Archive for the ‘Dragon Soul’ Category

Interlude – Don’t drink and respec!

Something that makes my raiding life smooth and peachy is being able to keep two resto specs. I do not care for dailies (I think I’ve said this before) and so far the officers of IC have never asked me to go boomkin. I know that this is a sore point for many fellow trees, especially those in progress-oriented guilds. I am not gloating, just putting things in perspective – you can wait until I get to the point of this post, THEN you will really want to throw large painful objects at me.

Anyhow, having two specs dedicated to the same healing tree also means I am free to experiment with wacky builds to my heart’s content. A few days ago I was staring unhappily at my talents – my intent usually is to have a “safe” build focusing on mana regen for farm bosses, and a maxed output build for bosses where I have to go crazy with my heals; none of my specs seemed to do the job they were designed for, also I had Nature’s Cure only in my output build, which didn’t make a whole lot of sense.

I tinkered a bit with talents before the start of the raid and happily settled on this for one of my specs (the other one was very similar, only with less output and 3/3 Moonglow):

Linky link

The experienced eye will probably spot the obvious, glaring mistake at a glance…. but I didn’t. Yes, I totally forgot to take 2/2 Malfurion’s Gift. Yeah, I’m THAT bad. I prefer the term “light-headed”, but I can understand if you were thinking something along the line of “s#@t for brains”. Of course I made the same mistake with the other spec.

So, blissfully proud of my ingenuity, I made my way to Dragon Soul where we managed to down Ultraxion (we had cleared up to 4/8 the raid night before). My personal tactics for that boss are as follows, briefly told: pre-pot with Volcanic Potion, pop Tree of Life and Nature’s Grace at the start for massive Wrath spam while we don’t have to click any large button in the middle of the screen. We run with three healers so I feel like I have to contribute to le pew-pew, and it actually makes a difference; the other two healers can easily deal with the low damage for the first 30 seconds of the fight. Then AOE heal the rest of the fight and save the next Tree of Life and a lone Tranquility for the end of the fight where we have to deal with heavy raid-wide damage.

How is my Ultraxion course of action relevant? Well, popping Tranquility only once in the fight means I didn’t notice the eight-minutes cooldown, and while in tree form I was mostly saving my GCDs for Rejuvenation and Wild Growth rather than Lifebloom. My feeble mind probably noticed how few OOC procs I seemed to get (actually none obviously) but failed to connect the hots, wait I mean dots.

Even without the free Regrowths, I didn’t have mana issues due to how easily you can control damage – even if it’s heavy towards the end – and thanks to the amazing Efflorescence.

After Ultraxion we had a few wipes on Blackhorn but I was too busy jumping around, dealing with seemingly random damage, to notice anything. Reality finally smacked me on the head the next raid night in the form of a depleted mana bar and zero OOC procs, at which point I had no choice but notice the “zero” under the familiar flower-like icon. I managed to make it to the end of the Blackhorn encounter anyway and then moved on to unsuccessfully fight tentacles on Deathwing’s back.

Is there something to be learned here? Unlikely. If anything, it’s a reminder of how much mana is saved by spamming Lifebloom and free Regrowths under a timely Tree of Life. Playful self-deprecating aside, I thought I might as well make a bit of fun out of a blatant fail – and show how you can make a blog post out of pretty much anything!

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Interlude – Another (hopefully) useful post

Again, a list of relevant (ilvl 397/403) gear for the current tier, sorted by itemization. Comments below.

SPIRIT/HASTE

SPIRIT/CRIT

SPIRIT/MASTERY

MASTERY/HASTE

  • Ring of the Riven (ring, drops from Hagara the Stormbinder – 1 x red socket/+10 int);

CRIT/HASTE

Wow. There seems to be plenty of spirit/x stuff, that’s for sure. Putting LW BOEs aside, which many won’t be able to afford for quite  a while, spirit/crit and spirit/mastery items seem to be equal in availability, with everything else trailing far behind. Also, sockets on gear are mostly red with int bonuses, which is NICE – there is a lone ring with a + mastery bonus.

The resto tier 13 is made of either spirit/haste or spirit/mastery stuff. The headpiece is spirit/haste and drops from Gunship 2.0, while the VP headpiece is spirit/mastery; Blackhorn is a bit far into Dragon Soul and you might not want haste anymore, so the VP helm might be one of your early purchases. The alternative to the spirit/haste chest is the VP spirit/crit one, so I’ll guess I’ll stick with the chest (which drops from Ultraxion, supposedly a hard boss, more on that below). Gloves, leggings and shoulders are spirit/mastery; even though the set bonuses are not that great for this tier, mastery is in my opinion our strongest secondary stats making those three pieces at least decent.

Funny thought, what makes gear “good” or “BiS” to the eyes of a resto druid nowadays? I guess the answer is “anything with mastery and lots of red sockets on it”. I’ll have to think about it.

Non-tier gear you can buy with VP isn’t really attractive – guess I’ll save my valor for the first few weeks and see how lucky I get with drops. The VP sp/haste cape seems to be the only healer cloak in the whole tier, though, so I guess I know how I’m going to spend my first 1250 points.

