Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Patches, Nerfs, and Buffs - Druid Version

Well. The new patch notes are out, as is the PTR. As a druid, I felt compelled to look at the two trees that matter to me: Resto and Feral.

Feral druids get a buff... and resto druids get nerfed. Well, there's buffs and nerfs all around, but that's how I see it as. More buffs than nerfs for bears, more nerfs than buffs for trees.

Sure, ferals could have used a buff, but not in mitigation, but, rather, in AoE threat [-recalls the many times her DPS has pulled off of her due to little rage-]... but we got a buff anyway:
Savage Defense, 1 rank, level 40 - Each time you deal a melee critical strike, you gain Savage Defense, reducing the damage taken from the next physical attack that strikes you by 25% of your attack power.

Savage Roar has had a change too:
Savage Roar changed to increase physical damage done by 30%.

The topper for feral changes [this made me salivate]:
Primal Gore, Tier 10, 1 point talent - Grants the periodic damage from your Rake, Lacerate and Rip abilities the ability to critically hit.

DoTs critting? Now that's just as exciting as allowing Blizzard and Hurricane to crit! ... Well, almost.

Oh. Ferals get a nerf as well, but it's not grossly awful:
Survival of the Fittest (Tier 6) now increases your armor contribution from cloth and leather items in Bear Form and Dire Bear Form by 11/22/33%. (Previously 22/44/66%)
Someone obviously decided that we had too much armor. Again. Big surprise...

On the other hand, Maim will stun instead of incapacitate now... So it won't be useless outside of soloing.

Now for the Resto nerf...
Improved Regrowth (Tier 6) renamed Nature's Bounty. Increases the critical effect chance of your Regrowth and Nourish spells by 5/10/15/20/25%. (Previously increased just Regrowth crit by 10/20/30/40/50%)
Yay, Nourish won't be as useless [unless you've had the T7/7.5 four piece]... but they're nerfing the in-built crit on Regrowth by half. Half!

It will force druids to start looking for a bit more crit on their gear, rather than mostly haste, for we will still want the benefits from Living Seed and Nature's Grace.

Perhaps it's a blessing in disguise, but, for the larger population that doesn't have the four piece, it seems like a nerf...

Well... we are getting more passive mana regen to go with the Spirit Nerf...
Intensity (Tier 3) now allows 17/33/50% of mana regeneration to continue while casting. (Previously 10/20/30%)
And Replenish will work with Wild Growth... But with our point allocation as it is, I can't see myself putting more than the usual one point I have in there.

They are, however, giving us another small buff built into a core talent: Improved Mark of the Wild: Now also increases all of your total attributes by 1/2%.

PvP trees, rejoice! A buff for you:
New Talent: Improved Barkskin: Increases the damage reduction granted by your Barkskin spell by 5/10%, and increases your resistance to Dispel mechanics by an additional 30/60% while under the effect of Barkskin.

And for the trees that get stuck with casting Thorns on people... You can do it without having to become an elf or a cow. Nature's Grasp works in tree too now.

In sum, to me, it looks like trees are getting a buff for PvP, a nerf for PvE. Feral DPS and mitigation is getting buffed, but, in exchange for the mitigation buff, we get yet another armor nerf.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Quitting While You're Ahead

So the Jewelcrafting daily today was the Bright Armor Relic, collected from Northern Revenants. As per my habit, I take the portal to Wintersgrasp -- a chance to find Titanium along with other ore on my way to killing revenants, oh yeah, I'll risk seeing Horde.

On the way down to the Cauldron of Flames, I see a Death Knight -- trouble, to be sure, I knew.

And, sure enough, he was. A Death Grip and the game had started.

Now, mind you, I'm awful at PvP. I know how to spam heals on myself while whimpering "don't die" at my computer screen. Apparently, I'm better at it than I thought, for I lasted about four or five minutes against the Death Knight -- I was, by the way, on Kanta, the resto shaman -- before he got me.

I like tempting fate... so I run back.

He got me again, quicker this time.

I was on Skype with The Aussie, and he volunteered to bring his shaman [elemental] out to play as well...

So I lingered by the graveyard a little bit, and, when he was close enough, headed back down there again.

Guess who was waiting?

