Rummys Blog An world of endless Monday

Monday, 31 March, 2008

A successful Underbog

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Andrew.Rowbottom @ 12:22 pm

I’ve been trying to get into a group for Underbog, tadalafil and been successful this weekend – twice.

The first was with a guildie who wanted to farm motes of life. We didn’t get far, tuberculosis though having two healers in the group meant that the fight with Hungarfen was amusing, visit it ended up with the tank soloing and being dual healed. Anyway, we disbanded after that, but it was fun while it lasted.
The second group was on Saturday evening, it had a decent makeup, including (yay!) a Druid tank. We one-shotted everything and didn’t wipe at all. I’m not saying no-one died, I did, and a warrior died from DOTs after the first boss was dead. I’m not too sure how much the group needed me, when I died early in one trash pull and they barely noticed. Still I definitely helped a bit in the boss fights. I’d say it was a good to excellent group. It got put together quickly, several of us made our own ways to the meeting stone, no-one asked for a damage meter, the DPS didn’t pull much aggro, no-one called dibs on loot that hadn’t dropped yet – all the bad stuff was missing. Some jokes were even made in group chat! I even got thanked for healing, and that is a first! The XP from this run was good.

Some of the group went straight on to do Slave Pens and invited me, but I regretfully bowed out, one dungeon max per day I think.

So that’s two good PUGs in fairly quick succession! Now I’ve been in an full Underbog run I’ll move on to the Terrokar dungeons.
The Group:

Flowersz Shaman – healer
Callor Hunter
Jaheri Druid – Tank
Frags Warrior
Runegnome Warlock

Wednesday, 26 March, 2008

The last Slave Pens

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Andrew.Rowbottom @ 1:08 pm

I did another Slave Pens run last night, audiologist it took 1 hour 37 in the instance. Yes you’re quite right, steroids a level 68 running a level 62+ instance is overpowered. But I’m still getting practice at healing and wanted a run with my new fully Restoration talent spec. Also it was the first invite I got. I was also in LFG for Underbog or Mana Tombs. Apart from myself the group was entirely made up of level appropriate players so as a group we weren’t overpowered. There was even another Munqui present in the group. Unfortunately I’m not getting much XP from this instance anymore, at the current rate it will take me 17 hours to level when I can probably manage 12 hours through questing. But I do need the practice, and it was fun.

We cleared the place, and we cleared it properly. We only wiped on one boss and that was just because of a bit of silliness. The only bad taste was when a rogue left midway claiming the tank couldn’t tank, he was soon replaced by a warrior and not missed.

I’m beginning to get a feel for a good group makeup now, we had two casters, a Druid tank and a rogue/warrior. I think this worked because we had decent crowd control (Mage’s sheep, Warlock’s Voidwalker and sometimes a rogue). The groups I’ve had the most fun with seem to have an even split between melee and ranged DPS, and a pet of some sort. For some reason I seem to have more success in groups with a Druid.
My new spec and a one minor gear change does seem to have made a difference, I now have slightly weaker healing and a 1k larger mana pool with the Mana Tide totem for that little extra boost on the bosses. I’m also pulling less aggro due to the extra 5% reduction compared to my previous build. I do still love my “Hypnotist’s watch” though.

Went Well

  • I’m usually managing to re-cast Earth Shield when it expires, this will become more important with patch 2.4.
  • I’m occasionally remembering to cure diseases, though still not very fluently.

Could do better

  • Should have healed the Warlock’s Pet.
  • Fired off a chain heal on myself in the last boss fight when I got hit by the boss’s volley, it would have given me some buffer for the next volley and splashed over a bit onto the others.
  • Hit the right Elemental totem, I used the Earth Elemental when I should have used the Fire.
  • Cured Disease more rapidly.
  • Cast Nature Resistance totem on that last fight (doh!)

