The Good Old Days – A Blog Azeroth Shared Topic

The shared topic over at Blog Azeroth this is week is:

Before I was going to bed, I heard someone talk to my husband about some changes in WoW they wish didn’t happen. Like removing some quests, content, class changes. One of the things that popped into my head was “companion deaths”. During the Ragnaros fight in Classic, I heard someone in vent go “Did someone’s cat died?” and sure enough, my Black Tabby companion died. Everyone busted up laughing.

So I thought about some other changes that I would bring back…just for the day? For the week? and Permanently?

suggested by Mia.

Nature Dragons/Kazzak/Doomwalker

First up on my wish list is Outdoor Bosses. I used to love the competition over Kazzak and the Nature Dragons, we had lv 1 spotters hidden all over the place to check on their spawns. It added a degree of excitement to raiding, especially on a PvP server. Would that Horde guild who just arrived a few minutes into your pull, interfere or just sit watching hoping you wiped? Could you beat the other Alliance guild who left AQ 40 at the same time as you to the dragon and pull first? I also have some great PvP memories from these encounters as rival Alliance and Horde guilds joined forces to make sure that their side secured the kill. However if any new encounters like these were added, either the loot off them has to be good enough to keep ensuring that people are interested in competing over them or they have to offer something else as added incentive.

Starshards

Next up, my Nightelf Priest wants her starshards back. Priests being the only class with differing racial abilities wasn’t the best idea, but I loved my starshards. Raining down chunks of stars on the heads of people foolish enough to attack me was awesome. The night before the patch that removed it as a spell, I spent a good half an hour running around Dun Morogh killing snow leopards and troggs with it. I’d swap Devouring Plague for it any day.

Unlimited resource/same server AVs.

PvP should be personal and going guild versus guild ensures that. The fact that you could go to bed at 3 am, leaving your friends laying siege to Frostwolf and log back on five hours later to discover they had advanced five yards was amazing. I think that there was a lot more desire to win back then, both for the honour of your faction and that of your guild. After raids we used to queue with a good chunk of our raiders and have fun going up against the Horde’s top guilds. Our warriors making beelines for their healers and vice versa. It also led to some hilarious conversations on IRC, poor Mr Harpy got flamed repeatedly for committing some heinous crimes such as ganking someone’s lv 51 rogue in Stonehearth bunker (killing people in a battleground…. what a terrible thing to do!) and ice trapping a warrior and then using the teleport function of the Stormpike insignia.

Removed quest chains

There are two chains which spring to mind that I would love to see returned to Azeroth. The Sprite Darter Hatchling chain and a Test of Faith (see here for a bit more detail about the chains). In general though, I miss the chains which would send you careering half way across Azeroth, visiting new zones. That’s partly why I miss both these two. The first sent you from Feralas to Darnassus, back to Feralas then to the Thousand Needles before ending in the Hinterlands for example. The world felt more larger and more realistic back then.

As for which I’d like to see as permanent and which as only for a short period, definitely starshards and my missing quest chains as permanent please. The other two, well it might be a case of rose tinted spectacles so perhaps they could just be for special events or just for a week or so to spice things up.

 

IntPiPoMo – Nostalgia

The rules for IntPiPoMo can be found here at Revive & Rejuvenate.

#20

My Undead Priest nesting up close with her Warrior. Hard to believe that Tauren grew up into this:

#21

#22

One of the plus points of being a Shaman – being able to pick slightly more unusual romantic picnic spots.

#23

My Druid, celebrating in Azshara (before those nasty Goblins ruined it) after her first ever Molten Core run netted her 5 pieces of tier 1.

 

In Praise of Holy Nova

My heart sank a little when I read this part of the Q & A.

Q: Is the priest spell Holy Nova going to be changed to make it useful in mop, as there is no need to even have it on you action bars as it is atm.

A: We’ve talked about it. Its possible we may make Holy Nova Discipline only and interact with Evangelism in some way.

