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Totem Talk: The state of Telluric Currents and speculating for Mists {WoW}

Mar 27th 2012 5:55PM Say what you will; I love me some TC.

I ran with it through T11/T12 until I gave it up for some added mobility on the Rag fight. What I didn't realize was that I was needlessly improving the talent beyond what it needed to be. (+hit, +elemental damage... that sort of thing). Once I shifted all that away, all TC cost me was 1 stupid talent point.... totally worth it.

With the introduction of the healing monk, I always assumed that a new design philosophy at Blizzard would be that all healers are expected to do SOME damage (consistent with smite priests and the increased hybridization of druids), and that TC was part of that.

The Queue: Panda wasteland {WoW}

Mar 16th 2012 11:16AM Re: Non-Alliance Humans

We, as players, tend to think of a 1:1 relationship between races and factions, but the reality is far murkier. The factions are much more creatures of politics than they are of races. Consider the numerous Troll tribes, only 1 of which has aligned with the Horde. Historically, we had a couple of Dwarf clans that were not aligned with the Alliance. Same with the Human kingdom of Gilneas pre-Cataclysm. There are still other non-alliance kingdoms.

On the NPC side, there are factions opposed to both Horde and Alliance that recruit members from all sorts of races; including horde races, alliance races, and non-playable races. (Think of all the riff-raff that's shown up in the twilight cult.)

On the flip side, there are those that will actively work with both Horde and Alliance. Consider that both Thrall and Malfurion are relatively race-neutral when handing out quests.

Long story short -- While you determine a PLAYER's allegiance based on race (pandas notwithstanding), the same is hardly true of NPCs and the Lore of Warcraft generally.

The Queue: Soon {WoW}

Mar 12th 2012 3:43PM There's math involved, here.

The amount of rest XP you can save up is based on levels, not on raw XP numbers. The reason you can chew through your rest XP so quickly at lower levels is because you chew through levels quickly.

With Cataclysm, when Blizzard changed their xpac model from 10 levels (like BC/WotLK) to 5 levels (BC/MoP), this had the practical effect of doubling the rest xp available to players.

Rest xp accrues at 1 bar per 8 hours. So in an xpac with 10 levels, that's roughly 1.5% of your total xp per day. When an xpac only has 5, that rate doubles: you accrue 3% of your total xp per day. The same holds true with the maximum rest xp (gained after about a week). In either case, you cap out at 1.5 levels, which is only 15% of your total xp when you have 10 levels to go, but will be 30% in MoP.

So, if you have a xpac with 10 levels, if you cut the levels in half (down to 5) and double the xp per level, you have the same amount of total xp, but you've accelerated leveling by doubling the rate at which rest xp accrues, and the maximum you can store at once, which will dramatically increase the time it takes you to burn through your rest xp.

Now, add on top of that the fact that Pandas have some sort of bonus to rest xp, and stuff starts getting crazy.

The Queue: Fishing {WoW}

Mar 2nd 2012 12:38PM Blizzard effectively removed resistances with the release of Cata.

Since then, there has been no resist gear (the way there was pre-Cata) or updated resist enchants. That means the only real resist mechanic left is raid buffs, which were spread around so liberally as to be nearly ubiquitous.

So when you have a boss with heavy Shadow Damage, the only result is to punish groups that didn't bring a Pally or Priest. That's not good game design.

The proposed MoP change only takes what was effectively done years ago, and makes it official.

The Queue: Blame Alex {WoW}

Feb 29th 2012 11:14AM RE: Second-most Important Cities.

Geographic significance aside, I'd remind you that both the Night Elves and the Undead have a tendency to be somewhat insular when it comes to intra-faction relations. As such, I would argue the Tauren and Dwarven capitals are much stronger parts of their respective factions.

Further, I'll remind you that in Vanilla, Ironforge was certainly the de facto Alliance capital, ahead of even Stormwind. Like its Horde counterpart, Ironforge was the only Alliance city that (a) played home to multiple races and (b) had the faction's only auction house.

While Blizzard has clearly decided Stormwind is the Alliance capital in Cataclysm, I think it's a hard argument that Ironforge doesn't get the #2 spot at this point.

Totem Talk: 5 ways to look like a bad restoration shaman {WoW}

Feb 14th 2012 5:29PM @mesoforte -- this is one of those areas where reasonable people can disagree. For me, insta-wolf is a nice luxury. About the only time i found it truly helpful was when we were learning the Rag fight.

@Snuzzle -- I hear ya, but there are a lot of debuffs in 4.3 that are unavoidable. The Hour of Twilight 5-man, in particular is filled with'em. First boss does the trap on everybody, third has a holy DoT, trash before the 3rd has some. The only 4.3 debuffs i can think of that are dispellable are the frost traps on the trash before the 2nd boss in that instance. There's some firelands trash before rhyolith that casts dispelable silences too.

Lousy VP pugs aside, If you get to Zon'ozz outside of the LFR and haven't learned to dispel yet, you're toast.

Totem Talk: 5 ways to look like a bad restoration shaman {WoW}

Feb 14th 2012 12:56PM I got sniped at for taking a post like this seriously in the past, but I never learn.

So how 'bout some SERIOUS tips on how to play a resto shaman?

1. Maximize uptime on riptide, earth shield and water shield.
2. Make sure earthliving weapon is up at all times.
3. Save Healing Surge for emergencies; it's too inefficient to use regularly.
4. Manage your totem buffs... know what they do and coordinate with other players so there's no overlap.
5. Save Reincarnation for battles where it matters. Don't waste the cooldown just 'cause you're too lazy to walk back from the graveyard.
6. Learn to dispel. As a healer, it's an expected part of your job.
7. Volunteer to CC.
8. If you're using telluric currents, spec into the spirit-->hit talents in the elemental tree.
9. If you're bored, use your interrupt.

Raid Rx: How to be the world's worst healer {WoW}

Jan 27th 2012 6:16PM The list isn't that helpful as these are all pretty much no-brainers.

The better answer would be to realize that healing has gotten a LOT more complicated since vanilla. Back then, you had a slow big heal, and a fast little heal. Maybe a HoT.

Since then, our toolboxes have gotten a LOT more complicated. Part of the challenge is understanding what each of the spells does and when to use it. Even more challenging is understanding how they all interact. Two examples: Proc'ing Tidal Waves allows me to spam Greater Heals, and chain heal also eats my riptide. Not know things like this can needlessly gimp you.

Here's a tip; read up on the min/max sites like Elitist Jerks to figure out what a rotation looks like. After that, check out worldoflogs for some top-ranked toons in your class... check out which spells they're using and compare the % output to your own. You'll probably find you're overusing or underusing something.

[Updated] On the second day of giveaways, BioWare gave to me... {Massively}

Dec 14th 2011 10:43AM I'd have to be a Jedi because, seriously... LASER SWORDS!

Beyond that, I'd say a consular due to the ridiculous flexibility in class roles (assuming bioware ever gets around to implimenting a dual-spec feature), even though I'd probably end up healing, as I do in most MMOs.

Most importantly, I'd make him FAT. I'm sick of all these nimble jedi bouncing off of walls and such, making the rest of us feel bad taking the side of fries over the salad.

A big, fat, laser sword-wielding healer-guy. That's me.

The Queue: In which Adam recently discovered The Big Bang Theory {WoW}

Dec 6th 2011 12:21PM I think the "valor gear for every slot" thing is false. I've heard this before, but if I recall, when looking at the vendors, we were missing several slots. Offhand, I want to say shoulders, legs and trinkets?

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