20 Days of WoW Blogging: Day 3

Ah! I missed Day 3 yesterday, so here it is. For those of you paying attention, sorry about missing yesterday!

Day 3: Your first day playing WoW
This strikes me for some reason as an odd thing to blog about.

My first day playing while I was still playing on the 10-day trial, I rolled a Troll warrior on The Underbog, a PvP server, because one of my friends insisted that a PvP server was the BEST way to enjoy the game. I remember I had gotten her to about level 13 or 15 and I don’t even think I had spent her talent points yet. Most of the leveling was thanks to killing plainstriders on one of the mountains in the Barrens while I looked for my class quest objective (turned out I had been killing things on the WRONG DAMN MOUNTAIN for about 45 minutes). Then later that evening while at the Crossroads, figuring out what I wanted/needed to do next, I was asked to tank Wailing Caverns.
Tank? What’s that?
A dungeon? What’s that?
At this point I feel I should mention that I was wielding a 2-handed sword and probably had some cloth and/or leather gear on.
While I had no idea what exactly I was being asked to do, I gave the other people fair warning of it, and followed them in. What happened next can be quickly summed up as 30+ minutes of them yelling at me “Warrior come hit these things and get them off the healer!” Needless to say I was pretty anxious and upset by the time I had the courage to say “Guys, I can’t do this. Sorry.”

So, yep. There ya go. My first day of playing WoW. Usually happenings like that will put me off completely from something, so in retrospect I find it surprising that that run didn’t put me off from WoW.

Day 4 of this meme will be so much better – promise!

20 Days of WoW Blogging: Day 2

Day 2: Why you decided to start a blog

To be honest, I’m not quite sure there’s one good solid reason I started a blog, which sounds rather lame. I enjoy sharing my opinions, and I enjoy WoW, so it seemed like a good next step to make a WoW blog 😉

I’ll admit, having a Wow blog hasn’t exactly followed the plan I had for it. I had originally hoped for this to be mainly about huntering and a little bit of alts. Then it turned into alts and other assorted game-related topics. And now I’m using the blog as a place for healing-related things and fun stuff like this.

20 Days of WoW Blogging: Day 1

I’ve seen this floating around a few other blogs and I figured I’d give it a try. At the very least it’ll be nice to give some activity to The Azeroth Log!

Day 1: Introduce Yourself

I always feel sort of silly writing these sorts of posts – I’m one of those people who never really know what to say about myself. What is too much or what isn’t enough. We’ll see where this takes us though.

Most people in game know me as Kandin (My MM hunter), and people who have gotten to know me more recently know me as Mertaka (Resto shaman) or Crimiia (Holy paladin). I play 99% of the time on the Horde-side of Velen(US). I mostly do PvE, but this expansion has seen a healthy appreciation of PvP on at least 3 of my characters. I am the GM of my guild, Sanctis Draconis which has been a very rewarding experience so far for the most part. I play WoW with my husband who is known in game as Kazishini (or “Kaz” for short), a Destro/Demo warlock. Even though Velen is a Normal server, I do enjoy a little bit of RP and have been lucky enough very recently to find someone who is willing to indulge me! It’s also something I’ve been meaning to throw into the blog a bit.

Me in meat space (if this sort of thing interests anybody), I’m currently a housewife because I can’t teach, drive truck, or possess the knowledge to operate factory machinery. I’m 26 and still trying to figure out what it is I want to do with my life, even though I went to university for English. No, I never wanted to teach with it. I’m thinking about picking up and writing a little bit lately, which is rather big to me since I haven’t written anything creatively in about….3 years.

Well, I do feel like I’ve said enough – stay tuned for hopefully 19 more days!

Sword and Board and a New Healer

Happy Maintenance Day 😉

In fun happy news, this past Saturday our guild finally got Omnotron Defense System down (we one-shotted it, even!). I know for most of my readers that sounds like such a silly, simple thing to be happy about, but that fight had been giving us such grief for about a month now. Most of the raid team wanted to extend the lockout so we can go forth and attempt Maloriak and Chimaeron, although I would like to get a few more solid downs on ODS before moving on…but we’ll see. I don’t think the Maloriak fight will be too harsh; ODS taught some of the more slack raiders to move when they need to, but I hope our add management gives me some concern. As for Chimaeron…ugh. I don’t think the other healers quite understand yet what a pain in the ass that fight is going to be.