Yes, in a pure PvE environment, the uses for Holy Nova might be few and far between, but the game is more than that. Across the board, Holy Nova does have useful applications.

  • Destroying pesky snake traps in one spell rotation.
  • Unearthing stealths before they get the jump on you, saving yourself from having to do large quantities of healing.
  • Preventing people tagging nodes in AB, AV, Isle of Conquest and Gilneas.

Part of the reason why I keep coming back to my various Priests, is the fact that our toolbox is overflowing with spells for every occasion. Holy Nova is unique within that, as an albeit weak instant AoE heal which also deals damage. Technically Mind Sear can replicate that list, however it comes with more conditionals. You need ideally a friendly target to cast it on, although an enemy will do in a pinch but quite often if you’re the one trying to stop them tagging, it’s because you’re alone. Not to mention with Holy Nova, whilst you’re spamming it you are basically keeping an extra hot on yourself, one that can “tick” every 1.5 seconds and can’t be dispelled, stolen or purged.

Then of course there is Holy Nova’s rich and varied history to be considered. The spell which carried so many Priests through their Benediction chain deserves better than to be dumped or forgotten. From it’s days as our 31 point talent (when barely anyone took it) to becoming an 11 point talent (it replaced Holy Fire when that became baseline) to finally becoming a Priest ability, I’d hate to see it sidelined even more.

So I’m dedicating this weekend to Holy Nova. Join me, fellow Priests in throwing sparkly confetti in the faces of everything from critters to kobolds, goblins to Garrosh, Arthas to Z’kral and everything in between. If you don’t happen to have a Priest, feel free to suggest things you’d like to see being nova’d in the comments and I’ll try and oblige (need more action shots for IntPiPoMo).

Other thoughts on the Q & A

The Monk healer will also involve a lot of non-targeted healing. Anything can change, but I’d like to say you could heal as a Monk competitively without ever having to target a friendly player.

Mixed thoughts on this one. Part of what I like about healing is the decisions you have to make quickly, who to heal, what spell to use and so on. The idea of basically being a healing stream totem with more oomph that doesn’t have to pick targets seems as if Blizzard are taking the idea of smart heals a bit too far.

Our current plan for Mists is for Intellect to no longer directly increase the size of player mana pools. We intend for our mana-based DPS and Tank classes to be entirely self-reliant regardless of mana pool, so the gameplay impact for those players will be nil. For healers, Spirit will remain as the pure regen stat, and healers after multiple tiers of raid progression will clearly have far more mana at their disposal, but there will be more of an inherent tradeoff between regen and throughput stats. A healer with amazing regen will have amazing regen because of a choice to focus their stats in that direction.

Sounds good on paper. Having some healers chasing spirit whilst others could just stack intellect was never going to work. However my main concern as a Priest is that will we have access to the same quantities of spirit as the other healing classes. Sharing gear with 2 other classes who don’t have any use for spirit will potentially cause the same problems it has through Cataclysm for Priests.

In 5.0 we want dispels to have a cooldown and duration more like Spellsteal but get all buffs or debuffs at once to make them more tactical.

I’m in favour of this too, as a Priest and a Druid, certain classes, shamans in particular are a bit too annoying in mass PvP. Keep your mitts off my hots and shields please. I’m curious whether the same “rules” will apply to defensive dispelling and if so what will happen to spells like Unstable Affliction, after all there is no need for dispel protection if people can only remove your dots every X number of seconds anyway.

So its possible we may get a new model for Lightwell that is “taller” and make it less of an issue to see it and click it.

Not sure turning it into a gigantic fountain of golden light will fix Lightwell’s issues. People either make the effort to click it or they don’t. Sometimes, bigger is not better.

You shouldn’t be killing healers just because you burst them down and keep them interrupted, but because you cause them to have to use mana inefficiently.

Yay!

So far, I’m fairly happy with their prospective changes.

