Kismet: Luck or Fate

This is a post which was originally going to be a bit of a rant, however much to my surprise, it’s turned out as the opposite. Whether that’s due to luck or fate, you can be the judge.

I recently realised that all my comments on other WordPress blogs were disappearing straight into the spam filters and didn’t take long to figure out the culprit…. Akismet. Experimentation suggested it wasn’t my email address causing the problem but my Blog because if I tried posting with just a name and email address, things worked fine. This was further supported by the fact that google short links would work for around around 12 hours before they too hit the spam folders.

I flicked around on the web and found story after story of woe. In fact after reading my 15th or so negative report, I was actually considering renaming my blog as clearly harpies are frowned upon. However Mr Harpy (the sole voice of reason most of the time in our house) suggested emailing them to explain the issue and so, grudgingly we did. I have to admit I wasn’t expecting a reply and this was definitely supported by the number of people posting about Akismet and the nigh impossibility of getting yourself unbanned.

Which brings me to today, in between people telling me “oh I found a comment of yours sitting in my spam folder”, I got an email from a nice gentleman called Mark.

Hi,
Sorry for that – I believe it is fixed for you now.


Mark  

A spot of random testing later and yes, it seems that it has been fixed and fairly quickly too as it took them less than 48 hours from the issue being raised for them to get in touch to say it was sorted.

So it’s time for Happy Sprout to make an appearance and yes, I’m ever so slightly addicted to this Chibi-maker.

happysprout

For Matty

The second I saw this model moth, I knew I wanted one. Quirky, colourful and graceful, Sprout has been hopefully ripping up her cocoons ever since the patch and finally her “patience” has been rewarded.

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(I have to admit being a little concerned about the name because I know moths are not everyone’s cup of tea but it just seemed right and she is one of my favourite pets).

Sprout the Brawler

Slightly late to the party but this weekend, Sprout intends taking on all comers in the Brawler’s Guild.

brawlers

My self-imposed challenge however is to do it as Holy or die trying! No doubt the latter will definitely happen more than a few times but I think with a bit of practice some fights at least will be possible and making the attempt is half the fun in it’s self.

So without any further ado, introducing Brawler Sprout!

brawlersprout

Be afraid.

The Snowflower’s Blossom

Snowflower, my newest Priest has suddenly found her raison d’etre, no longer does she languish abandoned part way through a quest chain.

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Instead she burns with purpose, driven by a need to leave behind the world she knows and explore what lies beyond the mist.

I’m not a huge fan of instanced start zones. My Death knights tend to get stuck early on because despite my love of being bad, I hate feeling trapped for so many levels and to be honest, stealing horses and slaughtering “innocents” who by their very nature can’t make lv 1s and call you names soon grows old. If only all NPCs were like a certain Miss Ellia Ravenmane. Gilneas was fun the first time around although the Goblin start zone had me feeling like I was playing the wrong game but the Pandaren start has some how managed to engage with me on a personal level. I won’t go into details as to why now because that’s a post and a half in it’s own right but somehow whilst wandering along, the atmosphere has managed to breathe life into character I was leveling for turtle mounts. She’s become a living breathing opinionated entity in her own right.

turtle02

There is no one factor which has helped create this shift in her character, meeting the Great Turtle helped and of course the sheer beauty of the landscape played it’s part.

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Ultimately though, the Forest of Staves was perhaps the biggest influence on her fledgling personality. Snowflower’s staff will never grow along side her ancestors but where-ever she ends up, she’ll carry their memories forever.

Turtle01

And the Wheel keeps turning: PvP and Chakras

Nothing seems to divide Holy Priests like Chakras. I know people who have quit their Priests all together over them, Priests who have gone Disc or Shadow because of them as well as plenty of Priests who have stuck with Holy but tend to pick their Chakra and stick with it regardless of their circumstances. My focus today is PvP but a lot of what applies here can also be used whilst dungeoning and raiding.

First of all, know your “enemy”!

chakra01

and

chakra02

Now I deliberately didn’t include the third Chakra and the reason for that is simple. Chastise is our default ability if we aren’t in a Chakra at all. So lets say I’m in Serenity and I have been for a while, all I need to do to throw a disorient on that pesky Holy Paladin over there is leave Chakra state, cast Chastise and then re-enter Serenity immediately incurring no real penalty (ok Chastise hits for less but…..).

chastise01

/cancelaura Chakra: Serenity
/cancelaura Chakra: Sanctuary
/cast [target=mouseover, harm, nodead] Holy Word: Chastise; Holy Word: Chastise

You do need to hit the macro twice to get the disorient but it leaves whichever of the two Chakra states you’re in and then will stun either your mouse over target if you have one or your actual target if you don’t. I’d definitely recommend using a macro because in hectic pvp combat the last thing you want to be doing is trying to right click off the right buff whilst the person you want to disorient is trying to smash your face in with an axe.