He engages, I do the whole spam-heals-on-myself-ohheylookflameshock! game on him... and, out of nowhere, his health drops and he's dead.

DING! Achievement: 100 Honorable Kills.

The Aussie had come in to save the day.

I'm sure he had a huge "WTF just hit me" moment as he stood in the graveyard, waiting to ressurect. And probably scrolled through his combat log to find out what happened. I just laughed about how fast his health went down and how he was my hundreth honorable kill.

But, he, apparently, is just as stubborn [or idiotic, I'm not sure which] as I am, and decided to return and have another go at it, only, this time, stopping to check behind the rocks that surrounded our combat area before Death Gripping me again.

I giggled at his check -- The Aussie was hidden behind rocks on the other side of the road.

He tries, again, and, when The Aussie came out to save the day, he went for The Aussie.

He dies; killing the DPS when you have a healer sitting right there is a really stupid idea.

We decide to have pity on him and continue to the Cauldron of Flames. On the way, we see an undead rogue. I made a comment about the rogue to The Aussie, who noted that he wasn't attacking, so we left him well enough alone.

A minute later found us at the Cauldron, cheerfully killing the Revenants for my quest item... As we fought one of the normal elementals, I notice that, off in the distance, there were a lot of red names. And they were coming at us.

The Death Knight had summoned his Army of the Dead and was coming for revenge. We engage, and find that the rogue had decided to play too; I was being kicked and had issues healing.

Nature's Swiftness saved the day, and The Aussie slaughtered them both.

Again, we move on, out of the Cauldron, and come across the Death Knight... who, apparently, still hadn't learned. The Aussie dug in, he died.

We move a bit farther, and decided that, while we're ahead, we should leave -- I had, after all, picked up my quest item. I hearth.

He, being a few seconds behind me... didn't make it.

"I'm being attacked."

Without a healer, The Aussie goes down. At the graveyard, he ressurects and hearths, leaving both of us rather amused and wondering what the Death Knight and his rogue friend thought of the whole incident.

Moral of the Story?

Resto shamans have powerful friends.

And griefing them is a bad idea.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Little Guilty Secret

I've got something to admit.

I am addicted to Recount.

Not just the whole "how high can I be on there" addicted, but the whole "what are my best numbers" addicted. The "compare myself with everyone else" addicted.

Unfortunately, with this sort of addiction, I tend to find flaws in other people. By being addicted, I can see a general trend among tanks, healers, and DPS of all classes. Now, mind you, I tend to do it only toward classes I understand -- rogues are a mystery, know nothing of warlocks, and the only thing I know about paladins and warriors are the stuff my friends tell me when I tell them I see one of those in need.

[Although, a warrior friend says I know a lot about warriors! I keep him alive.]

But druids and shamans right now I tend to look at a lot, especially if their performance on the meters are low.

For those who don't know me, I am a PvE nut. I'll dabble in PvP to help out, but mostly it's the whole "oh, my, someone wants to kill me! Don't die, don't die, don't die! -spam heals on self-" sort of PvP. And I die anyway. So, basically, I'm useless in there.

I currently attend four Naxx raids -- two normals and two heroics for my two eighty characters. It's ridiculous, I know. They're all at different stages of progression: Losse's twenty-five clears all wings up to Thaddius, and we've just recently conquered him [thank heavens! He's really not as annoying as that raid makes him!], her tens full clears Naxx, does Vault10, does OS [we're aiming for a drake this week, maybe two -- week before we eight manned him], and killed Maly for the first time -- second week trying him, four weeks of being together. Kanta's twenty-five I just changed to a friend's raid, and may become healing leader for to help things along, and her tens... well. A good bunch of people they are, yes, but they are PvP focused roleplaying people that want to see raid content.

Some things just don't go over so well from the transition of PvP to PvE. One uses different abilities, has to keep different things in mind, and has to watch out for more than yourself and maybe a few friends/partners.

