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  • Koukalaka
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The Light and How to Swing It: Healing Valithria Dreamwalker {WoW}

Mar 15th 2010 7:54AM A few things: This is normal, no fancy spec or fancy healing is required you can do this fight with 1 paladin going in and doing all these tricks, but realistically 2 competent people going in and getting 5-6 stacks and just healing her to full at the end will result in victory.

I presume the writer mentions healing themselves as an "optimal strategy" because they have experience with Hardmode where it is certainly optimal to heal yourself.

I would *very* much argue that haste definitly beats spellpower till you are hitting the hard cap of Holy Light during BL/Heroism. Since Spellpower Doesn't increase Holy Light that much. The majority of my healing experience on this fight is on hardmode where realistically you can't expect and dps to be able to sacrifice time to run to the boss and be a Holy light target. However even without that I will get up to 300k Glyph of Holy Light Heals and 280k Holy Light Heals so I don't consider it to be worthwhile or needed.

I reccommend not using Lay on Hands Actually, from my experience it scales alot worse than Holy light does, Considering I am mostly getting between 300k and 500k from single holy lights on the boss Lay on Hands Only does 220k max or so and is therefore wasted. You are better off using this early on one of your tanks if they are in trouble.

There are also *very* good arguments for using Flash of Light on this boss just for the hot on her, it dips into healing modifiers the same amount of times as Glyph of Holy Light does and you can get something like 100k Ticks from the hot. Personally I havent tried it because quite simply I'm lazy and the boss fight is usually over before heroism goes up, but I suppose some people might want to try it and orgasm over a reason to cast flash of light on this boss.

I guess some1 should mention that your mage should be using amplify magic on her since it increases her healing received by a significant margin.

The 5% modifier works on this fight for both beacon and the initial heal separately, and double(triple) dips with Glyph of Holy Light. So basically with no healing modifiers on either target beacon and Holy light would hit the same.

If you are progressing on this fight Hm then I guess its worth respeccing 51/5/15. But It's a very small increase and the major benefit of this spec is the improved run speed you get for getting to the portals and wasting less time moving. The best thing you can invest in for hardmode is Gyph of Holy shock over say Glpyh of Beacon so you can keep yourself up in the portal without having to rely on external healing or your holy shock critting, (obv this only applies if you are able to get 42-45 stacks+). Other than that, the actual difficulty of the fight is how your dps can manage adds outside rather than how efficient your healers are at portals.

TLDR: If you dont lose your stacks between portals, if you are wiping its the dps contingent outside and not your fault.

Breakfast Topic: Will you buy the new in-game pets? {WoW}

Nov 5th 2009 8:21AM Buying them as a christmas present for an irl friend, personally I think it's nice as they are cheaper than trading card game vanity items and people like them so.

If it came to the point where the store was selling 50+ pets/mounts/tabards etc then I think it would become a problem but if they keep the stock small and focus on pets mostly then I think its perfectly fine and its a cheap birthday/christmas present :D.

The Light and How to Swing It: Divine Sacrifice {WoW}

Oct 30th 2009 5:20AM Divine Sacrifice, as GC has eluded too, is so so powerful, every paladin should be specced it at the moment. Fights were being balanced around it and simply put its a very powerful cooldown. The changes on the ptr do not change it being very powerful for holy/prot but for ret it becomes worse because they can't pick up divine guardian.

Divine Sacrifice is so powerful at the moment, not because it only hits the raid, but because it is bugged. Essentially any damage caused at the same time to multiple people, ie ticks of a dot, xt tantrum etc. Only counts damage one person takes and adds it to its 150% limit, basically meaning its very hard to hit that 150% hp cap and you get the full 10 seconds of D.S. However the Ptr has fixed this bug and changed it to group wide. Essentially though, it has become more powerful. At the moment you can only realistically use it with divine shield because else you would die very quickly. Now we can use it with D.S and D.P. and even without it, since its only 30% from 4 other players, with an average of 25k hp of the paladin.To die from it before the 20% hp cancels the effect takes place would require a large amount of partywide damage. As long as the holy paladin isnt in group with the tank they should be easily able to use it whenever is required. This essentially doubles or triples the amount of times you would use it in an encounter.

