. Lasts 30 sec. or until all charges are exhausted. Instant. 5 second cooldown.
- Martyr — Redirect all harmful spells cast at friendly drakes to yourself for 10 sec. Instant. 10 second cooldown. This ability is only available during the final boss encounter.
- Shock Lance — Deals 4822 to 5602 Arcane damage and detonates all Shock Charges on an enemy dragon. Damage is increased by 6525 for each detonated. Instant.
- Stop Time — Halts the passage of time, freezing all enemy dragons in place for 10 sec. This attack applies 5 Shock Charges to each affected target. Instant. 1 minute cooldown
- Temporal Rift — Channels a temporal rift on an enemy dragon for 10 sec. While trapped in the rift, all damage done to the target is increased by 100%. In addition, for every 15,000 damage done to a target affected by Temporal Rift, 1 Shock Charge is generated. Channeled. This ability is only available during the final boss encounter.
- Leeching Poison — Poisons the enemy dragon, leeching 1300 to the caster every 2 sec. for 12 sec. Stacks up to 3 times. Instant.
- Touch of Nightmare — Consumes 30% of the caster's max health to inflict 25,000 nature damage to an enemy dragon and reduce the damage it deals by 25% for 30 sec. Instant.
- Dream Funnel — Transfers 5% of the caster's max health to a friendly drake every second for 10 seconds as long as the caster channels. Channeled. This ability is only available during the final boss encounter.
Try to remember that it is actually somewhat rude to abandon your fellow puggers when you see an instance that challenges your comfort level. If you're going to get a 15 minute debuff anyway, at least stick around for 15 minutes to see how it goes. Hopefully there will be at least one person in your group who is friendly enough and confident enough to help you with it if you are struggling.
If not, well, start a blog and begin writing about all your awful PuG experiences XD
I have admitted it before, and I will state it again. I am a social. Yup, that's right. I'm one of those people who values courtesy and kindness and community to a somewhat irrational extent. I'm okay with that.
But I am also a very logical person. Most of the time, I find that logically speaking, courtesy and kindness provide more personal and group benefit than the alternative.
Now I do have some friends that can’t stand reading Gevlon’s blog. I, however, enjoy it immensely – even though Gevlon would probably consider me an M&S. But I don’t get offended. I know folks who hate reading his material because they feel it is nothing more than incendiary nonsense, just written to piss people off and get a reaction.
I disagree entirely.
Of course, the value of Gevlon’s blog may inherently lie in the fact that his somewhat Aspergian theories and perspectives are far against the typical Wow blogger norm. For me, however, that’s not why I subscribe, and it’s not why I read it.
I enjoy reading Gevlon’s material because he can piss people off just by using basic logic. He is not a troll. He is a goblin.
In my very first Geography class in college, my professor gave us all a handout that listed 42 different logical fallacies. No, I don’t have them all memorized, but I haz a bookmark. I don’t mind if you disagree with me. In fact, if you agree with me all the time, why are we even discussing the topic? How boring. I might even argue that the attraction between my fiancé and I is based on the fact that we disagree on just about everything.
But one thing I don’t tolerate is a logical fallacy-based attack.
And that is the difference between a troll and a goblin. Gevlon will disagree with you; Gevlon will piss you off. But the vast majority of the time, he has very good evidence and rationale for the things he says that piss you off. If you want to argue with Gevlon, you better be prepared with some solid logic, because he is not even going to waste his time responding to you if you are using an argument based solely on a logical fallacy. Telling him that he is just a big ol’ meanie mcmeanikins isn’t going to have any effect on him, and won’t get you any real satisfaction.
I doubt that Gevlon would agree with my brand of logic. In America, the most powerful vote you can give is arguably with your dollar. So, if I disagree with a company’s policies, or I think they pursue completely unethical objectives, I won’t buy things from them. I will even go so far as to make sure my investments (such as mutual funds) do not put any money into their coffers. It means I make less money, but it also means I’m not contributing to what I perceive as a problem in my country, and therefore in my life. I don’t stand on the corner holding a sign that says the company is evil. I just don’t financially support them.
That’s not rational from an economic perspective. But if I complained about a company, and then continued to provide investment funds for them, wouldn’t that make me something of a hypocrite? That’s my kind of logic. I would argue that the inherent difference between my rationale and Gevlon’s rationale is a different definition of value. He considers economic benefit to be the most important value, whereas I do not. Look at that, I just used rational logic to explain why I would disagree with Gevlon on things, as opposed to an ad hominem attack.
Tobold and Gevlon are both bloggers that provide a forum for especially intriguing thought and insight into the MMO universe. They also make a solid attempt to weed out the trolls, while keeping the goblins around.
If you comment on a forum or blog, and provide nothing more than attacks based on logical fallacies just to get a rise out of people and piss them off, you, sir (or madam!), are a TROLL.
If you comment on a forum or blog, and provide meaningful evidence, logic, or rationale in an effort to disagree with the writer, you might just be a GOBLIN.
Goblins are welcome. I can respect a Goblin, because I can actually learn something from a Goblin. Trolls? Well, you do amuse me.