Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Maintenance Day Musings... What to Wear?

** Before I begin, I want to note that ZERO of this is based on my own math. I don't do math and I like to go by experience, and what works for me. What is good for me, might not work for others!**

I've been thinking for a while that I would make myself a BiS gear list. I just didn't know where to start. After doing some reading at Elitist Jerks, PlusHeal, Tales of a Priest and the WoW Priest forums I figured I'd set down some gear I'm looking for for MY role in raids. This'll give me a direction in where I want to go in terms of gear and stats, and it will also ensure I know which bosses I can swap out for and which ones I'd like to stay in for, if possible.

My role in raids so far this expansion is tank healing. I'm comfortable doing it and it's a nice challenge. It's a new thing for me, I used to raid heal via bubble spam but those days are (thankfully) long gone. I don't want to be limited in the roles I can perform in raids, either. If I'm needed to raid heal, then I want to be able to do it too. My gear needs to be versatile, and this is why I'll be trying to find a good balance between Haste, Mastery and Crit.

Critical heals will proc Divine Aegis, and those absorb damage. Our Mastery is Shield Discipline and more absorbs on your targets is always good. What's left? Haste. Right now, everything feels too slow, so haste is a priority for me. Our three main "secondary stats" are extremely synergistic with each one boosting the effect of the other. More crit means more absorbs, more mastery means more absorbed and more haste is more casts to get more absorbs!

I am not talking about gems, and I am not going into enchants (in this post!).  

Ok, so what to remember?
Intellect: Always important.
Spirit: Not a usual stat for me, but it's definitely important now. Each piece of gear listed below will have spirit on it OR a good reason why it doesn't.

Haste: Faster Smites for Atonement. Faster casts in general helps with tank and raid healing.
Crit: More procs of Divine Aegis is lovely. Yes, please!
Mastery: Extra absorbs on Power Word: Shield, and Divine Aegis. Want.
Haste edges out Crit and Mastery, but not by a huge amount given that I use Borrowed Time. These stats are about even in importance.

Tier Eleven:

Our 2set bonus is this: Increases the critical strike chance of your Heal spell by 5%.

I checked my last WoL and I don't use Heal very often. Smite has almost overtaken my use of this spell. Unless this bonus gets changed to include Smite, it's not a priority for my needs.

The 4set bonus is: Each time your Penance spell heals a target with Weakened Soul you gain 540 Spirit for 10 sec, and being in a Chakra state grants you 540 Spirit for the duration of the Chakra.

A Discipline priest would have to watch their Penance cooldown AND make sure that the target has Weakened Soul to keep this up. Whereas a Holy priest enters a Chakra and they get a constant spirit buff. That's pretty incredible.

The way I see the 4set bonus working is this. Shield your target, Penance. Smite until Penance is off CD (works best if you have Train of Thought) and Penance again. Re-shield. Repeat. I'm not ecstatic about this. I can see it working, but eh.
I'm not actively searching for Tier pieces, but if the stats are what I need then I'm not opposed to picking them up. Tier is not BAD to snag, but it's not a glaring priority for me.

With that said, let's get to it!

The Gear:

- Our T11 gloves and legs can drop from Pit Lord Argaloth in Baradin Hold OR can be purchased via Valor Points (2200 for legs, 1650 for gloves)
- Our T11 chest can be purchased via Valor Points (2200) (Kurn's Corner, 2011)
*Stamina and Intellect are the same values on comparable pieces unless otherwise stated*Choices are from most preferred to least*I left out loot from Throne of the Four Winds*

Well, we have three very different helms. Since Nef is a ways away for my guild, I'll be picking up the first bullet here if I can.

There's no spirit on the second option, but it's still a solid option for pre-raiding and if you can't get the amulet right away - don't forget about reforging!. I'll be nabbing that as soon as my rep's there.

I see these causing me some grief. No, no, lots of grief. There's been some talk about priests choosing gear that doesn't have spirit on it and it seems to be frowned upon by the other cloth casters in the guild. In terms of gear accessibility, none of these are available yet but Roaring Flames would be the first one. In terms of practicality I want the Mercurial Mantle. Just means I'd have to wait a little longer or wait for my chance to nab the Roaring Flames. We'll see what happens!