Via Numbers the new divine guardian works out as *just* less than the current incarnation of D.S over a 5 minute fight, but in terms of it being a life saving cooldown, being able to use it 2-3 times in the same period compared to 1 can save many more people.

Wtb more paladin posts =(.

Breakfast Topic: Freestyle specs {WoW}

Oct 22nd 2009 10:37AM Personally It depends what you mean by "flare" builds. Most cookie-cutters are based solely around single target damage, which isn't necessarily great in every given situation, patchwerk isn't every fight as blizzard has said. Or indeed full-out healing/tanking output, going down that option.

If by "trying out" a spec you mean taking a few different talents that change the feel of the character (hopefully what blizzard is going to do in cataclysm) then mostly this isn't possible at the moment without totally gimping yourself. It's like for example going 1 handed fury, I, as a warrior, would love to go back to 1 handed fury (and i believe blizzard even mentioned TG would become a flavour talent at blizzcon, although that may be wishful thinking) however I've theorycrafted my class and realise that unfortunately the damage would not be comparable. At the moment in a life of a hardcore raider I don't really have the time and patience to try out different specs like this, if I would 25 man toc normal is a perfect place to do so since the dps requirement/healing requirement is pretty low that one can allow people with defunct specs to do some thorough tests that 5 mans don't really offer. Would I spec 2x1hander at the moment though, not really, simply because I'm a maths sort of person who does alot of their own theorycrafting.

However if you mean taking up just specific points outside of the cookie-cutter build, for example give you more survivability or different options in the field but don't really change the overal flavour of your dps/healing. Then I think you will find the majority of the wow community does this already. Whether it be for levelling and taking a talent that you wouldn't normally take as a dps spec. Or it be taking talents like improved cleave as a dps warrior to improve your aoe. There are many talents which are optional within a given cookie-cutter which blizzard likes. It idolises its "ret tree" or the "prot warrior tree" because there are alot of areas where the player can choose what they want and not sacrifice their core dps/survivability.

Blizzard, as I understand it, want this to become applicable to every tree in cataclysm and more. They want you to be able to mix and match at least 10 points of your talents just for utility/fun reasons, and perhaps even more so that you can change the flavour of how u dps/heal without being forced to pick a talent that increases your dps by 0.000005%. Personally I hope this can be achieved because at the moment when called upon to hardcore raid it does sadden me that there is relatively little room to manoeuvre in terms of talent choices, the fact that if you take questionable talents and want to raid reasonably hardcore you will get stripped down by guilds you ask to join for those points.

Blizzard wants say 2 specs of a class to be within reason so if u enjoy spec a but it has 0.05% less dps than spec b then you can spec spec a. However in the current climate of raiding mostly people are forced into specific specs either for the most efficient buff/debuff coverage or because simply put this spec is slightly higher dps than this other spec. Unfortunately that is how it is in the current raiding climate and hopefully that will change come cataclysm

Raid Rx: Healing heroic Lord Jaraxxus {WoW}

Oct 21st 2009 6:58AM This article has a little more insight than the previous one on beasts but not that much more.

First some glaring errors: Fel lightning does not increase in power per jump, that is 5 people get hit for the same amount per person as if 3 people got hit and the range between jumps is much higher than the usual chain lightning (around 12 yards). Although spreading is still advisory because of the flame it spreading out doesn't reduce lightning damage per person and just reduces raid damage very slightly.

I'll write up my thoughts from a paladin healer perspective.

1) Positioning is very important We want about 6 groups of 2-3 ranged/healers spread around the conveniently placed star in the centre such that each group has 1 healer per group (this is effectively so that 3 healers will be in range of anybody getting incinerate flesh and at least 2 healers for the legion flame kiting

Jaraxxus is tanked in the centre and there is no real need for melee positioning, like I said in melee range it requires extreme spreading to not spread lightning and its not needed in the first place.

Mostly the fight is quite elementary healing wise as long as everybody is on the ball, the tank taking damage from jaraxxus can be the weakest of the 2-3 tanks you bring (you really only need 2 tanks here but 3 can help for some reduced damage in the infernal stage). Jaraxxus doesn't hit for all that hard on the tank as long as his spells are interrupted.