My warrior friend, for example, never stepped a foot in most of the BC instances until about two months before Lich King came out. [Which was really funny. Take him to heroics and we'd hear on vent -- "Oh, hey! I discovered The Slave Pens!"] All he did was PvP -- he had one character, and that was what he did. While now, in Lich King, he does many instances and heroics with us and has even expanded to raiding, he has 75K honorable kills. He entered Lich King with over 20K gold. He's mentioned in reference to dead bodies by other guilds, and Horde fear him because he can't resist a flagged target. It took him a while to get up to speed -- when teaching him normal instances, references to "okay, pretend you're guarding the farm. Mobs that run at you are Horde... kill them" were made. Still, not an easy transition.

I applaud them -- it's great that they're willing to step away from the defense of towns for a slaughter more brainless. However, there are a few things one must know before one leaves their PvP flags behind.

And this is where I come in. As someone who has always been quite involved on the PvE scene, as a tank, DPS, or a healer, I've learned a lot since I've started playing. As someone who is just a wee bit obsessed with looking at Recount, I tend to know when things are a bit out of place. I also have other situations to compare them to, for I attend three other raids that attack the same place: Naxxramas.

And tonight, after at least three deaths to Anub'Rekhan, I decided to put my PvE and obsession to use.

I started with the tank. Most issues with groups tended to stem from the tank and healer ends -- the lack of enough DPS ends can be seen easily enough. From Recount, I realized that in an eight minute boss fight, Shield Slam was used twice. For those who aren't warriors and aren't familiar with the spell [I just knew it was good in theory, not specifically what it does], basically it does lots of damage and has a high amount of threat.

A druid analogy would be mangling twice in a boss fight.

Not good.

Especially when it is buffed by Sword and Board -- a free Mangle? I'll take it!

And, looking over at the resto druid, I notice that she's not using Wild Growth. At all.

Trees are currently the strongest healers in game, so I've found. Two trees top Losse's Naxx25 over two shamans, a paladin, and two priests. Our resto shaman is bored in Losse's Naxx10 because the tree has HoTs everywhere and has pretty much nothing to do half the time. They're strong healers.

Which is why I thought I'd stop in and look at the druid that was doing significantly less healing than me.

Wild Growth is a very strong spell. To not use it is like not using Chain Heal or Circle of Healing. Really rather silly, if you ask me.

All three of the aforementioned trees, in raids, have Wild Growth as their top heal. I know I whined slightly about Chain Heal in one of my previous posts [at the very end], but I've come to the conclusion that Wild Growth really is much more amazing. [Please don't nerf it any more, Blizzard!]

With these in mind, I checked gear... and found it lacking.

After the raid, the raid leader and I had a long talk, and, in essence, we agreed upon a class workshop. To help those who aren't as familiar with what is needed in PvE, and to get them better acquainted with their abilities.

To make sure they get in the A-game.

To make sure we stop dying to silly things.

And, maybe the most important of all, make sure I don't go out of mana halfway through a boss fight despite using Mana Tide and Figurine - Sapphire Owl -- my two best friends on my shaman... nearly twice.

New Title? Raid Analyst.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Everything and Nothing

It happens to be the summary of my blog.

I started EG a year ago as of the first of February. It was then that I decided that EG would serve as a journal for me, an outlet, and perhaps a guideline or a source of... something for everyone else.

I've realized that, in the past year, despite my neglects to EG, I have made some "good" posts -- stuff that people supposedly care about. I've also made some "me" posts -- what I've been doing, how I feel, and just a log of my characters and their progression.

And I've made a whole crap ton of posts apologizing.

For what?

For not actually posting.

Seems silly, really, thinking upon it. It is EG, my pet baby, and I should coddle it when I wish, or put it aside when I just need do advance in the game.

But yet, I still do it.

Apologize, write a bit, and stop for a long while. Rinse and repeat.

I think, somewhere in the year, I realized that, yes, while I originally started EG as a "me" thing, it's become more than that -- or, at least, it would if I actually did something with EG. Other people read this, and, therefore, as a writer, I ought to cater to other people.

But I'm selfish. I'm at a point where there is still a lot for me to do in the game, and the blog has started to feel like a burden than a fun past-time. A negative thought, for sure, but that is where the end of the blogging year brings me.

EG will be my precious still, and I will still write in it, but I do need to recall that I made it for fun, not so it can be another task, another thing to put off for a while.

Happy Blogversary, EG!

... Now what shall I do...?

Find a muse again, somehow.

Here, muse-y muse-y!