IntPiPoMo – Killer Views

The rules for IntPiPoMo can be found here at Revive & Rejuvenate.

This is one of my favourite screenshots. My poor little shaman got slaughtered by a spider whilst I was attempting to best position myself for the perfect shot.

#17

The Badlands is one of those places which has grown on me over the years. It’s got an intense and somewhat burning beauty.

#18

I found this ripple so captivating, I jumped straight in. Luckily the water is rather shallow.

#19

IntPiPoMo – Some you win, some you lose!

The rules for IntPiPoMo can be found here at Revive & Rejuvenate.

#16

In this particular case, I think we can safely say he lost.

IntPiPoMo – Tyger, tyger, burning bright.

The rules for IntPiPoMo can be found here at Revive & Rejuvenate.

Tyger, tyger, burning bright

#8

In the forests of the night,

#9

What immortal hand or eye

#10

could frame thy fearful symmetry?

#11

In what distant deeps or skies

#12

Burnt the fire of thine eyes?

#13

On what wings dare he aspire?

#14

What the hand dare seize the fire?

#15

With apologies to William Blake.

The whole poem can be found here.

Bigger versions of some of the images can be found here.

Suppressing the Pain – A look at levelling a Priest through PvP (Part 3)

Same disclaimer as the previous two parts (which can be found here and here).

What this isn’t.

This isn’t a guide to PvPing at 85 although some of it may be useful to Priests at 85. In fact it isn’t really a guide at all, more of a practical look at making levelling through PvP less painful.

UI/Raid frames/Key binds

Whilst I’m not going to tell anyone else what to use, as it’s a very personal thing, I will say this: take the time to mentally (or on paper) map out where you are going to put each important spell right from the start. Also try and keep key binds similar from character to character. For example all my dispel type spells, (dispel magic, purge, spellsteal etc) live on the “R” key. Another example would be my expensive fast heals, which all live on “G”. That way, it’s easier to remember your bindings in the heat of the moment.

Glyphs

We now get our first set of glyphs at lv 25, then again at 50 and finally at 75.

Prime

Available at 25, we have the following:

  • Penance: Reduces the cooldown of Penance by 2 seconds.
  • Power Word: Shield: Your PW: Shield also heals the target for 2o percent of the absorption amount. (Shields are currently “bugged” in that shielding people doesn’t put you in combat, allowing you to take advantage of your out of combat regen whilst saving lives).
  • Flash Heal: Increases the critical effect chance of your flash heal on targets below 25 percent health by 10 percent.
  • Renew: Increases the amount healed by your Renew by 10 percent.

As Disc, it’s a fairly easy choice. Penance is your bread and butter spell, used for everything from interrupting people trying to ninja flags to healing others, so being able to cast it more frequently is a good thing. As Holy it’s bit a more lacklustre. Personally I would take a flat 10 percent bigger renew over a chance that my flash heal will crit if I’m healing someone below 25 percent health.

At 50,

As Disc, my second Prime glyph would be Power Word: Shield. However the following have also become available:

  • Lightwell: Increases the total number of charges by 5.
  • Prayer of Healing: Your prayer of healing spell also heals an additional 20 percent of it’s initial heal over 6 seconds.

Again as Holy it’s a slightly harder choice to make as  Power Word: Shield and Prayer of Healing are valid options, albeit somewhat lacklustre. If you intend taking Body and Soul and I imagine everyone levelling as Holy through PvP does, then the shield glyph gives you a bit more bang for your buck (as Mr Harpy’s Canadian relatives would say). If like me, you love Alterac Valley, then Prayer of Healing is useful, especially in games which end up coming down to resources, which happens quite often in the levelling brackets. Bottom line, if you’re combining dungeons with your PvP, I’d go for Prayer of Healing but if I was just running battleground after battleground, I would consider the shield one, however I think it’s one of the situations where 99 percent of the time, you’ll wish you had the other one.

