Category Archives: Raids

Posts about recent raiding adventures and the like.

Ruby Sanctum Gear for Holy Paladins

 

MMO-Champion has released the gear for the PTR tested Ruby Sanctum. The whole list is very slim, with 13 pieces dropping from 25-man and 6 pieces dropping from 10-man, but we’ve gotten love from Blizzard in these pieces. Every healing piece that drops would be a nice choice for a Holy Paladin looking for upgrades before heroic ICC (Although your other healers will most likely hunt you down if you try to take their leather/cloth/mail armor from them). In the interest of people who don’t want spoilers about the gear I’m going to put the list (and my comments on them) after a break!

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Filed under Raids, Soap box

This is the way a guild ends, not with a bang but a…server transfer?

I’m hysterically laughing while I write this post. Why? Because I’ve just realized that the Run Back Series I put on hold many moons ago is now the perfect set of articles I’m going to write over the next few weeks. “But, Pheadra,” you may ask me, “Arn’t you in a 25 man guild? Arn’t you recruitment leader and guild assist of Surge?” Well darlings, there are simple answers to those very good questions.

1.No

2.Yes

For all intents and purposes Surge has ceased to exist as a 25 man guild as of last night.

Before going into ICC 25 last night, our GM gave the rest of the guild the news that I had known for a few days: He, several of our officers, and a few members were going to server transfer off of Trollbane. He had a guild lined up for himself, and he would speak to the GMs there if anyone else wanted to go with him. He gave a very typical longwinded speech, and gave us the reasons for leaving, chiefly of which was that he didn’t feel Trollbane was a server worth its salt for progression raiders, and that we would all be able to succeed as a guild on Stormrage. I’ve already shared my reasons for not wanting to server transfer at the moment (it’s not a completely eliminated possibility for further down the road), and some other people felt the same. The GM was leaving the guild, with bank, intact for anyone who wanted to continue raiding in it after tonight, and there was some money available if the officers who were staying wanted to create their own guild. Of course, this caught a large portion of people off guard. Questions abounded, and a few people made snap decisions if they were leaving or not.

Honestly, I am green with envy of everyone who has a stable guild and/or raiding environment. I was sorely tempted to apply to the top Alliance guild on TB and try to get as many of my friends to app with me so we could continue raiding 25s together in a progressing environment. I was not interested in trying to rebuild for the third time in my fairly short raiding career. It is hard, so hard, to rebuild on a server like Trollbane. That is one point I agree with my ex-GM on– the proportion of casual raiders is vastly larger than the “hard-core” raiders we want to be. It’s hard, but not impossible.

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Filed under Guild life, Progression, Raids

Have a cow, why don’t you?

Me: No you can’t write about that, you’re going to sound like a bitch.

Myself: However, I like to be honest with my readers, and it’s my blog, I can write about what I want.

I: And I don’t want to write about Cataclysm, atleast until I can /cry or /dance about the paladin changes.

Me: Still, everyone is going to think you’re the angry-est healer and your blog is going to lose all meaning except as a place to QQ.

Myself: You know what, Me? Shut up, I and Myself can write about whatever me want, you can go think about how you’re going to figure out a paladin topic that hasn’t been done to death.

Me: *huff* Fine!

 

As you can see, I’ve been having sever internal arguments with myself over what to write about. However, I’m in full have-a-cow mode (besides all the stuff below, I came home from a weekend trip to find a hung over friend of my roommate’s in my bed–no one gets in my bed but me–, and all 30 of my semi-expensive fruit rolls decimated by said drunken friends) and I’d like to get some stuff out. Judging by the posts of fellow bloggers I’ve been reading this morning, everyone else is pretty unhappy too.

Raiding has hit a lull. This is the first expansion I’ve raided in, and I can tell you, the end of WotLK has not impressed me. ICC graphically is very dull. There is no rule that when Arthas became Lich King the only colors he could see were blue and black. You can only stare at so much black and blue pixels before your eyes start to glaze over. To give the Blizzard designers credit, the Blood Queen’s room has the potential to look very cool. They didn’t take it far enough in my opinion. She’s a Queen, and a Vampire for goodness sakes, give her more…oh I don’t know…oomph!

