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Spiritual Guidance: Minor glyphs for discipline and holy priests, plus some pre-BlizzCon silliness {WoW}

Oct 18th 2011 6:23AM Pets do still die to AOE damage and you'll have very little control to stop it happening if it's going to, on the other hand if you have to fade that often chances are someone is Doing It Wrong, which can be fixed without giving up a glyph slot. I'll be sticking with the Shadowfiend glyph.

State of DPS in Firelands page 2 {WoW}

Oct 4th 2011 12:38PM Looking at the performance of probably less than 0.01% of raiders is not a good way to analyse spec balance. The sample size is so ridiculously small and biased in its selection, for example the data from heroic Shannox will be skewed to favour multi-dotting classes even though that's simply padding the meters. Not to mention the buff feeding, particularly advantageous to arcane mages with multiple innervates and power infusions.
Much better to look at the overall data raidbots has to see what is possible in more normal circumstances, for more normal players. I tend to see what shakes out around the 75th percentile for normal modes to eliminate people who don't really know what they're doing, heroic modes you could legitimately look at the median. And then what I think you'll see is encounter design 1) tends to favour ranged 2) tends to favour multi-dotting 3) tends to favour strong aoe. Spriests, boomkin, demo/affli locks, hunters all somewhat ahead on the majority of fights but not by a huge margin.
In the future although it would dramatically increase the length of the article(s) it would be much more insightful to talk about balance fight by fight with an understanding of spec roles in each one, eg there's a large discrepancy with spriests between 10m and 25m Baleroc because in 10m they will almost always be made to soak shards with Dispersion. Hunters come out on top on Beth'tilac because they have good aoe dps *and* an aoe snareso they deal with the spiderlings. And so on. Utility is part of balance too even when just looking at dps numbers.

Spiritual Guidance: A first look at tier 13 set bonuses for holy and discipline priests {WoW}

Sep 26th 2011 9:18PM Unless you're exclusively tank healing you're going to see the vast majority of the 100% shield bonus expire as overheal after 15s. It's not a bad idea (unlike the tree 4pc where it's debatable if it's even a bonus at all) but the numbers need to be tweaked to proc more often for less amount, eg 20% chance for 50% extra.

Shifting Perspectives: Player thoughts on bears and trees {WoW}

Sep 21st 2011 8:04AM Conversely, I rerolled to priest because my tree didn't feel like the same character any more without, y'know, being a tree. I died a little inside every time I popped the ToL cooldown and given the choice I'd happily lose the cooldown if I could just get that silly tree form back.

Addon Spotlight: Raiding essentials for DPS {WoW}

Sep 16th 2011 5:57AM Both WeakAuras and Power Auras Classic will hook the GTFO alerts to display them visually. (use WeakAuras, it's better on every level: http://www.wowace.com/addons/weakauras/forum/22612-gtfo-integration-via-hooking/ )

Spiritual Guidance: Discipline priest stat weights revisited {WoW}

Sep 13th 2011 5:26AM According to simcraft, haste is significantly more valuable for throughput than the other stats if you're mainly casting PoH without buffing it with BT first, which I imagine is pretty common in 10m and discs in 25m on raid duty. And it's still slightly better than mastery even if you're shielding before every PoH for maximum output. I would favour a haste heavy set unless the fight was unusually long (needing more spirit) or shield spamming was unusually useful for a particular mechanic.

The Light and How to Swing It: Synergizing with priests {WoW}

Sep 12th 2011 7:28AM "It does depend on the type of incoming damage, as pulsing blasts like Beth'tilac's are perfect for discipline while I find that holy priests are more effective at healing a one-blast AOE attack like Ragnaros'."
I agree it depends but not for those reasons, or those situations. As well as burst vs sustained, damage is also random or predictable. Discipline deals best at healing predictable damage, because it has awesome tools for planning ahead, where Holy is almost purely a reactive spec. It doesn't matter if it's burst damage or not because if you know it's coming, you can pre-shield, stack Divine Aegis and Barrier it all the same. Right now Holy unfortunately is better only in a very small niche of random spiky raid damage like the AOE during Rag's transitions, which is tough to spot heal as Disc without having to resort to flash heal or just stacking DA with PoH in a pretty inefficient way, where Holy has a beautiful smart heal and a viable hot to work with. There are other issues with Holy v Disc and Holy isn't massively broken, but this probably isn't the column for it.

Ready Check: Dealing with a weak healer {WoW}

Sep 3rd 2011 12:53AM @Tyler
"Both damage healed and damage absorbed is tracked by parsing tools, and they will paint the entire picture for you. Don't let someone use this dead trick on you. Their ability is being properly tracked"
This isn't entirely true because mitigation abilities still aren't logged, so damage reduction talents like Inspiration, PW: Barrier, Spirit Link Totem and Ancestral Healing don't show up on meters or log sites, so not quite the entire picture. You can make a rough estimate on WoL by using the log browser or expression editor and doing a little math on the relevant damage. I think you'd be surprised just how huge 10% off melee hits is just on the tanks and it's not there to consider unless you look for it. Not to mention damage mitigated is the best kind of healing.

Addon Spotlight: Errormonster and a mailbag {WoW}

Sep 1st 2011 11:42PM Finding it weird that there's still no love for WeakAuras (http://www.wowace.com/addons/weakauras/) in this column. For those who haven't come across it yet, it was originally intended to be a lightweight alternative to Power Auras Classic, and it is, but it's become vastly more powerful than that, to the point where it's just about the single best framework for any information you'd need displayed outside of basic unit frames. I switched to start with because for me it updates much quicker than PAC, which was reason enough to redo all my auras for all my toons, but as I learnt more about what it could do I ditched more and more addons and rolled them into my WA setup. No more PAC, no more Auracle, no more RSA, no more Ingenta's Rapture, no more trying to find an up to date addon for trinket ICDs.
The very best thing it does is trigger off of combat log events. Yeah, anything in the combat log, boss emotes, spell cast start, spell cast successful, spell cast interrupted and so on. Can't even begin to summarise how useful that can be, but for example my guild's raid composition has always been light on interrupts meaning we have to use longer cooldown interrupts like Counterspell with lots of vent chatter to coordinate that; with WA you can create a cooldown timer for a specific interrupt partner in your raid whenever they use their interrupt *and* have it warn you when the spell you're meant to be interrupt backup for begins and the first interrupter is on cooldown. Another example, dispellers can watch for Maloriak's Remedy without needing him on focus or targeted just by triggering off the combat log instead (or watch for it by bossN UID), in case you wanted your focus frame for something else like your tank assignment. I could go on, like all the cool things you can do with the barest bit of lua coding knowhow, but that's enough ranting, just seriously check it out, it's *amazing*.

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