Crimiia has taken up a Prot spec! I’ve only gotten to tank on her a handful of times now and it’s not as scary or terrible as I thought it was going to be, but I’m still worried that I’m squishy and/or not moving fast enough. I did manage to do the heroic Ozruk fight correctly on just the second try last night so that gave me a confidence boost. I’m still a little lost in my stat priority at the moment; the other prot pally in the guild tells me to go Mastery, but I don’t think my Dodge and Parry are where they need to be and what about those pesky Hit and Expertise ratings? I’m currently not running by myself as tank in randoms; heck, I don’t even care to run unless I have 2 guildmates queuing with me when I tank. I’m reserving total judgment on tanking until I’ve done some more of it. I have to keep reminding myself of that especially when I see the crafted tank items on the AH for about 4k…

Another area I’m dipping my toes into recently is PvP. Healing in PvP has been pretty rewarding and I’m very glad to have it as a break from raiding. Mertaka is sitting nice at just over 3100 resilience thanks to juggling 2 2-piece bonuses from shaman gear and in a nice 3v3 team with the husband’s Demo warlock Kazishini and a real-life friend on an Unholy DK, and Crimiia just got her 4-piece Bloodthirsty and I’m hoping to team up with a Frost mage for a 2v2 team. I’m actually wondering, when I get more comfortable with prot, if I might do better in arenas as that spec, but grinding out another set of PvP gear for that is definitely not at the top of my priority list for Crimiia. Tol Barad on our sever has done wonders for grinding up honor for Crimiia’s gear 😉

Also on the healing front, Kaz has taken up the project of leveling a Resto druid. Yep; the soul-sucking warlock who has no mana drain and whose DoTs are easily expelled has a softer, more helpful alter ego now. Surprisingly, I had very little to do with it but it’s still rewarding in a way to sit back and watch him heal in 5-mans while quietly uttering expletives under his breath at tanks in DPS gear and DPS who don’t know how to drop their aggro. The pinnacle of him seeing the healer side of things (in my opinion anyways) came about a week ago as he was healing an Outlands dungeon and right after a particularly hairy trash mob he had sat to drink and suddenly one of the DPS’ health started to drop in large chunks and his initial reaction was “OMGWTF is hitting him!?!” …until he realized it was a warlock. Life Tapping. Kaz got a good laugh out of it, turned and explained to me what just happened and said “Oh. So that’s why you yell at me when I do that.”

Healer Form GO!

Wow over a month without a post! My apologies.

I have a few things of order to address first I suppose. Part of the reason I do not post very much is (as silly as it sounds) is that I’m never quite sure all what I want to say. I originally started this as a sort of general, catch-all blog to just go on about my adventures in Azeroth on my alts with nothing too serious. Which is awesome because I could talk about whatever I wanted…but it was bad because I didn’t have any direction in which to go. So for now, I think I’m going to dedicate this blog to mostly healing reflections. This blog is not and will not be a guide by any means. So, if you had come here to enjoy some super casual meanderings and maybe some huntering….I’m sorry to disappoint. For now the site will stay as it is. I’d really rather not have to create a new blog. However, I will always be Kandin 🙂

When I last left you, my shammy (Mertaka) was my focus for gearing and I had just moved my paladin (Crimiia) from Alliance to Horde. Healing was a struggle. Healing was a morale breaker. The horrors of my inadequate heals leaked their way into nightmares.

Now, I’m quite happy to say that Mertaka and Crimiia are both geared enough to handle raiding and I’m working on getting my priest (Roneka) geared up as well. I’m very very thankful I moved my paladin and started healing on her as she was the character that renewed my hope. So indeed things in regards to the healing have been going quite well overall I guess I would say. I was quite happy to see Shamans get a buff to their healing and to see that Blizzard is listening when we say we need an “OH SHI-” cooldown. I did not feel that the paladin “nerf” was as big and serious as quite a few people made it out to be and I could totally understand the need to balance Holy Paladins.

Looking forward to 4.1, I’m actually happy to see that Word of Glory will have a 20 second cooldown and that only Holy paladins will be able to reduce or get rid of it entirely. As evil as it sounds, I’m glad that Ret and Prot paladins will have one less cushion to fall back on when they want to do something silly. Like pulling the next mob while waiting for the healer to drink, or trying to “off-tank” a mob for a tank, or standing in Bad Shit because hey, they can just pop Word of Glory and be a-okay. Yes I can understand that some Ret and Prot pallies like to use it to take some stress off of the healer especially if the healer is a bit undergeared or having a rough day, but I do think that in a lot of cases it is/was being used to put off a mechanic just a little bit longer or to just not perform properly in a fight. I also like the added cooldown because now I feel that using this spell will actually mean something. It isn’t just another mindless button to press because you have a random charge of Holy Power to use. I almost like to think of it as if Elemental and Enhancement shamans got a version of Riptide. They wouldn’t be able to just HoT themselves and roflroll through everything.

I’m not quite sure how I feel about Priest changes, mostly to due to not having spent very much time on a healing priest. Roneka is currently running Holy with a Disc off-spec that sits in the corner. I really originally wanted to play her as a Disc priest but it seemed that the people designing the class could not figure out what it is exactly that they wanted to do with Disc. The cost of Shields is a bit steep in my opinion, and I don’t see the increase absorption at all. Smite healing for a week was quite an experience; I definitely did not enjoy having my Smite crits wasted on someone’s pet however, and it felt a little awkward to say the least. I thought it was a great spec for leveling if you don’t want to level Shadow however and have considered leveling my lowbie Alliance priest as Disc-Smite just for something a little different once she can access the Atonement skill.