By the time you reach 75, these two are added into the mix.

  • Guardian Spirit: Reduces the cooldown of your Guardian Spirit by 30 seconds
  • Power Word: Barrier: Increases the healing received whilst under the barrier by 10 percent

Finally, we have an obvious choice for Holy. Guardian Spirit is literally a life saver, being able to cast it more frequently is awesome. Because it’s not dispel-able, in mass PvP, dps often back off allowing you to take advantage of the healing buff Guardian Spirit provides so whether it procs or not, it’s a great spell to use in PvP. For Disc, my third Prime glyph choice would be one of the following, either Renew

Major

  • Inner Fire: Increases the armor gained from Inner Fire by 50 percent.
  • Smite: Your smite spell inflicts an additional 20 percent damage against targets afflicted by Holy Fire.
  • Divine Accuracy: Increases your chance to hit with Smite and Holy Fire by 18 percent.
  • Psychic Scream: Targets of your Psychic Scream spell now tremble in place instead of fleeing in fear, but the cooldown of Psychic Scream is increased by 3 seconds.
  • Reduces the cooldown of Fade by 9 seconds

For both specs, I’d take Inner Fire here. The biggest issue, particularly at low levels are physicals, hunters/rogues/warriors so more armour is always welcome.

At lv 50, our choices include the above plus

  • Desperation: Allows Pain Suppression and Guardian Spirit to be cast whilst stunned.
  • Dispel Magic: Your dispel magic spells also heals the target for 3 percent of it’s maximum health when you successfully dispel something.

For Disc, I’d go for Desperation every time. It’s saved my life more times than I care to count.

As Holy things are slightly more complex, whereas Disc gets access to Pain Suppression at lv 49, Holy can’t reach Guardian Spirit until lv 69, so there is no point taking Desperation at lv 50. So personally, I’d go for Dispel Magic at this point. Yes, it’s not hugely exciting  but it’s another instant and instants in PvP against opponents with half a brain are king.

At lv 75, we now have access to:

  • Circle of Healing: Your circle of healing spell now heals one additional target
  • Fearward: Reduces the cooldown and duration of Fearward by 60 seconds
  • Holy Nova: Reduces the global cooldown of your Holy Nova by 0.5 seconds
  • Mass Dispel: Reduces the cast time of your Mass Dispel by 1 second
  • Prayer of Mending: The first charge of your Prayer of Mending spell heals for an additional 60 percent

Yet again, an easy choice for Disc, Mass Dispel is a key ability at later level PvP. Being able to swiftly remove those bubbles and iceblocks can make all the difference as to whether you get a quick kill or not. As Holy, I would swap Prayer of Mending with Dispel Magic (at lv 68) and then pick up Mass Dispel as my final Major glyph.

Minor

The choice at lv 25 is far from stellar. Personally I would take Fortitude until lv 34, when I would switch it with Levitate. Being able to leap happily off the LM or down to the GM without the fear of suddenly realising you’re out of light feathers seconds before you go splat in front of a crowd of Horde/Alliance is priceless.

At 50, I’d take back Fortitude, although with the grace period after every death in a battleground where buffs are free, it’s more for the quality of life aspect outside battlegrounds, especially if you’re running dungeons.

At 75, I’d pick up glyph of shadowfiend (recieve 5 percent of your maximum mana if your shadowfiend dies from damage).

Dispels

First set up your unit frames to show Unstable Affliction as a debuff in it’s own right. That way, it will always be the top debuff to show and then you can make informed decisions as to whether it’s worth risking the silence + damage to yourself to dispel.

Things you really want to dispel!