Also, remember that the VPs boots and bracers are BOE – that means you can buy them from the AH/trade chat (although you might want to wait until prices are reasonable) or with your alts’ valor.

The verdict? Thumbs in the middle, but it doesn’t really matter as the first four bosses are so easy, making the gearing process much simpler than usual. Depending on your guild, you might have boss #5 and number #6 on farm pretty soon as well. We killed the “gear check” of this tier (Ultraxion) on our first week of raiding… well it was SUPPOSED to be a gear check, I am not sure how it can be considered as such when average guilds kill him/her/it on the first week of 4.3 raiding (bear in mind we had almost no HC Firelands gear).

TWINKETS… PWETTY TWINKETS

Sorry for the brief, elitist rant there… back to evaluating gear. As usual we don’t have a whole lot of choices for trinkets. Bottled Wishes and Reflection of the Light, both purchasable for 1650 VPs, have two things in common: both give a spellpower bonus on use, and neither has passive intellect. Spellpower is still a very good stat, but the lack of passive int puts them low on the shopping list. I have never liked on-use trinkets anyway. Bottled Wishes has the ability to easily solve your haste issues for the rest of the expansion, though.

Windward Heart has a chance to drop from any DS boss except Deathwing. It does have passive intellect, which makes it ok by itself, but I don’t have any number on the proc. Seal of the Seven Signs (from Zon’ozz) along with int has a + haste proc. In order to determine how good this actually is, you’ll have to check your haste rating and see where the procs puts you in terms of haste thresholds. Heart of Unliving (Spine of DW) used to be very meh until they added +323 intellect to it, making it effectively a Tsunami card on steroids. Remember that other ilvl 397 trinkets have +458 passive intellect when making comparisons.

Honorable mention? Foul Gift of the Demon Lord. It drops from the last boss in Well of the Eternity – the 2nd one among the new 5-mans – and yes, it’s a ilvl 378 trinket. Passive intellect and roughly 40% uptime on the mastery proc (at least according to my combat logs, sometimes a bit less) make it a very solid trinket, especially if you had no luck with trinkets in Firelands – does Jaws of Defeat actually exist? Oh wait, I know it does, one of my alts got it… sigh.

AREN’T YOU… UH… FORGETTING SOMETHING?

Nope. Deathwing doesn’t drop anything useful. Apart from a couple of weapons with special procs. I will admit I have gathered little info about them so far, but neither is very appealing as the procs would have to be pretty powerful to make up for the loss of secondary stats. The +haste one seems better suited in the hands of a dps anyway. Of course the spellpower gain (they are ilvl 403 after all) is nice; maybe it’s just that Deathwing still seems to be too far away to worry about theorycrafting… or is he?

Chapter VIII – The Hour of Twilight is (almost) upon us!

Or should I say the Hour of the Big Resto Nerf?

Whatever healing meters will look like after 4.3, I have to say I am really looking forward to Dragon Soul and the new 5 man dungeons.

To Dragon Soul, because this is the first time I get to raid a whole expansion while it’s current content. I started raiding in ICC with the 10% buff – or was it 15%? It feels such a long time ago somehow – then had my healing epiphany in Blackwing Descent, learned and refined the Resto craft in Firelands and finally I get to kill… uhmm… keep my guildies alive while they kill the big bad Dragon for me. While I know that challenging Deathwing to many doesn’t give that ‘epic feeling’ that was present in Fall of the Lich King, Hour of Twilight feels a bit like a final test to me. I know that I’ve been steadily making some progress and my self-expectations make this final patch feel special beyond its apparent meaning.

To the new 5-mans – especially Well of Eternity – because it’s been a while since I’ve seen instances, even raids, with a strong storyline behind them. Some of the Cataclysm ones, while aesthetically amazing, felt a bit lacking in that department. Caverns of Time dungeons, on the other hand, are among my favourite ones (yes, I know Stratholme was one of the most hated heroics at some point) as they give you a glimpse of Warcraft lore you would otherwise have no clue about… did I ever mention that I don’t like RTS videogames? Anyway, from what I have seen so far, Well of Eternity alone feels more compelling story-wise than Dragon Soul, although I expect (hope?) to be corrected in the next few weeks as we explore the new raid.

THAT’S GOOD TO HEAR, BUT… WHAT NOW?

A lot has been said about the nerf to Wild Growth and its related Glyph. Other than that, there are no major changes we have to worry about – just pray that your favourite add-ons don’t leave you alone on patch day, practice Rejuvenation spam and everything will be fine. Enjoy Transmogrification, rejoy for Void Storage, play the new Faire games. Don’t care in the slightest for those? Well, it’s time for some gear lists then. There are already quite a few of them around, which is nice as I can focus on my favourite loot listing, gear by itemizations stats! That’s definitely something for the next Chapter though….

P.S. Yes, almost. Patch day on Wednesday instead of Tuesday sucks.