Apart from that, attendance has hit an all time low for us. We’re loosing more players to silly things faster that I can recruit. Last night I spent an hour arguing about -one stupid trinket- with a, now former, ret paladin guildie, because he felt that it should have gone to him over our other ret paladin because he had a Greatness card versus the other paladin’s  264 trinket, despite the fact that we had only killed the boss 3 times and only seen it drop once. Besides the fact that I believe whining about loot weeks after it happened, or even days after, is completely pointless, to me raiding isn’t about the loot anymore.

You could say that’s because I have what I want out of ICC–which isn’t true– and that because of that I am selfishly protecting a system that gave me my gear. No, it’s not that, but because I’ve found that the cohesiveness of my raid group is worth more to me than pixels on my laptop. People, the people I spent four or five nights a week talking too, are more important to me than getting that small increase in healing, or some cool proc. I can still heal as well as some of the better paladins on my server without that heroic Solace of the Defeated that went to a paladin that left two days later. Yes, it sucks, it stung my pride, but I believe in the integrity of our loot system and the fairness of spreading the gear around. Keeping the guild together is worth more than rage logging and pitching a fit about it. The drama isn’t worth it to me. I’d rather log slightly sad about a lost trinket or bracers, than flaming pissed about the fact that we didn’t even have a raid tonight because no one logged on and we lost guildies because of it.

I love raiding. Thats what I play WoW to do. The officers have been bouncing around ideas about how to fix our situation. Our GM is pushing pretty hard to server transfer the guild and rebuild on a new server. Admittedly, Trollbane is not the best. We’re marked as a “new player server” (ouch) and the best Alliance guild has only just killed Lich King on 25 man regular (double ouch). However, for me server transferring is looking like a no-no. I like the idea of having greener raiding pastures, but several things are holding me back:

1. I’m a poor college student, and money is veeeery tight. Although I have only one character, my boyfriend has three eighties, two of which he raids on. It would be expensive for us to continue raiding together on another server the way we currently do on Trollbane. I can sacrifice my monthly dinner out for WoW, but not rent money, heh.

2. I’ve got a great many friends on Trollbane, who I know wouldn’t come with me. I could make new friends, and I’m sure I will, but people like Ominous, other members of the old Roxbury gang, and McGinnis are irreplaceable, and I know they wouldn’t come with us. Thinking about it now, I can count tens of people I would miss greatly. I almost feel like it would be a bad break up situation– You don’t like the relationship but you love your significant others family, so you stick it out to get to see them.

 

The best option I’ve seen presented so far is a merger with a guild that will remain unnamed. They’re full of great raiders who are having some of the same attendance issues we are. I doubt it would so much as a merger, because I don’t think anyone who is leading the guild now would want to continue raid or guild leading, but more of a “we will absorb you guys and anyone who doesn’t make it into raids can still chill out and do alternate runs.” Which would also stink, because some of the players I enjoy playing with aren’t the best raiders. But, watching the raiders I’m trying to encourage and help enjoy raids make excuses and slip though my fingers is getting very old.

Somethings gotta give. We’ve got a f-a-n-t-a-s-t-i-c prot paladin coming over hopefully tonight, which would give us the second main spec tank we’d need. Healing is still some what of an issue– I’m going to have to have those hard talks with underperforming healers that I hate to do. A full raid Tuesday night would make me very happy, but if it’s not full I’m sure it’s going to be another tough night for everyone. I love nothing more than introducing promising recruits to a bitter, half full raid group. Whoopie.

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Filed under Guild life, Raids

Hodgepodge Post

Well, my healing team is slowly coming back to life. We’ve had the addition of a resto shaman who is hard working, dedicated, and asks me the questions I wish every healer would ask me! Asking questions is always better than not knowing : ]

And my Priest friend has greatly stepped up to the plate to help me get my footing as a Healing lead. Which is much, much harder than I thought it would be. It’s amusing to get whispers from her like:

Gwena: Wait, what did you just say, don’t we usually [insert how we usually do it]?