And they’re not buggering with Resto shamans at this point. Hooray.

 

Faction Warp

A Happy New Years to all my readers! Well, a belated one at any rate. Hope the recoveries are going well.

One of my Christmas presents this year was a faction and server transfer for my (formerly) Draenai paladin, Crimiia.
As she was (saying her farewells to King Wrynn):

And as she is now:

Yes, I know – I’m terrible for adding another Blood Elf paladin to the already existing ocean of Blood Elf paladins. The deal breaker for me between a Blood Elf or a Tauren paladin as silly as it sounds was the class mount. The Sunwalker kodo is so hideous IMO. I know I don’t *have* to use it, of course. But still. Ick.

My hopes are to get her going as a holy paladin and find pallies as a class in which healing is not completely frustrating and stressful. Not to say I’d immediately bin the shammy…but it does seem a bit implied.

Healing Reflections in Cataclysm

Almost a month! I am sorry for my lack of posting. My excuse? Leveling characters to 85, of course 😉

Sadly, Kandin is still sitting idly at level 81. I wish I could’ve leveled her first, but this way I know I’ll be able to take my time with her and really enjoy all the new content rather than rat-race to get to 85. I ended up leveling Mertaka and strangely enough Roneka first. The guild needed healers to start some dungeon running, so I is it.

I will say this now, to lay my cards out on the table. I started WoW with Wrath. Wrath is the only measure I have to go by. And I loved healing in Wrath – I loved the fast pace and the feeling of being able to bring things back from the brink…who doesn’t enjoy feeling like the hero? I liked that my ability as a healer didn’t hinge on the performance (or lack thereof) of my other 4 group mates? I loved that when I hit someone with a heal, it made a noticeable difference. I enjoyed the challenge of keeping up with the fast incoming damage.

However.

I will not say that I totally and absolutely HATE the healing mechanics in Cataclysm. It *is* just a game, and hate is kinda strong for this. I am gradually adapting to the way healing works now (on my shaman at least; priest doesn’t have enough Spirit to dungeon run yet)….but it is certainly NOT fun. I have my good healing days where I’m the windshield, but I have many, many more bad healing days where I am most definitely the bug. There is quite a bit of hot discussion in the Healing forums right now on the WoW Community site between the Old School Vanilla players who absolutely LOVE the new system because it’s like The Good Old Days, and the people who started in TBC or WotLK who are adapting but not having fun or just hate the new system out right. Healing has been quite a chore – and I have been continually asking myself why I’m paying $15/month to do a chore. I am currently the only healer in our guild while our other two are out of the country visiting family, and I am worried as well that when they come back and try out the new healing mechanics that they too will no longer want to heal and then where will we be? It seems that there are already quite a few healers who have quit the game or tucked their healing spec and gear into a dark corner of their banks and I don’t want to bin Mertaka and Roneka. I don’t want to bin my entire account because I have so many other characters and aspects of the game that I enjoy so much.

Mana costs are up. WAY UP. Spell throughput is low – entirely too low for the amount of mana they consume. Mertaka’s Healing Wave spell costs 1981 mana and heals (according to tooltip) for 5727 to 6232. Factor into this now the fact that everyone has staggering health pools. Suddenly, that 5700-6400 heal spell doesn’t seem so great. It doesn’t even top off a hunter’s pet. But Blizzard wants this to be our auto-attack type heal; this is what we throw off when we feel like we need to do something but a big heal isn’t necessary and AoE healing isn’t efficient. I’m fine with using a small heal, but I do think that Blizzard needs to revisit the definition of “efficient.” On top of the meager amount healed and the mana cost for that amount healed, we have the cast time. Healing Wave is a 2.1 with the TW proc.  I understand that as a healer it is not my job to save people from themselves, but even in the course of regular healing the cast time feels cumbersome. Then there is also the aspect of shaman healing presently that while it hasn’t been borked too badly…it’s a little boring: Riptide, any two direct heals, Riptide, any two direct heals, Riptide, any two direct heals, wash – rinse -repeat. AoE heal as needed.

Healing used to make me feel excited to get in game and to be a strong pillar of a party or raid. I loved that I had the power to turn things around if they started to go downhill and that there was some margin for error (not necessarily outright stupidity). Now I just feel powerless; I feel like a weak point in a group because as a healer I feel that it is my job to save and to help…and in this expansion I can do neither. I feel that healers are now nothing more than a band-aid until a wipe happens and then we’re brought out for a public stoning. I really just can’t find the right words anymore to properly convey how utterly useless this expansion makes me feel when I’m healing. These feelings are compounded by guildies who upon reaching the minimum item level requirement for Heroic dungeons, want to run nothing but Heroic dungeons. None of them have played a healing class in this expansion yet and have not had any hands-on experience with new mechanics. So then I go from general discontent with new healing to anxiety as we claw our way through a Heroic dungeon. It’s sad because it’s starting to make me resent my guildmates a little bit as well. I want to see the end game content, I really do. I would also like to have all of my hair, sanity, and not develop a hard drug habit when/if I get there.