From a healing perspective of a paladin its all about 5 things in the fight

1) Mistress's
2) Infernals
3) Fel lightning + Nether power
4) Incinerate Flesh
5) Legion Flame

I will discuss all 5 in turn so onto the first point

1) Mistress's. The healing on the mistress comes in bursts as a paladin I have beacon on the tank taking jaraxxus and simply heal the mistress's damage. Occasionally you will see her jump towards a player and they get thrown up into the air and take quite a lot of burst damage. Throwing a Holy shock or any instant heal is quite vital for dealing with this, however other than that the damage is quite light.

As was mentioned in the article the mistress now do a debuff on player's called mistress's Kiss which locks you out of your next spell school when you cast that next spell. Obviously priests casting mind blast, shamans lava burst and druids keeping to instants is fine (theres no point in casting starfire it takes too long to cast shifts you out of tol form and you can keep rejuvs and wild growths on everyone perfectly fine). As a paladin, however, there are 2 easy ways to combat this either take the spell lock as soon as possible, if you have improved concentration aura the spell lock out is not that bad and simply announcing it and having it over and done with quickly is far better. Or (if you aren't saving aura mastery for infernals) pop aura mastery and heal away, again it will depend on how good your other healers are to which strategen is more viable. There is an alternative way of dealing with them which is you cast a spell and immediately jump as you start casting. This cancels the spell before it interrupts, this takes some practise and can be utilised by any member of the raid but it is the best way of dealing with it if you are confident. However, usually this phase is quite light on healing and its fine if you get interrupted if you announce it.

As for killing the mistress, its best off tanking her in the centre so melee can "cleave" jaraxxus, other than a full nuke on the portal before hand (as a paladin the best I can do is really judge the portal with wisdom) however as long as your rogues are smart (yes exposing is good on the portal) you shouldn't have a problem with the dps timer as long as people are staying alive. You have alot of time to kill the mistress so the dps check is only on this portal

2) Infernals

This is the hardest part of the fight to Heal really. The best way to combat this is to divine sacrifice rotate. With 2 holy paladins + a ret it is easy enough to have any of these covered. However it is important not to blow it immedietly since the time they are "using infernal" is not straight as they move out of the volcano, they move around and need to picked up usually a good 10 seconds after the volcano has been destroyed is the best time to use divine sacrifice. If there is an infernal "infernalling" near you: it does have a very big range and it is often better just to take the damage than run around and cause chaos by doing so.

Good aoe healing is the key here, as a paladin I focus mostly on keeping up the melee and the legion flame/incinerate flesh debuffs at this time since Rejuv blanketting and shields will be being spammed by the other classes.

3) Fel Lightning + Nether Power.

I put this here because this happens alot when you have bad dispellers who tunnel vision adds. Personally we keep an enhance shaman on jaraxxus at all times for interrupts and dispels however if you don't have the dps to support that then you will have to rely on your priest healers dispelling nether power off (or indeed resto shamans purging) if he gains it during when the portal is up.

Its annoying to heal because it will do extensive damage to (probably) 5 people in the raid and this is why dispelling is so very important. It needs to be co-ordinated between 2-3 people. Not all the stacks need to be off by the time he does a chain lightning but it does need to be reduced or you will see 5 people pretty much fall over and die. As a paladin there isn't much you can do to combat this but as priests/shamans you need to be on the ball dispelling if your dps can't spare 1 person to do this.

4) Incinerate Flesh. This is basically the crux of the fight. As for incinerate flesh simply put 2 of your "big heals" onto the target (often you only need 1) if they are in range. If everybody puts 2 big heals onto the target the debuff will be cleared, on certain phases like infernal phasing you may need to pump out more holy lights as a paladin to the target but it needs to be cleared asap because it a) reduces there damage b) they can't be healed c) to avoid a raid wipe

It's imperative that this is healed off quickly and every healer should have it as a number 1 priority to heal off.

