You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘pve’ tag.

Well I took my first crack at all of the healing trees.  I don’t mean to say I’ve played them all but from my experience I know what I like to choose and what I don’t like to choose.  To be honest I really don’t do a lot of experimentation with my talents.  I would love to hear what differences you may have made although with even fewer points to spread around and some new limitations on spreading your points out, they may be minimal.

To begin, I’d like to go over a few of the general guidelines I like to use.

Gameplay
I don’t PvP so this is definitely not one of my considerations.  Although I do solo in order to level my characters, I don’t have a special spec for leveling.  I’ve actually found it quite safe and cozy to level in my healing spec since it is fairly hard for a non-elite mob to take down a healer. Besides, with the invention of dual specs I can just use a DPS class if I’m in a hurry. So the target here is dungeons (I haven’t been raiding in awhile).

Passive Abilities
So yeah, I’m lazy.  Anything that helps me without me having to take action, take advantage of a proc or think about it in anyway is awesome.  I wouldn’t say that I have tunnel vision but I don’t have Dominos or any other mods that let me move everything around. On top of that, I like watching the Healbot bars go up and dowm (the former more so than the latter).

Extra Spells or Enhancements
I do like having more tools in my toolkit. You may think this contradicts my laziness but a whole new spell is nice and I like it when the spells do more without any extra effort from me.  I will also put free haste and crit into this category.

Taking Aggro and Being Attacked
Um, no. That’s protflashes job and I don’t PvP.  If for some strange and unimaginable reason I do die then I stay quiet and let protflashes take the blame.  She so readily likes to say she’s sorry, even if it was my fault. :)

DPS
Despite Blizzard’s attempt to push healers to DPS, I still don’t want to. I mean I tried doing some of that with my Shaman but I much prefer to be ready for the unexpected. That means not being mid-cast on a lightning spell. I don’t mind doing the occasional shock (interrupts are cool because they save me healing time) and a hex here or there (once again, one less dude doing damage that I don’t have to heal). But DPS for the sake of DPS doesn’t really suit me and that’s why I play a healer.

That’s the short and sweet of my guidelines.  As much as I love to be meticulous and detailed, I really don’t fret over every last point. Now for some screenshot from Wowhead.

Druid

Druid - Resto

There seemed to be a lot of places to put points in the resto tree. Anyway, I’m still a little sour at losing my tree form and didn’t see a lot of benefit yet in increasing the effects from my shapeshifting (especially since I’ll probably forget to go into tree form at all). The shapeshifting isn’t so passive anymore. I also left out points for a few damage items (dealing and taking).

Paladin

Paladin - Holy

Again, I left out the Exorcism points right off the bat. Although I had Divine Protection and Hand of Sacrifice configured in Healbot, I never really used them so I also left out “Paragon of Virtue”. And I’m not getting hit so I left out Blessed Life. I do like the idea of a free heal with the new Word of Glory spell and I tried it a few times (not in a dungeon but just roaming around) and I think it will suit me fine.

Just a side note before I continue. Do me a favour and read the text for Conviction and imagine a crazy healadin running into to combat with the other paladins. I can’t help but laugh as I see my little dwarf up there in melee swinging his mace like a madman.

Shaman

Shaman - Resto

The paladin and shaman are beginning to look more and more alike. One of the things that leads me to this conclusion is the push to use shocks. I left the points out of Focused Insight just because I liked the looks of Elemental Weapons and Improved Shields. I might change this around sometime in the future though. The remaining items were all damage related. I also really like the idea of an Ancestral Awakening. Sounds pretty cool and means I can heal people without even knowing it. :) Bonus!

Okay, I saved the priest for last because I did both trees.

Priest – Discipline

Priest - Disco

There were a few tough decisions here. Moving around a little faster with Inner Sanctum good be advantageous but I was never that bad at positioning. I did, however, have a hard time with Loken at first and may respec for that dungeon but I’m pretty sure I got it now! Rapture also seemed quite useful but then I remembered my obsessiveness in never letting the shield just die out; I usually have the thing renewed with a couple seconds left. After those decisions, the rest was easy.

Priest – Holy

Priest - Holy

I felt a little weird not taking any points from the Holy tree when I did up the Discipline tree so I tried not to borrow here too. I would say that Mental Agility may have been useful but I did end up taking a few points in Twin Disciplines for a base healing bonus. I also left points out of Test of Faith but that is because of my ego…..when do I ever let people get under 50% health. Come on!

Anyway, the trees have changed since I picked my original specs (at least I noticed changes to the druid and paladin trees) so these may not be final. Nothing is after all. I would like to hear your opinions because I don’t play nearly enough attention to notice the differences.