Me: Omg, you’re right, I totally read that wrong. Dammit!

The fact that I know nothing (well, next to nothing) about Priests makes her help invaluable. Being a new healing lead has pushed me to learn to accept that I am often times wrong, and to learn to correct myself quickly. Hopefully my healers don’t mind.

We’ve made a lot of changes in how things are done since I took over, like actually doing healing assignments. Without them we couldn’t identify who was messing up when tanks were dying, or how to improve ourselves. Now, I can say “X more healing on Y target, because their HP dropping is making me nervous” and if it doesn’t happen I know that the healing assignments need to change-up.

I’m having a blast healing BQL and giving out assignments for that. It’s a very difficult fight for the DPS (especially when the get mindcontrolled…three times *happythoughtshappythoughtshappythoughts*) but with a short-staffed healing team we’re all having to put in extra oomph to keep everyone alive. I took Matt Low’s suggestion from WoW.com and had Gwena as disc healing the people affected by pack of the darkfallen, and the bite targets.  We’ve still got some work filling out our team, and getting people to step up to the plate healing wise. If not, well, I’ve got to make some tough decisions : /

Currently I’m heavily recruiting…well every thing except Rogues. So HA!

No, just kidding. The stresses of raiding become all that more stressful when you only have 23 people for a progression night. But, we’re working through it, like everything else. Although, I’d do a great deal for a happy officer chat and for people to show up on time for raids.

Now, back to recruitment, and to ignore my homework somemore.

Oh, but I do have an excuse for why I haven’t been posting! I worked on this last week:

That’s right, it’s a pufferfish. /Win

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Filed under Guild life, My life, Raids

I’ll have the sweet and sour raid chicken with a side of the egg rolls of disappointment.

I know I’ve been absent for a few days (or weeks, I’m not sure at the moment) and I apologize for that. Between raiding, school, work and recruitment I haven’t had any time, or anything to write about actually. I was going to write about how a healing style can change over time, to adapt to a changing healing team, or a lacking one. However, I have been greeted with several metaphorical “kicks in the nuts” in the past few days. So, in the interest of an article that isn’t distracted and sloppy because of my current mental state I abandoned that idea and decided to write about something that’s been bugging me for the last few weeks.

As most of you know, I’m the recruitment officer for my guild. At the end of an expansion pack like WoTK recruitment is difficult– good players are either sticking with their guilds or looking for Hard modes already, and the lack luster players won’t cut it in a progression guild. The lack of difficult raiding content in the Trial of the Crusader period has left many raiders with an instant-gratification attitude. ToC was a raid that was not difficult; it was quick, easy, and allowed sub-par players to skip over Ulduar and all the trouble with Yogg, and jump to breaking open loot pinatas in ToC. With several months of that type of raiding we all got used to getting every piece we wanted weeks sooner than we would have dreamed possible in the days of Ulduar and as far back as vanilla.

Now we come to Ice Crown Citadale. It does not require the skill that Ulduar required (although I could be looking through rose-colored glasses), and with the backing of the ToC attitude, people want their content down and they want it now. Wiping for days on a boss is un acceptable, and it makes everyone much more angry than it would have in the past.

To top it all off, I’ve just had the very face smacking realization that selfishness wins out in most cases in WoW, especially among players of my generation. As always, there are exceptions. My personal opinion is because, in a large percentage of cases, we never see the people behind the screen. Through immaturity, delusion, and self-absorption it is easy to ignore the feelings and desires of someone whose face you don’t know, whose lives you don’t have to know anything about beyond their prefered class in WoW.

We liken a raiding group to a sports team, and on the surface it is. But underneath the surface the biggest differences between the two are that you often live very near your team mates, you know their families, their schools, you have infinitely more access to an understanding of the personal feelings of a soccer team-mate than a fellow raider who can be just pixels to you without any trouble.