5) Legion Flame, now really this is minor healing if the kiter does it right and only takes the dot in damage. Basically the person with this debuff should do a long circle round the back of their group (if ranged) and make sure the fire is spread out evenly. If your a healer and get the debuff throw an instant heal on yourself. Fires get released every 3 seconds so you can run and stop and flash heal yourself if other healers are slacking but the important thing is to firstly not get fire on where your group is standing and secondly make sure you do not run out of range of other healers. It pains me every time I see dps running away with legion flame out of range of healers and then wondering why you died. This certainly is very important not to do so and if your dps don't have range raid frames then tell them to get it.

If melee get legion flame it is imperative they get away from the centre asap and basically run in a straight line between 2 groups, that way the fire is controlled and won't get into annoying positions. If the melee is slow call out and have your tank and range groups readjust so melee aren't having to dodge the incompetent melee's fire.

Now combining all 5 of those elements (and dispelling the tank if the melee miss an interrupt) should steer you safely to downing this encounter. Realistically though this is not a healing based fight and the main checks of this fight are a) Dpsing down the portal in time and b) Can you dispel the boss fast enough. The only major healing thing is healing Incinerate flesh, it can't go off really and if it does you are very likely to have your healers to blame unless your dps run out of range because they think they have legion flame.

As for actually healing this fight reccommendations I have are a) Debuff highlighters on your raid frames, personally I use Vuh-do and manually put in both incinerate flesh and legion flame into the debuff tracker. It is (vitally) important that these 2 debuffs are healed and all healers having these on your raid frames makes this fight quite trivial to heal.

Set up divine sacrifice rotations for infernals: Personally we only ever get 2, at most 3, infernal spawns however even if you are getting more you only need 3 people bringing divine sacrifice to the table to help combat this since timing is perfectly fine. This is the biggest amount of damage that healers have to spot heal in the encounter and having sacrifice up (at the right time) makes healing this fight alot more elementary. Aura mastery can also be used in combination and you just need 2 holy paladins setting up an aura mastery rotation if you feel like you need it, it is not required and probably better saved for mistress' kiss.

Other than that positioning and having everybody know what they should do if they get legion flame and the fight is pretty easy to heal.

The Daily Quest: Grid healing addon guides and resources {WoW}

Oct 20th 2009 5:20AM Personally I use Vuh-do. It took me something like 30 minutes - 1 hour to set up just the way I liked it, adding every debuff I need at the moment for it to track making it look pretty and sync up with the other healer's grid for anub-arak heroic. I don't use the macros it provides and use my own mouseover macros. However, I have to say its alot better than grid, it has much better functionality looks alot nicer and if your willing to put the time to set it up is far far superior to grid. It has alot better functionality for tracking beacon and sacred shield built into it and is also great for managing hots too.

The thing that makes vuh-do best for me though is the way it handles debuffs over grid. Grid took heavy, heavy customisation for me to get proper debuffs showing and for it to put them in the right order of priority and such. However, with vuh-do it shows all debuffs on a target (that it's told to track), it shows there duration, if its dispellable it has an animation when its applied to a target helping bring attention to a dispel need. It's brilliant personally and would not go back to grid.

I have never been a fan of binding mouse buttons to certain moves and much prefer mouseover macros+keybinds and vuh-do is brilliant for that. Sure you could set up the vuh-do keybinds (it creates mouseover macros for you to bind to keys) although personally I prefer my own macros. However it still makes it incredibly friendly to mouseover healing and since imo that gives you the greatest mobility in a fight, I would say vuh-do trumps a fully customised grid.

Healbot was always far too simple and too ugly to bear living with. If your lazy you choose healbot since it requires about 2 minutes of setting up and is adequete for 5 or 10 mans. Grid, fully customised, is great but it requires alot of head bashing to get right and really lacks full customisability. Vuh-do for me is definitly a winner.

Death to Whirlwind {WoW}

Oct 19th 2009 11:22AM So.... Being able to top damage on the 2 hardest encounters in the game at the moment is bad? I will easily top damage on twins at the moment and on anub'arak heroic I'm pretty much in the top 3 of single target damage done to anub whilst being able to do significant aoe damage to the adds.