  • Paladins with wings. Whenever you encounter a Paladin past the Avenging Wrath level it’s worth doing a bit of pre-emptive dispelling to make sure it doesn’t take too many spell rotates to get rid of those wings. The burst is just too high to want to heal through. Keep yourself pre-shielded as well.
  • Shamans in ghostwolf. If they are running away, particularly if they have a flag clamped in their sticky paws. Plus half of them don’t seem to realise it’s dispel-able so watching them pop up, stand still for a second and then recast repeatedly is good for some amusement.
  • Poor unfortunates encased in ice.
  • CC from people helping you.
  • Your vehicles in SotA. Get those snares off a.s.a.p. That’s an example of one situation where I would say it’s better to eat a silence from Unstable Affliction rather than let a vehicle crawl to it’s death slowed by one Mage.

Targetting

Switch on enemy nameplates. This lets you see enemies even when you don’t have a line of sight on them. Crucial for spotting people hiding behind houses trying to tag nodes and other such sneaky behaviour. To find it, go to Options (hit ESC) -> Keybinding and then scroll down the list until you come across this:

Add a keybinding if there isn’t one already there and get used to switching it on.

I also recommend Tidy Plates, an addon which allows you to show CC with timers on the name plates, as well as turning them class coloured for easy identification. For example, if I’m PvPing with a rogue, I’d be able to see his kidney shot ticking down so I could time my fear to land just before or just after his stun finishes, rather than wasting or overlapping cc.

Final Points

Don’t be one of those Priests I keep running into who insist on using heal/greater heal when fighting people with kicks. Prioritise instants and then your faster casts in those situations, particularly if you’ve got melee/mages or shamans beating up on you.

If you put a talent point in something, looking at Lightwell here, use it. My heart breaks a little bit every time I’m defending a flag carrier along side a Holy Priest and I have to ask them if they took Lightwell because 100 percent of the time so far, they did but they haven’t bothered putting one down.

Accept that especially at low levels, you will die a LOT.

Above all, remember PvP should be fun and when all else fails, throw someone off the Lumber Mill cliff. It’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

IntPiPoMo – Red is the colour

The rules for IntPiPoMo can be found here at Revive & Rejuvenate.

The theme for today’s screenshots is all things red.

The Vermilion Redoubt #5

Crimson Expanse #6

Ruby Rocks #7

Bigger and possibly better versions of these can be found here.

IntPiPoMo – Uldum

Because you can never have too many screenshots and because this month has been designated International Picture Posting Month by Angelya of Revive & Rejuvenate, I give you Uldum.

Nov 1st

Nov 2nd

Nov 3rd

Nov 4th

It’s one of my favourite zones, somewhere I hang out on my Druid flying up and down the waterways picking herbs and just soaking up the atmosphere.

Day of the Dead: A Lament

I love the Day of the Dead. I had the privilege of being in Mexico at this time of year once. Of seeing the marigolds being brought into the city on truck after truck, as well as being heaped at the road side for sale to passing traffic and the shop window displays piled high with sugar skulls. I remember eating tiny little candies shaped like skeletons and buying postcards of La Calavera Catrina. I even carried home a five foot painted pink and white skeleton (telling customs there is a skeleton in your bag – not a good idea btw) which is why I’m still slightly disappointed with the in-game version of this festival.

I’m glad that Blizzard made use of the beautiful new cemetery in Stormwind, it looks suitably poignant in the moonlight, the graves loaded up with tributes to the dead.

 

But why I can’t I keep my little puppet friend all year around? There is no limitation on my witch’s hat wearing broomstick riding cat nor my jack o’lantern on legs. The Spring bunny isn’t locked up for the rest of the year. Wolpertingers do indeed linger. So why restrict us with the marionette?

I know we’ve just had two weeks of giant pumpkins, a surfeit of candy and plenty of treats but I’d love to see a few more quests added to this holiday. Simple ones where you have to go out and talk to the dead, perhaps run a few basic errands for them. It could be as basic as a ghost asking you to take bread or marigolds to a dead friend or relative buried in some obscure cemeteries dotted around Azeroth. A recipe to make sugar skulls wouldn’t go amiss either.