It is not specifically among raiders that we find this attitude, but amongst all of us at one point or another. Recently, a lot of hate has been spilling out of the holy paladin corner of the blog-o-sphere. Warm fuzzies are not to be found seemingly anywhere in the WoW-o-sphere. To me, this is one of the most disappointing things I have seen in my WoW career. The reason I began blogging was because I wanted to practice my writing, I love playing my class, and I found a community that was laid back, honest, and had players that inspired me with their funny writing style, and extreme understanding of what they are talking about. The pen has been exercising its might in the last few weeks, and bloggers have been forcefully speared upon its ink spattered tip. This pompous warring has brought about the end one of my favorite blogs from one of the most helpful woman I have ever met in the blog-o-sphere. I’m not going to tell anyone how to write, but it goes back to the pixels-versus-person attitude. It is so disappointing to see the effects of  such angry blogging, and commenting, between all of us.

However, I’m getting off topic here.

My point (since I do eventually have to get to it) is that players are not colorful dots on your screen–They are people who work, have families, want to succeed, and in some cases, actually want to help other people succeed. I know I’m up here on my soap box condemning everyone–including myself– but I’m doing it because I do not want to see the feeling of the pre-Toc Wow community vanish in favor of a group of short-tempered, self-involved, angry people.

…I suppose I owe an explanation for the spark that set this grumpy fire.

In the last 48 hours my two resto shaman healing partners left the guild. I understand that not every place is the right place for everyone, but it’s not like a band-aid– the faster you do it does not make it better for all involved. As all of you know, having a stable healing team is a huge bonus for a raid group, and now I am the only healer left over from what I’ll term the “sundering” of Surge. I enjoy the three healers who are left, but the only one I know slightly well is out-of-town. Not to mention the lack of resto shaman’s abilities will be a sever detriment to our raid group.

I suppose there isn’t anything I can do about it now. We’ve been thrown a curve ball and I suppose we’ll have to deal.

So, I suppose I’m just going to sulk, eat chinese food, and ponder the state of the WoW world in a grumpy and sullen manner.

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Filed under Guild life, Guild recruitment, Progression, Raids, Soap box

Healer Experiments: Mouseover Macro’s in practice

After several hours researching the elusive mouse over macro (thanks CrankyHealer, you’re such a time saver!) I successfully typed out all the macros I thought I could and key bound them using Bartender 4’s own key binding system. It was much simplier to configure via the addon than through Blizzards own keybinding system. To do it you

 -Type /bar into your chat window

-Go to the top right corner of the addon configuration

 -Hit the red “keybindings” button

 -Check “character specific” box so you don’t mess with your level 22 shaman’s keybindings…which I totally did…

 -Mousover the macro or ability that you want bound

-Hit the number/letter/key combination you want to correspond to that spell

-Rinse and repeat until finished

When I was using Blizzard’s personal key binding system I couldn’t bind any of my recount bars without extensive searching, and in several cases, accidentally unbinding things like my “walk forward” and “open backpack” keys. I arrayed my key bindings like this

*Note: I’m totally in love with all the low quality paint images that seems to have become a fad in the blog-o-sphere.

The most used spells, holy light and flash of light, are arrayed where I can easily hit them without thinking to hard. Other things like BoP and Bubble Sac require actual thought to hit, to avid tank deaths and accidental bubble popage. Judgements are within quick tap-with-pinky reach, and my SS and BoL are nicely fit next to them on key’s two and three. In theory it’s a great layout for my playing style—quick, simple, and easy to remember. It didn’t start out this way though, and only though nervous tweaking of the system between pulls did I find a layout I could use effectively.

After I wrote all them out and key bound everything we lined up for an unusual Wednesday night ten man run. We sent two groups into ICC 10 and raced each other to Putricide’s death (Side note: all rules of racing should be layout in clear terms to all participants otherwise you end up with one confused and grumpy prot paladin). Here are some snippets from my brain in Wednesday night’s ten man where I first tried my macros:

Marrowgar Trash—

 ME: “I am not prepared!!”