Advertisements

Excuses, Excuses

With regards to the looooonnnngggg stretches between posts, suffice it to say that between the vagaries of real life, the fact that I am no longer reduced to a puddle of incoherent rage on raid nights (due to there no longer being raid nights for a while), and the general, all-encompassing state of Waiting-For-Cataclysm, I haven’t had a lot to say on the topic of WoW. I figured silence was better than boring everyone – a policy I will likely maintain in the future.

Trying New Things (TM)

In the gap between now and Cataclysm I have tentatively been Trying New Things (TM). Things like a Warlock. Which has been going surprising well, pet pathing issues not withstanding. Also, a rogue. That one’s not going so well. See, I have a 40ish rogue, and you might think, gee Protflashes, that’s really good given that your previous record was level 17 with that class. But then I’d be obliged to point out that between level 17 and level 40ish a guildie basically chain-dragged my heirloom wearing ass through instances, and…now I’m level 40 and my toolbar is a vast and desolate wasteland of buttons I don’t know how to use.

Combo points are scary, leave me alone.

I also started a new warrior, which has, of course, been going delightfully because that class, I can do. You might think that this doesn’t really constitute under the Trying New Things (TM) thing I’ve been doing, and you would have been right up to a point.

But at level 40 I decided I wanted a title. In fact, I set my heart on a title. It is no longer a case of want. I absolutely have to get this title for this character. It is perfect for him. He must have it. He will have it.

I didn’t know it at the time, but apparently I picked the hardest fucking title in the whole god damned game. Nor was I fully cognizant, when I first chose it, that it doesn’t exactly happen in my neck of the woods, so to speak.

The title I am so dead set on earning for myself – cue drum roll – is Justicar.

Cue three-year-old temper tantrum – IwantitIwantitIwantit!

For those who don’t know, earning the Justicar title involves grinding to Exalted with three old-world Factions, each associated with one of the three old world battlegrounds (Warsong Gulch, Arathi Basin, Alterac Valley).

Battlegrounds…you know…PvP.

That thing I don’t do. The Land of No Tanks.

Okay, says I, no problem. I just have to get rep with the three vanilla PvP factions. Easy peasy. I did Warsong Gulch for a little while years ago. Even Arathi Basin once or twice when I was feeling brave. They give these little tokens, whether you win or lose, and you just hand those in for rep.

All I need to do, I told myself, oversimplifying in the interests of curbing the ever-present combination of fear and derision PvP invokes in my chest, is grit my teeth, suck it up, die a froopopapilliion times, and boom! Justicar.

I did some “research” into the title, which consisted of looking at a single forum thread and confirming that Warsong Gulch is the hardest one to get. So I decided to start with that one (having only two options at level 40ish). If it’s the hardest to get rep from, let’s get it out of the way before the novelty wears off. Plus it’s the only one I can really say I have any degree of understanding of since I have actually done it before (however poorly).

So I hit H, pop into the queue and three seconds later I’m in a game already in progress. Approximately three seconds after that – I’m not even out of the flagroom yet – I am assaulted with a summary screen that I vaguely remember means the game is over.

Did I mention I’m Alliance? Apparently we don’t win much.

Anyway, I shrug and think smugly to myself: fastest token ever. I open my bags and begin to look for my little thing I can hand in for rep. There’s nothing in my bags even remotely resembling a PvP token.

Vague memories of a set of patch notes saying blah blah blah tokens blah blah blah rep blah blah blah sucks to be you.

Queue panic.

I head for Google again, this time intending to look a little closer at just why this title is supposed to be so hard to get. Apparently the tokens I was banking on no longer exist.

The only way to get rep with the Silverwing Sentinels is by capturing the flag. 35 rep per capture, 45 on a Call to Arms weekend.

To put this into perspective for you, I have been stubbornly PvPing since I decided I want this title (all of a week or two now), and of somewhere between 50 and 100 games I’ve played, the vast majority of them end with a score of 0-3 for the Horde.

I can play a game for 30 minutes and the Alliance will not cap a single flag. If we don’t cap, I get no rep. I’m not just talking about a possibility, here, I’m talking about something that happens on a regular basis.

I added up the total of what I will need to get the title – basically 126,000 rep, split across the three factions. I’m currently at 1700ish. I’m not even Friendly with Silverwing.

I’m going to be at this a while.

Fish out of Water

So far I’ve only tried my hand at Warsong Gulch. I recognize I’m going to suck for a while (maybe even forever), but I’d rather not suck because I’m an idiot and couldn’t be bothered to at least look up what I’m doing. Long years of raiding have taught me that a bit of research goes a long way, especially in a PuG where one out of a hundred might actually be willing to take the time to explain something to you.

I already knew the basics of WSG, I read the article in the last WoW Magazine, I hit up WoWWiki and took a look at what they had written down in terms of tips, hints, and general strategies for winning.