I believe dps warriors are in a pretty nice place damage wise just the situations they are useful in, when I could choose a dk, are incredibly limiting. It also isn't great being the kings of 2-4 target damage, it just isn't a great niche, yet would I call for blizzard to rethink my damage? Not really I'm doing great damage at the moment and with scaling its only going to get more competitive come icecrown. Do I want blizzard to fix our aoe issue? yes simply make whirlwind hit all targets and thats all that is needed at the moment. Sure having a full blooded aoe as apart of the rotation isn't ideal but it would give me much more versatility if a yogg-0 type fight ever occurs in ICC. Then come cataclysm fix the fury/arms rotations. However at the moment our damage is perfectly fine and the only thing I would like is whirlwind to be reclassified as a full-blooded aoe, which it should be.

About the article: Whirlwind has never hit snobolds... so no its pretty useless for dealing with them.

Ready Check: Twin Val'kyr {WoW}

Oct 16th 2009 6:50AM As an additional: The touch of light/dark debuffs on heroic, basically you should ignore them and heal through them. The damage is perfectly healable just be careful if you have one of these debuffs since you will be taking extra damage and 1 orb can be enough to kill you. Healers with debuff monitors is certainly a must for this fight. However the most important thing is to continue soaking and trust in healers to heal through the debuff.

Ready Check: Twin Val'kyr {WoW}

Oct 16th 2009 6:48AM The Strategy here is obviously based around 25 man normal or 10 man normal/heroic where really no strategy is really needed apart from follow what the in-game emotes tell you. Since thats the case I think the best thing to talk about is easy ways to do the heroic version.

Note: I use white=light and black=dark because that is how I learnt the fight personally.

As with most fights in colliseum positioning is the absolute key here. However first assign around 8 ranged dps/healers to get the white colour and spread them around the conveniently patterned star on the ground (set up before activating the fight) There job is essentially to stop any white balls getting through to the melee/tanks, they cover about an eighth of a circle and its pretty easy for them to stop most balls coming through the area.

Then assign 2 further ranged dps, 1 north and 1 south who go black and soak black balls that won't go towards the melee and tanks, this is to essentially protect the white soakers from being fucked over by too many balls, these dps will take quite a bit of damage so its better if they are warlocks/hunters.

The rest of the melee dps/healers take black and will stand in the centre where both mobs will be tanked. One tank takes black and tanks white (we usually assign a Feral druid on this since we don't run with an arms warrior) and the other tank takes white and tanks black.

Going into the fight the only dps check of the fight will be whether you can kill the black shield, its the only dangerous one since the white one will go down very quickly. However onto tank positioning, tank them together with both of the mobs facing the gate. Since they share an hp pool all melee dps should be doing their multitarget hits, (as a warrior I do around 13k dps on this fight yeh lets nerf them). Personally when I'm dpsing this fight on my warrior I run with glyph of sunder, its hilariously overpowered on this fight since you can keep sunders up on both mobs which increases cleave damage considerably, however if you don't its nice if your warrior tank keeps sunders on both if at all possible (this is the reason they are probably better on the white mob since this mob requires less threat to keep on them) druids should also remember to faerie fire each mob.

Basically the soakers should be prioritising soaking over dps. 2 balls hitting the melee group will probably kill someone, especially the healers sitting there.

In terms of healing strategy, 2 paladin healers are godly here with a beacon on each tank and chugging out holy lights they are serious healing power houses. Druids rejuv blanketting the whole raid is great and disc priests shielding is amazing in this fight, Chain heal also shines well. 1 Paladin should be using shadow aura and 1 using fire aura.

Now comes to dealing with abilities. We know that they can only occur once per 4 moves, and likely you are only going to see 6 moves per fight if your dps is decent.

Dealing with the vortexes. White vortex: this is probably the least dangerous of the vortexes The paladin using shadow aura should aura mastery (this is because its highly likely your dps will bomb into black balls on their way to getting black back) Since aura mastery will always be up for the vortex you should use it every time. Basically everyone who is black (apart from the tank) switches to white, best to try and split your raid so half go to one white portal and the rest go to the other and then go to black and immediately switch back, dps is not a problem on heroic and theres no point in staying white if you get empowered light, since you will probably die if you do so.