Resto Shaman: “Don’t worry, you’ll be fine, it gets easier as you practice. You’re going to suck harcore for the first two weeks, but then you’ll go back to normal.”

 ME: “Well thanks for the words of encouragement–”

 VENT: “OMG who pulled the entire room of trash?!”

ME: “Ahhh, R, F, #5 the agro pulling ret paladin…what key was holy shock?! *PANIC SETS IN*/facepalm!!”

Raid Leader: “Okay, good job everyone, trash is down.”

ME: “Sigh”

Lady Deathwhisper—

ME: “Alright, this isn’t too bad, I’m getting the hang of this. I guess it helps that RS can practically heal this entire raid alone. What?! Who pulled?! I’ve got no mana! Ack, where was Holy light again?!/facepalm.”

Festergut—

Raid leader: “Okay guys, we’re going to two heal this in the interest of time.”

ME: *sputter*”But..”

Raid leader: “Pulling”

ME: “OMGOMGOMGOMGOMG…Okay, who didn’t get all their stacks? Where was my trinket macro again…stupid RS always healing more than me, I want chain heal…”

VENT: “Whoooo! Aww…and crap drops again.”

Blood Queen—

Raid leader: “So can you guys two heal this fight?”

ME: “Um…maybe…but I’m just trying out these new macros so—“

Raid Leader: “Okay, pulling.”

 ME: “BAH! Run over here, hit 2 + 3, heal raid, C F F F F R, Pact of the Darkfallen?! Noooo! Palms sweating…Air phase? Tremor totem! Refresh 2! Yes! Okay…hunter get away from me! F C R R R R…I think I’m going to be sick…”

VENT: “Wooot!”

Raid Leader: “Good job DPS…Just kidding, good job healers. Lets take 5.”

RS: “I think I need to go throw up…”

ME: “BRB, dying.”

Dreamwalker—

Raid Leader: Okay, Shadow Priest, respect healing for this fight, and you’ll heal outside while Phea and–”

Shadow Priest: “Oh, but I’m only specced for Greater Priesty ness and it only works for healing the boss.”

Raid Leader: “Okay Phea, you’ll heal the raid and RS and SP will go in the portals.”

ME: “But, I just gemmed two pieces for a full SP set for this fight, and really paladin’s and shaman are great for healing the boss…fine, I’ll do it.”

Raid Leader: “Alrighty, pulling…nice job everyone.”

VENT: “Whoo, that was easy!”

ME: “Zomg, that was so boring! Rogue, try to tank something next time, make it interesting!”

Sindrgosa—

 Raid leader: “Okay I’m going to tank this in my full frost resist set so we only need one tank. Ready? Okay, pulling.”

SINDY: “RAWR!!”

VENT: “Ahh, ice blocks, don’t break them out yet, zomg frostbolt from the sky!!… dead.”

 Raid leader: “Well at least I resisted ¾ of her attacks.”

ME: “Lamest tank damage ever.”

Raidleader: “Okay guys one more pull and–”

RS: “Nope sorry, got to go, girlfriend wants to use the computer to do her dailys. And it’s already 11PM.”

VENT: “ohh…sigh…Saturday!”

And so ended the epic night of ten mans.

As I said, two healing Blood Queen, is un-recommended. In fact, it’s severely UN-RECOMMENDED, unless you want to give your healers high blood pressure and possibly aneurisms. That was the hardest healing I’d ever done in my entire—abet short—WoW career. Everything was incrediably franic; red line of death over there, tank damage over here, Blood Queen’s version of legion flames back there. Both the shaman and I went Oom near the end, and we didn’t even have an innervate because our druid was tanking! In the end he still managed to smoke my 5.5k HPS with his 9k. Grumble. Looks like I need to go dissect WoL some more to figure out why I was lagging behind so much.

