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Posts with tag synergy

The Light and How to Swing It: Synergizing with druids and shaman

shaman paladin druid
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Every Sunday, Chase Christian invites you to discuss the finer side of the paladin class: the holy specialization. Feel free to email me with any questions you want answered, like why paladins are so awesome.

When I asked my favorite restoration shaman (David the shaman) what the resto spec's weaknesses were, he had listed off several areas he'd like to see improved. I posed the same question to a restoration druid, and he replied back with an emphatic "There isn't one!" Restoration druids are currently the most powerful healers in the game, and by a large margin.

Every other healing class might pale in comparison to a druid's massive HPS capabilities, but resto druids aren't the indomitable healers that they might think themselves to be. Holy paladins have a diverse and robust toolkit of spells that allows us to complement restoration druids and shaman. We can focus on each class' strengths and weaknesses to choose our healing spells and strategies effectively. We learned how the two priest healing specs vary and how to work with each, and now we'll cover the two restoration healers.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

Ready Check: Raid composition for 3.0.2 and beyond

Ready Check is a weekly column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, ZA or Sunwell Plateau, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses. While enjoying sparkly new raid buffs...

Once the upcoming content patch hits, our raids are going to look pretty different. Or are they? Currently, balancing your raid is a delicate game that involves weighing up various gains and tradeoffs, while simultaenously placating people who are all competing for the same spots. While this micromanagement doesn't appeal to everyone, looking at a raid and acknowledging it as a feat of min-max perfection does bring a certain warm glow to one's heart.

Of course, knowing the exact DPS increase from putting a feral druid in the melee group or running perl scripts to calculate a retribution paladin's RDPS contribution is considered overkill by many. Perhaps it's with a sigh of relief that we look forward to 3.0.2's new buff system, where such things will be unnecessary – though I think the logicians among us will always look back slightly wistfully at the way things are now.

So, how do you optimise your raid when the patch hits?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Raiding, Talents, Buffs, Ready Check (Raiding)

Hybrid Theory: Is it too much?


Welcome to Hybrid Theory, where we discuss all things hybrid in the World of Warcraft. Hybrid Theory is brought to you each week by columnist/blogger Alex Ziebart.

Here on Hybrid Theory, we've done a lot of glorifying the group utility that Hybrids provide. It's one of their strongest points, and the factor that could make or break their raid spot in a setting of pure recruitment. Recently, I discussed the direction this concept of utility is going with a few raidmates of mine, and some interesting points were made.

The synergy between classes in The Burning Crusade is powerful, but moving in a direction in which the classes and specs become too reliant on one another, or you have to decide which hybrid is more important to you than another hybrid in the same role. Some class/spec combinations simply can't perform in a raid setting without a specific hybrid class alongside them. Some hybrid classes can't perform without other hybrids in their group. This poses a problem for the pure classes, and even though we don't know the exact details of the Death Knight, adding another class may only make things harder.

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Paladin, Shaman, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Hybrid Theory, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

The strong bond between healer and tank

We often post about the bonds created with this game -- there are some terrific bonds between guildies, and Arena teams and battleground groups have some strong bonds as well. But Omen of Clarity and Resto4Life, two great Druid blogs, recently took a look at an even more intimate bond ingame: that between tanks and healers.

Omen started it off -- after stepping into a tanking role, he noticed that a certain Paladin healer had really bonded with him in terms of keeping each other up and running, and it really made them both better players -- the tank was more willing to step up when aggro got lost, and the healer had more reason to keep up buffs and rely on the tank, even at his own expense. Resto, from the other side of the spells, agrees -- even out of raids, the healer there will send the tank potions and go out of their way to keep both together. And from my time raiding as a Resto Shaman, I was always thrilled when I got to be in the same group as the tank I was healing, and got to Earth Shield them and spend my trinkets just to keep them up.

It's not the only major relationship in the game (there's also a nice relationship between the tank and the rest of the melee and DPS, as well as the buffers and the buffed in a raid group), but it is an interesting, minute one, and it's something pretty specific to these MMOs that we play. Playing together isn't just fun and games -- by building bonds with other players in other roles, we both become better at the roles we play.

Update: Just in case, like Ratshag, our little hint on the picture wasn't enough for you, the two characters in the pic above are another fairly well-known tank and healer combo, Tree of Life and Pretty in Plate. You try to hide a subtle little easter egg in there for those of us who read all these WoW blogs, and Ratshag won't let you get away with it. Thanks for keeping us honest.

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Raiding, Classes

Breakfast Topic: The perfect partner

We've talked about playing with partners in the past. Many people reported that they enjoy sharing World of Warcraft with their significant others. I have to admit, time spent with my Mom on WoW has been a wonderful experience. I've been watching her explore classes and quests and I must say I am very proud of her. While sometimes solo play is the order of the day, it's great to have good company in the game.