Black Vortex, the most dangerous move really it exposes your melee to white balls and ranged have the habit of going straight into white balls as black. Basically this is the best time to be using divine sacrifice. Again the paladin with fire aura uses aura mastery and you heal through it. Since you should only ever get 2 Black vortexes if you have more than 2 paladins one paladin can use divine sacrifice on the white vortex. However, you should sort out a rotation. Simply put the people with white should all switch to black and asap get back to their position after switching back to white after the vortex. The sacrifice should prevent any of the melee group dying due to the moving and as long as ranged aren't silly enough to run into millions of orbs they should be safe.

White Shield: The least dangerous move by far. The tank on the black twin should use a cooldown and soakers can switch on the white shield but they don't need to prioritise dps, it will go down fairly comfortably (if you have trouble with this then likely your dps isn't good enough to down this fight). Nobody needs to switch and after this is the best time for people to use their mana regenning cooldowns.

Black Shield: This is the only dps test for the encounter Heroism should be popped as soon as you see its black shield and every dps should prioritise dpsing it (even over soaking). All personal cooldowns should also be saved for black shield and used when its popped.

Now the fact we know that they have to occur once each in the first 4 moves and then the next 4 we can use to our advantage. Once you have had your shield you can pre-emptively switch before the next ability to better anticipate and kill the shield. In terms of vortexes once you have had to do your moving you know you won't need to do it until the next 4.

However, with those basics its a pretty simple fight. Your soakers soak and dps/heal, your melee dps cleave and rock your meters, your healers heal their asses off (this fight is much harder to heal than on heroic since 1 orb does around 13-14k damage so 2 basically kills any non plate wearer/feral druid) If your struggeling with dps than mages going incanter's absorbtion and melee/ranged speccing into cleaving talents are good ways of increasing your dps. However the Black shield single target burst is more important so taking specs that are better burst damage is a much better idea than taking specs with better sustained dps.

Totem Talk: Patch 3.3 PTR Roundup Madness {WoW}

Oct 16th 2009 6:08AM The reason GC says it would be bad idea for it to be put down to a 10 minute cd, the same as rebirth, is because then raid leaders can depend on the shaman having 2 lifes, they can put them in the most dangerous situations in a raid.

I don't understand why shamans go, omg I'll die in 2 seconds if I ress, sure thats a risk but its pretty easy to communicate with a paladin healer or shaman healer when you are going to ress and they can holy shock/riptide you and your going to be fine as long as you didn't die to silly things like standing in fire.

I realise GC said alot of BS that would never happen like shamans basically treating themselves as if they have an extra life the entire time, however there are certain situations: like twins heroic mode, where if reincarnation was on a 10 minute cooldown I can easily envisage if say about 5 balls were coming all at once that the shaman could soak every one of them, die and ress up co-ordinated and save the raid that way. There are a few other scenarios where the shaman sacrificing themselves for the good of the raid could become valid options for a raid, thinking anub'arak heroic where if you screwed up kiting for the first 2 patches of ice, the shaman can run to the far corner of a room and die to by the raid enough time for anub'arak to emerge and could ress every try, again it could become valid escape strategies: this isn't what blizzard wants. Now sure these situations can still be done right at this moment with combat resses and soulstones, but with a shaman they would become much more dependable and viable strategy available to a raid. Personally, unless gnome shamans somehow appear, this isn't something I personally think will ever happen.

However, it being reduced to a 30 minute cooldown (talented to 15) will probably happen and if the talent reduced it to 15, perhaps it would be worth taking, and at 30 minutes its not reliable but its far more useful than the current ptr version of 50 minutes. Blizzard has to find the fine line between raid leaders being able to say "Ankh" and raid leaders saying "Can you Ankh".

About the relics: big words are:- PLACEHOLDERS, I seriously doubt the numbers are accurate: take a look at the dk dps sigil compared to the paladin dps sigil, Most likely these numbers haven't been finalised yet and drawing conclusions on them is rather a silly imo. Blizzard has already said the shaman totem is haste not crit, surely this gives you the impression that the relics were only half way implemented in the latest build.