All in all, the night went very well, despite my trepidations and tribulations. Everyone worked really hard, and we one shot everything up to Sindy in 3 ½ hours. We’re going back in tonight and I think we’re going to try the Raiding Rainbow’s strat which makes the fight look stupid easy. Tankspot’s strat is really designed for using two tanks instead of one. When we discovered that if the tank was wearing a full frost resist set he resisted most of her attacks, so we we decided against tankspot’s approach and used our OT to heal. Our tank was a Bear, so I’m not sure if that influenced our success with the one tank strat, because all he stacks is stamina and that’s all frost resist sets give besides the resist.

 Here is the world first Sindy10 man kill from Reading Rainbow that we’re trying tonight.

Now back to Marco-ing

 The macro’s I wrote were all very simple and self explanatory. I didn’t want to try anything too complicated on my first night. They mostly looked like this

# show tool tip

/cast [target=mouseover] Holy light

The “#show tool tip” is there so it will show the image of the spell rather than an image I selected or the ugly read question mark. At first I tried to vary my macros a bit, and I tried this for Beacon of Light

# show tool tip

/cast [target=focus] Beacon of Light

I used a /cast focus macro to cast my focus on the OT at the start of the fight, but I found that I wasn’t always focusing the player I wanted to beacon so I changed [target=focus] to [target=mouseover] and I just need to be careful who I’m mousing over on grid.

My personal opinion on mousover macros:

They’re great, and I recommend them to any healer trying to shake up their playing style from a click-click-cast or a mouse bound sytem. I’m going to go after raid and dissect my World of Logs report from tonight and compare it to Wednesday’s raid, but moving your mouse and casting works far better—and faster—then the clicking then casting I was using before. I’ve tried binding to my mouse through a unit frames program like clique or heal bot, and I’ve tried not using anything but unit frames, a mouse, and my keyboard, but mousover macros have won me over. Even in the few short hours I used them I noticed a subtle improvement in my healing percentage,and my stress level during encounters has gone down. I doubt I would have been able to two heal Blood Queen at all if I hadn’t been using this new found ability. Added bonus—On major patch days I can just pop out my unit frames (or the basic WoW ones) and go to town healing while other healers wait for their addons to update. Just sayin’.

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Filed under Healing Expriments, Raids

Healer Experiments: Mouse over Macros

I’m starting an experiment for myself. A while back I posted about the addons that I use, and mentioned how I don’t use mouse over macros or clique, etc. Well I think the time has come to chance that.

On sunday we ran Putricide 25 for four hours. The wiping wasn’t terrible– we had a semi-new group and we were getting the mechanics down slowly but surely. However, our healing make-up was very strange. We’re still in the stages of finding a good holy priest to accompany us, so we ran with 3 Healadins, 2 Resto druids, and 1 Resto Shammy. Sunday nights are always a catch and grab for players. Throughout the course of the fight I found I was fighting to even stay above last or second to last on the meters. Not for lack of trying I might add. I’m still trying to sort out why, and short of my judgement of light constantly getting over written, and all of us beaconing the tank and raid healing, I can’t really account for my super low healing. It could also be that I spent a majority of the fight running out of goo, into players targeted by the green ooze, and away from puddles. Give me a Festergut, give me a Blood Queen, and I’ll rip the roof off the raid. Put me in a Putricide and you might as well tie my hands and have me faceroll, apparently.

Well, after talking to my Resto Shaman officer I’ve decided that my healing style isn’t fast enough. After watching him do an astonishing 28k on Dreamwalker 25 the other night I asked him his secret. He uses a combination of mouse-over macros and Vuhdo, while I use grid and my basic key bindings.

First questions: What the heck is a mouse over macro?

Second question: How do I write them?

Third Question: Are they useable with raidframes?

I’m off to do research on all these topics, and hopefully I’ll have them ready for tonight’s raid. Farm night seems to be to be a good chance to test these out!

The goal of these experiments will be to test my boundries as a healer and to find the most successful way to heal, at least for myself. I don’t like getting so comfortable with my healing that I start seeing my performance go down. When I’m falling behind other healers I out gear, and when I understand more about my class, it’s definitely time to chance. I can’t be the foremost authority on Healadin’s in my guild if I’m stuck in an outdated healing style!

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Filed under Healing Expriments, Progression, Raids