It’s a shame that the strategies employed by the groups I’ve played with resemble absolutely nothing I’ve read….

I’m nowhere near experienced enough to start actively speaking up with regards to strategies or making statements about what we should or should not be doing in the chat itself, but the lack of communication, coordination, and common sense is already causing my raid-lead-instincts to twitch. I have, on several occasions, begged for someone to give me instructions. I have also gotten into at least three or four fights with people over the severe lack of utility inherent in waiting until you are dead and the flag has been returned to scream for some kind of support. Also over throwing in comments about teamwork, when you’re the twit who sauntered off down into the Horde base alone, without a word to the rest of us, as we desperately beat back a wave of five rogues, three shamans, and a fucking priest in our own flag room.

PvP is a chaotic, dirty game, and it’s so incredibly not the one I’m used to playing. There’s no real leadership in the PuGs. Even in a PvE dungeon PuG, the pace still needs to be set by the tank pulling and going in first. Even if there’s no official leader, there’s a recognized order to events that should be observed if one does not wish to die in a fire.

In PvE the strats are static, inflexible things. You find one that works with your group make-up and skill level and you fucking stick to that thing like glue. If anyone deviates from it you bark and snarl and nip at them like you’re herding sheep back into place. Everyone has a fairly rigid role in any given fight, responsibility is compartmentalized, assigned out to individuals, and is down in the weeds in terms of details. The field of play may change, but it does so at predictable, regular intervals.

In PvP – and take this with a grain of salt, for they are the words of a noob – there are strats (that nobody follows, but hey), but they are in no way inflexible. They can’t be. The field of play in PvP is a big roiling mass of players, doing whatever suits their fancy right now, in this moment, because honestly? I’m dead in two seconds anyway. So, assuming you have some kind of coordination, your strategy becomes a very high level, agile thing. Instead of a list of chronological events and the required reactions (PvE), it’s more like a priority list – a series of “if, then, else” statements. All the pieces are moving, all the time.

Biggest adjustment for me? Well, actually, there are two. The first is that there are no tanks. There is no threat. “Aggro” is gained through an arcane mechanic involving some combination of how easy you are to kill, whether you have the flag or not, and whether some jack ass on the other side has decided he’s going to pull your damn pigtails for the next thirty minutes, by which I mean detour unfailingly to beat the shit out of you behind a bush somewhere, not ten feet from the flag carrier he’s supposed to be caring about.

In fact, it almost works the exact opposite of the way it does in PvE. In PvE, aggro is gained by being the most threatening thing in the field of play. In PvP, we’re all a bunch of damn cowards. If I have a choice between chasing down a level 49 paladin, bristling in platemail, with a big-ass two-handed sword, and his bubble off CD, or a level 42 priest wearing Kleenex and standing all by her onsies off to the side in the hopes of avoiding notice….

I know who I’m going for. Sure the pally will kill me in the end anyway, but I’m taking that priest with me. An eye for an eye, an HK for an HK.

The second, and perhaps hard difference to wrap my mind around, is that life – any life; yours, theirs, whatever – has no value whatsoever. In PvE, success can actually be very generally described as living. The more people alive at the end of a fight, the better you did. If you die, you lose. You eat massive repair bills. You gimp your raid group as they try to finish the fight without you. There are heavy consequences for death.

In PvP you are put on this earth for one thing and one thing only, and that is to cause as much bloody inconvenience to anyone with a red name over their head as you possibly can before you go down in a blazing ball of poison, fire, and fucking DoTs. This whole process will take a grand total of – at maximum – two minutes. Within a maximum of 30 seconds you will be rezzed, automatically, at no personal cost to yourself or anyone else (whether monetary or manatary), and are free to rain destruction down upon your enemies for another two minutes.

Assuming you can get past the rogue camping the graveyard, but you get the idea.

There are no consequences for dying. Not only is it not the end of the world that you die, it’s part of the game. If you never died, it’s sort an eyebrow raising, where-were-you-when-shit-was-going-down-in-the-tunnel kind of thing. It happens, of course, but it is fairly rare to my inexperienced eye.

Nobody notices. Nobody mourns. Nobody screams and rants and rails. You don’t even care. Sometimes I actually find myself muttering “hurry the fuck up and kill me already so I can get back to my own base and fuck up the EFC before he gets off the ramp”. Or, in the case of a caster, so they can get their mana back.

The whole thing – the flexible nature of PvP strategies, the lack of sole responsibility for controlling where damage is coming and going (i.e., tanking), the complete and total renouncing of my overactive sense of self-preservation – is at once frightening and exhilarating; it’s strange and incredibly chaotic and it all feels so, so wrong…

But I think I like it.

And that scares me more than anything else.