Same general stats, but a difference in haste and mastery. I don't see myself spending 1250 points on a mastery cloak when I can reforge for mastery on some other things. I'll be gunning for the Drape!

Right now I'm wearing the first option, but eventually there'll be an influx of valor points and I might pick up the tier chest.

  • Cord of Raven Queen (Guardians of Hyjal) 169 spirit, a blue socket with +10 intellect bonus and 149 mastery.
  •  X-Tron Duct Tape (Omnotron Council) 169 spirit, a yellow socket with +10 intellect bonus and 149 crit.

Since I'm wearing Cord of the Raven Queen, I'll be set for some time.

I need two more pieces of Dreamcloth and I'll have the Breeches, yus!

  • Brackish Gloves (Chimaeron) Red socket, +10 haste bonus with 149 spirit and 169 haste.
  • Mercurial Handwraps (Valor Points, 1650) Blue socket, +10 intellect bonus with 169 spirit and 149 mastery.
  • Flamebloom Gloves (Earthen Ring, Exalted) No spirit, blue socket with +10 intellect bonus with 149 haste and 169 mastery.
For the time being, I think I'll pick up the third option so I can save some priority for bigger and better things.

Not really any other options.

Band of Secret Names has no spirit, but it has 127 crit and 127 haste compared to the Twined Band's 127 spirit and 127 mastery.

The only option.

As much as I'd like to think I'm an archaeology buff, I don't think I'm good with farming for very obscure items. Even though they are really good... First choice here would be Chelley's staff, even over a main hand/off hand combination.

Main Hand:
In terms of practicality and not ruffling feathers... I'd use the first option. In terms of what I would like to have... Twilight's Hammer all the way! But then, Cho'gall isn't too close yet so... Incineratus!

Off Hand:
Nearly the same stats, but the scepter might be a little easier to get my mitts on, if I need it. With the upcoming nerf to the 100 intellect enchant (changing to 40 intellect) this'll even out the difference between staves and a main hand/off hand combination.

Makes my head hurt thinking about these.
The easiest options for me to obtain are in order from easiest to hardest.
The Tsunami card would be my ideal trinket to pick up, but unfortunately I'm not a scribe, nor do I have one (on my current server) so this would be a LOT of gold to spend.
This next one is great too, but again, it's time spent that I don't really have during the school term. If I happen to chance across the doll then great! But if not, it's all good.

Whew! Was that a long one or what? I meant for this to be done on maintenance day, but classes caught me up and then I got tired of looking at gear.
To reiterate, this is gear that I think will work for me and what my role is in raids. It's not hard to hit up some websites and check out what the community is saying about pieces of gear, and it helps to hear a bunch of different points of view too!

Friday, January 7, 2011

In which twenty-five men and women raid an instance... and succeed!

There you have it! Magmaw, Omnomnomotron Council and Half-ass Wyrmbreaker dead!

Apotheosis went into our first official 25 man on Tuesday. We hit Magmaw first, since most of the people in the raid had seen him on the 10 man version earlier. A couple tries let the unfamiliar people see Pillar of Flame and that it is bad to stand in. We finally had a good system for chains, and the priests set up a miraculous Hymn of Hope rotation to save our sanity. It didn't take too long to get it right, and eventually the worm bit the dust!

We moved on to the Trons and got a good amount of attempts in (37%!) before we had to call it for the night.

Thursday evening had us heading back to the Trons, and it went pretty smoothly, aside from the fact that we had 5-6 people alive at the end. But we got it!

We went over to Bastion of Twilight and hoooooo boy, was that interesting. The trash in there is an experience in itself! It took us about 45 minutes to get through that first section of trash before Halfus. I'm pretty sure most of the people had not seen that fight in real time yet, either. A few had seen it on 10man and some on the Beta but not like the Magmaw attempts.

After some attempts trying to get the three drakes straight we took a small break (at 11:30pm wtf?!), and were back at it to get him down before raid's end (midnight). We were SO close once. He enraged at 6 minutes, with 30% health left. Oh lawd. But! Combined with the stun that happens to the boss, and healer/pally cooldowns (I totally LifeGripped a tank away from the boss), he was down to 4% before we all bit the bust.