So with the basics covered, what I do use and why? Well my general rule of thumb sees Serenity as my go to Chakra for most things pvp related. I’m a great fan of casting on the move (you can tell I was a Resto Druid in a former life can’t you) and given that in most pvp, standing still just makes you an easier target, you can’t beat instant cast abilities. Being able to dance through and behind your enemies throwing out heals can make a huge difference on your time to live and that of your team-mates.

Also if you’re left alone, Serenity is definitely where it’s at. That instant heal can and will save your life over and over again.

However, especially in the two 40 mans, Sanctuary has it’s place:

Isle of Conquest

  • On entering the boss room to take down the opposing boss I switch because with his leap, every little bit of aoe healing counts. 
  • If we’re winning by attrition and camping the graveyard, i.e. everyone is grouped up in one place with lots of people taking damage, I switch.

Alterac Valley

  • End bosses are an obvious choice for Sanctuary, especially if you’re forced into pulling with towers up.
  • Any huge face offs on the road, i.e. by Iceblood graveyard or between Stonehearth and Stormpike, using Sanctuary is a potential option. It depends whether you’re just championing one person, i.e. a warrior/deathknight or trying to keep the masses alive.

As for Arenas, given that I only ever play 2 v 2, I tend to switch between Serenity, no Chakra at all for the disorient and then using Chakra: Chastise if I need to nuke.

Basically before you make a decision on which Chakra to use, consider the following:

  1. Are you sticking with the vast majority of the team or are you off either solo or with a handful of others. Then consider Sanctuary for the former and Serenity for the latter.
  2. How many opponents are there? Lets say for example that you and a rogue are attacking the Farm in Arathi Basin. There is just one defender but you know that this team have been fairly good at communicating thus far. Do you stick in your healing Chakra or do you switch to Chastise for the extra bit of oomph? After all, the faster they die, the quicker you can tag.
  3. Is anyone focusing you? Serenity all the way then.

TL,DR

  • Macro cancelling Chakra and disorient early and often. The more CC you can provide, the less healing you need to do. Consider things like Chastise – > Mindcontrol for defending the Lumber Mill in Arathi Basin or in 2 v 2s. Not only is it annoying, it’s also effective, especially if you follow it up by parking the person next to you and then fearing them. 
  • Serenity normally beats Sanctuary unless the opposing team is kindly focusing on aoeing down your team at roughly the same rate, you aren’t taking huge amounts of damage yourself and you don’t like anyone else in the team enough to focus them with lots of single target heals.
  • Chakra: Chastise has it’s place. I use it in scenarios, 5 man groups in which people don’t stand in bad and the tank actually uses cooldowns and for nuking demolishers in Strand of the Ancients. It can also be handy in one v ones against certain classes (i.e the ones which don’t currently hit very hard themselves) as long as you’re ready to swap back to defensive mode Serenity the second they get a mate. The other thing to consider is how many healers are on your team. If I end up in a healer heavy side and no one has the gear/spec set up, I’ll use Chastise for dps, especially to help kill flag carriers whilst the others heal. My Dps isn’t awesome but I’ve never come bottom yet although in random battlegrounds that’s perhaps not surprising.

Above all, don’t be afraid to play around with them. Also I have it on good authority that chastise the disorient is cheating (rich coming from a Paladin :p) so use it often!

Redemption Blues

When the MoP changes to the talents were released, I had one huge issue, Spirit of Redemption becoming baseline for Holy. Experience has taught me that it’s a buggy piece of rubbish and it’s good to see that despite it being in the game so long, Blizzard still haven’t managed to fix those bugs.

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I died in Eye of the Storm just as the game ended and turned up in a graveyard. When I first checked I didn’t even have a corpse although luckily that spawned once the two minute timer at the end of the game finished, unfortunately though it was quite a run. Ok, I could have waited until the timer on Spirit of Redemption ran out but Mr Harpy wants points and thus time was of the essence (although now knowing what I know, I’ll definitely be waiting).

So that’s achievements I got late because self sacrifice to help kill bosses through the use of Spirit of Redemption basically punishes you and now, having to corpse run across a zone because the game can’t identify the difference between a player and the zombie you become when Spirit of Redemption is active. Given the amount of times I die, even in PvP… I’d swap this for something else in a heart beat.

In short, don’t leave a battleground whilst a Spirit of Redemption because who knows where you’ll end up! I got lucky. My corpse was in the air, as I had entered the battleground on a flying mount but was still close enough to the ground to be reachable.

Angling for fishing improvements

A little Bug on a bigger Bug!

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Finally exalted with the Anglers, for my adorable buggy friend. I wish these came in other colours than slightly off-salmon pink though.