Just for fun I recently rolled new alts with my boyfriend. I wanted to play a Warlock and he wanted to play something complimentary, so he chose Priest. It's really awesome to be able to keep going non-stop with no mana breaks. I Life Tap, he Renews. With his Power Word Shield, we take very little damage. The two characters provide excellent synergy and seem to be the perfect pair. We've rolled together in the past, but usually we choose our characters based on what we want to play at any given time.

When you roll with a partner do you choose classes that are complimentary?

Filed under: Priest, Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Leveling, Classes

Raid Rx: Basic healer raid design

Raid Rx is designed to encapsulate and cure the shock and horror that is 25-man raid healing. Ok, so it's mostly horror... Anyways, if you're a big fan of X-TREME Whack-A-Mole (or are being forced into it against your will) this is the column for you. Last week I promised you pink tutu's and syncronized healing moves. See that picture? That's all you're getting. Merry Christmas. Being a healer is about living with dissapointment (at the dps), ok?

So anyways... You have 25-people chomping at the bit to see more than just Karahzan/ZA. W00t! But from a healing standpoint, who do you invite and how many? I'm here to help.

Basic Raid Design
You have 25 slots. About 6-8 of them will be healers, which is roughly the same ratio that you had in Karahzan and even old school 40-mans, if you can remember back that far. The rest of the raid will be a couple of tanks, some off-tanks, and loads of dps. On average, you'll have 7 healers, so that's going to be my basis.

The key to Burning Crusade raiding is variety. Straight off, you're going to need one of each of the healing classes like I've said before. No joke. If you are missing a class, you're missing their utility. Yes, of course you can fake it for a while, but trust me - you will hit trick fights where each class becomes the critical one. /cough Hydross /end cough Start recruiting now to fill any gaps.

Well, that's easy. Slap 4 people in raid slots and you're 57.1% done. The real question becomes what to do with the remaining 3 slots? Well, I'm not just here to look pretty in a pink skirt. Let's examine each healing class and what balance you should aim for.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Tips, How-tos, Raiding, Buffs, Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

Is Druid insta-shifting overpowered?

Serennia, a gnomish warrior on Tichondrius, believes that the changes to druid shape-shifting [shown in the video clip above] in patch 2.3 make it too easy for druids to get out of snares without being caught in their vulnerable caster form. She puts it very eloquently:
In 2.3, druids can shift from any form to any form (ie cat to bear; bear to travel, etc) without having to enter human form. But, it gets worse, they can shift from the same form to the same form also (bear to bear). Why is this significant? It's basically a free snare removal without ever having to expose themself in human form, making it much more difficult for anyone to kill them. It still costs them mana to do it, yes, but it's an easy trade-off for never being locked in caster form with no armor anymore to get away from a melee. So much for those well-timed caster-form kidney shots, right?

Druids needed help in 5v5 with a bit better caster form survivability, and they got that with the new Natural Perfection changes and a bit more utility. However, they did NOT need to be even harder to kill with this short-sighted change. Melee might as well not even attempt to catch a good druid anymore, and well, casters never could to begin with.
She says that this may or may not be what Blizzard was intending when they decided to go ahead with this change, but for my part, I think it's a buff druids really need, especially feral ones, who are likely to get the most use out of insta-shifting between forms. I've said before that, although restoration druids enjoy a lot of success in PvP, it's very hard for many feral druids, and personally, I think this sort of mobility can help make up for other areas where the druid is not as strong, and can provide more synergy between the druid's different forms and abilities without some of the risks that made this synergy impractical before. What do you think?

Filed under: Druid, Patches, PvP, Forums

Shifting Perspectives: That special versatility

It's often been said that druids are the three-in-one class: we can mimic warriors, priests, rogues (and even mages), but can't fulfill their respective roles as well as they themselves can. While in recent times druids have been able to gear up and perform as well as their parent classes in many respects, we are far from "warriors with stealth" or "rogues that can heal" or "priests that can off-tank in a pinch."

Our problem as druids is that we cannot but neglect the full breadth of our abilities when we must specialize in only one aspect of our class. Of course, any class works best in situations where most or all their abilities might be needed to succeed, sometimes even in the course of a single fight -- it's just that for druids these abilities include tanking, damage, and healing all together.

If you're playing with an experienced group, each player is likely specialized to one of these three roles, and his or her whole purpose is to minimize the chance that backup tanks, healers, and damage-dealers will be needed. That leaves druids trying to compete with warriors, rogues and priests (and mages), trying to do just as well at the same task, but with fewer abilities to call upon in the fight. Locked into these smaller roles, we must gear up and spend our talents in such a way that even if we were to shift out of our main role into another when the need arose, we wouldn't be able to do very well at it at all.

This brings me to the adventure at hand: Today we will go on an journey of the imagination together, exploring the potential future of druids, considering how this problem of specialization versus versatility might be approached. Indeed, as I gaze into my crystal-ball-shaped paper-weight, I see two possible futures: one, called "The Path of the Pandering Pedant," seeks nit-picky perfection in a class designed for breadth and scope, while the other, "the Way of the Multitudinous Master" brings the full manifest of all our abilities into harmonious use with one another.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

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