We can do it! It's just after midnight, and everyone is pressing for one more attempt! So we charge back in to kill him! Much smoother than the last attempt, we get him down to 15% before the enrage hits. Everyone is dpsing. I'm smiting, DoTing, my Shadowfiend comes back up and we're all givin' er! Finally! Finallllly! The boss drops after several tense minutes of "omgomgomgomg die die die alreadddddyyyyy!!!".

Very satisfying!

Monday, January 3, 2011

You have been removed from the group. ..."What?"

Happy New Year!

I cannot believe how fast my time off from school has gone. Classes start tomorrow! Ah!
Since my last post I've driven my boyfriend to the airport, had Christmas, Boxing Day, picked him back up from the airport, had a birthday, and celebrated the new year. Ooof. Not to mention still having a good time in Azeroth doing heroics and getting that damn Magmaw kill (with an achievement, woo!).

My first story is this: Heroic Grim Batol.
I decided that before I went to bed one night that I would like to get my random heroic in for the day. "Couldn't be that bad", I thought. So I clicked my random queue and the dungeon pops In Progress. "No problem, can't be that bad", I thought. I zone in to Grim Batol (which I have not healed completely on regular OR heroic). Grand. The other four people here are in the same guild, and tell me that the last healer didn't have any gems or enchants. Alright, valid kick reason.

I'm staring Forgemaster Throngus in the face, and I turn to my boyfriend (who didn't want to do a random so I blame him for this run!) and asked what the hell this boss did. So he explained, and after a few attempts, we get him down. Gradually making our way to Dragha Shadowburner, I noticed the group used lots of CC, but that the tank liked to break it. No problem, I can power my way through a few shitty pulls. So I think I'm doing pretty damn good, being new to this place and all.

Enter boss-orc. Boyfriend again explains the boss fight to me, making note of the elementals (and that you should run from them, or die) and the fire cone from the dragon that eats almost the whole area BUT you can avoid it if you simply stand behind the boss when the fire announcement appears. Perfect! Two avoidable mechanics, we should be golden.

First pull, it's going well until a fire breath noms all three ranged dps. Okay... .
Next pull, it's going well until an elemental catches me during a fire breath because I'm too busy healing the stupid ranged who are still standing in the fire.
"Elemental got u", says the mage. Yes, I say, after the fire breath destroyed the three ranged. "Yeah". What do you MEAN yeah?! Do you mean "Yeah I know" or is that a whatever 'yeah'? UGH.

At this point, two of them linked some vent information. But didn't say anything about it. Just linked the server, port and password. Mkay. I'm not getting on some vent with four people who are probably all dudes and will just flip out when they hear a GIRL on vent.

Third pull, going well and then after a fire breath that clips the ranged to 20% health EACH some shadow bolts kill two of them while I'm healing the tank.
So now I'm getting angry. This is perfectly avoidable damage and not my fault. So I say (very politely, given my mood), "Could you guys move closer to the dragon? This way you can run behind her faster when she flame breaths. It'll save a lot of mana and make the groups health more stable." I resurrect the mage and warlock (since he ss'd me, it was polite, I thought) and eat my food buff while the others run back.

I notice something. Silence. Not that they were a talkative bunch, but when I ask a question or make a suggestion I don't like when it goes unanswered. Especially when I know I'm right, damnit. I'm about to type it out again when the party lead changes. Uh oh.

I knew what was coming. "They're going to kick me?!" Bam. You have been removed from the group.

No explanation, no "Sorry Kal, we don't think you can do this" or even "We have a guild healer who wants to come in". Nothing. I mean, I've kicked people before but I ALWAYS give them a reason why. Example; "Sorry <tank>, but you don't have the gear yet for Heroic SFK. Try running a few more of some other place and try again in the future." Something like that.
Unless they're a total douchenozzle, then whatevz, see you later.

I get the votekick option. It's a decent failsafe for shitty PuGs. But I am not a shitty PuG. I buff, have my own buff food, carry elixirs, heal dumbshit dps, heal undergeared tanks and I don't gripe. Much. I ask for CC if we need it. I ask for dps to not stand in the bad. But I have never, ever been kicked from a group for making the suggestion that they not stand in the bad shit.

I've had better starts to a new year.

In other news, 25 man raiding starts this week (TOMORROW) for Apotheosis. I cannot stress how excited and relieved I am to be starting to raid again.

Also, I have a camel. So cute!