On a mostly unrelated note, wouldn’t fishing be more fun if there was an added thrill element? Perhaps random giant Catfish attacks or dead fish raining from the skies, just something unpredictable to take away from the monotony of it taking 40 casts to catch 5 piranha. Better still, why can’t I throw a bleeding and battered Bloodelf* into the river and then net up the piranha and what’s left of the bait nice and quickly with minimum of fuss.

*You could substitute this with something less humanoid and perhaps more dead if you’re squeamish (although I believe if we’re being totally accurate it’s the churning water of a panic stricken creature which attracts them so ……… Bloodelf it is!)

Patch Notes Thoughts: Easier Chakra Surfing

I’ve been keeping a vague eye on the notes for the forthcoming patch, oohing over the thought of riding dinosaurs but my brain has been rather disengaged. However one little tidbit I spotted today changed that:

The 4pc PvP bonus for healing priests has changed: Reduces the cooldown of Chakra by 25 sec and during Spirit ShellFlash Heal costs 50% less mana. (from MMO Champion).

I’m not particularly interested in the second half (Holy for life!) but the first bit had me thinking. Now I’m a chakra hopper by nature and the thirty second cool down between switching annoys me considerably. I’ll happily admit to not being the greatest fan of chakras as I think their implementation has always been clunky and I hate running around with huge disco lights under my feet yelling “Holy Priest….try and kill me” to all comers. However I think a five second cool down between switching states is a huge improvement, so huge in fact that I feel it’s got no place being a set bonus at all.

The whole point of chakras as I understood them was so that we could switch on the fly as sadly PvP in particular doesn’t come in nice perfectly timed segments with the opposing team seguing politely from aoe to single target and back again. I know from playing against plenty of other Holy Priests, most seem to pick a chakra and stick with it regardless of the situation, especially now they last after zoning/death so hopefully this change will change that, pushing people into a bit more experimentation. That said, I don’t see why this change couldn’t be either baseline, leaving the PvP set bonus as it currently is or altering it’s implementation slightly. Why for example can’t it work like the Monk roll? In that you could switch once and then again without incurring a time penalty. It would be more dynamic than just a flat cool down and would potentially allow for more tactical play.

Right now this is a necessary change but a really boring set bonus.

Slightly off-topic, one of the more common searches which seems to bring people to my blog is “What chakra should I use in pvp?” and that to me feeds into the sense that quite a lot of Priests feel trapped in one chakra because of the cooldown. (For those of you which are interested, I’m currently working on a rather massive post with flow charts and possibly diagrams to cover what I use, when and why).

 

Sprout: A Study in Red and Blue

I’ve been thinking a lot about perception and personality recently and thus when I saw this being linked everywhere, I couldn’t resist (or rather Sprout took over and demanded to be immortalized as she really is).

Thus I give you Sprout…. the way she sees herself!

Sproutchibi

She may look cute but that parasol not only comes from some ancient burial ground but hides an arsenal of lethal weapons.

 

 

Minion of Har’koa: Transmogrification Gnomish Style

So I noticed whilst flicking through my feed reader that J D Kenada was hosting yet another transmogrification contest and I thought “ooh!” to myself. My first thought on reading the brief was Snow Gnomes!!!!! and given that first thoughts are usually if not the best, at least the most quirky and strange, Snow Gnomes it is!

First of all, every Spirit needs a few Priests to speak for them.

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This outfit was one of those serendipitous moments begun whilst running around AQ40 pursued by an army of angry bugs when you happen to pause long enough to loot Fankriss and find those beautiful blue robes staring back up at you. Being a modest Gnome it is of course matched with the Cerulean Filigreed Doublet, a shirt whose design I adore and use whenever shyness gets the better of my characters.

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  • Heroes’ Crown of Faith
  • Pauldrons of Transcendence
  • Robes of the Guardian Saint
  • Bindings of Transcendence
  • Cerulean Filigreed Doublet

As it happens, this is what Sprout is wearing at the moment but when I went to grab a few screenshots of Har’koa, I noticed that the blues matched up almost perfectly.

The other outfit I made, the one I originally intended entering was designed around the weapon as after all, Spirits need Blades just as much as they need Priests to praise them.

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  • Very Light Sabre (the reason why my Warrior is a Gnome)
  • Mechanized Snow Goggles (which always make me think of Charles Causley’s poetry
  • Glimmershell Shoulder Protector
  • Iceguard Breastplate
  • Imbued Plate Greaves
  • Iceguard Leggings
  • Lurker’s Girdle
  • Gauntlets of Resolute Fury

I was still toying with the idea of designing something around the “wonderful” Boneshredder’s set but work and duty calls, that will have to be a plan for another day.

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