My Healing Breakdown

  • Healing Wave – 132k (22%)
  • Lesser Healing Wave – 154k (26%)
  • Chain Heal – 177k (30%)
  • Totem – 17.6k (3%) – I usually used Mana stream/tide
  • Earth Shield 103k (17%)

Party

  • Flowersz 68 Draenei(F) Restoration Shaman [Munqui Tribe]
  • Claudde 65 Human(F) Fire Mage [Order of Silver Hand]
  • Betra 63 Night Elf Feral(F) Combat Druid [poisonous knights]
  • Enaliga 62 Human(F) Destruction Warlock [Munqui Tribe]
  • Whiteysin 62 Gnome(M) Subtlety Rogue [Teardrops on Fire] 54 minutes
  • Daraziel 63 Human(M) Fury Warrior [Semper Fi] 53 minutes, Whiteysin’s replacement

Tuesday, 25 March, 2008

Changes needed

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Andrew.Rowbottom @ 1:36 pm

After trying to heal a few Slave Pens pugs I think I still need to make some changes. Many things have contributed to this.

1. I’m getting low on mana during the boss fights, tadalafil occasionally going completely out and having to heal on my mp5 regeneration, this means a backup healer is needed though there often isn’t one available.

2. If I fight in my “normal” enhancement gear I get low on mana and/or health quite after most fights. The few times I’ve fought in my healer gear I seem to end up with a good health and mana pool after each mob. So my healing gear seems to be more than making up for the fact that the mobs don’t go down quickly. This is suggesting that my few points in enhancement aren’t contributing enough to make it worth fighting in enhancement gear.

Changes to do:

1. respec completely out of Enhancement. I lose

  • Lightning Shield which isn’t too great a loss as I now rotate Earth and Water Shield to top-up whatever needs topping up.
  • Shield Specialization which is nice, but not at all useful in dungeons.
  • Shamanistic Focus – this is a good talent, but needs too many points in enchancement I think, a bigger mana pool and Mana Tide should be able to offset this loss.
  • Thundering Strikes – coupled with Shamanistic Focus this was also nice, got to go though.

I gain:

  • Mana Tide – this will give me 25% of my mana back in 12 seconds. Essential for the end of boss fights.
  • 5% less threat
  • much better “pushback” resistance, so I can heal while being hit
  • 25% Better healing and mana spring totems – which is not insignificant, though not a deal breaker. This is needed for Mana Tide anyway.
  • More bag space.

2. Change my normal fighting gear to use most of my healing gear with a few concessions to damage output. Possibly lose the shield and go for a 2 handed axe. This will empty my bags somewhat as well.
3. Find more Intelligence gear. Likely suffixes are Eagle (Int+Stam), Elder (Stam, Int, mp5), physician (Stam ,Int, Heal), or possibly Invoker (Int, Spell, spell Crit)

With my current +heal heavy build I’m banging out big heals which is nice, but not as useful for “topping-up” which is needed in at least one boss fight in the slave pens.

A quick diversion into mp5 verses intelligence. Looking at a boss fight

15:06:32 fight starts
15:07:46 out of mana
15:07:52 drink a mana potion for 2.8k mana (a little less than half my mana pool)
15:07:55 first party member dies
15:08:20 second party members dies
15:08:37 I die (I still have a little mana at this point)
15:08:46 tank dies
15:08:59 last party member dies

The fight lasts 2 minutes 30 seconds, I’m alive for 2 minutes and oom at 1 minute 15 – I chug a mana potion soon after. Admittedly I didn’t run out of mana again, but only because I died first. It does show that I should drink a mana potion earlier, that way  might just have time to drink another one before the end of the fight – if I live that long.
So mp5 calculations:

in 2 minutes I’m getting 30*24 mana back =  720 mana – a little over 1 Healing wave

For Intellect to give me this much mana I need 720/14 intellect = an extra 51 intellect.

The standard ratio on itemization seems to be around 2 healing  for every 1 intelligence, so I’d lose around +100 healing for this much mana. I can live with that I think. Alternatively I can buy intelligence enchantments, since I don’t have any at the moment. The mana tide totem will, on its own, give me back around 1600 mana – that’s very significant, around 4 lesser Healing Waves and 2.5 healing waves!

Anyway my gear needs upgrading, it’s a getting a little out-leveled at the moment.
The respec comes first though- there goes another 25 gold!

Easter Pugging Slave Pens

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Andrew.Rowbottom @ 12:27 pm

Ii’ve been Pugging Slave Pens this Easter when I wasn’t grinding up another level.First PuG
Went OK, hepatitis we cleared all the bosses and only wiped once, clinic with a further near wipe. That’s the first time I’ve ever seen a Paladin’s “bubble” – quite weird. That this run went so comparatively smoothly, gives me hope again, The holy paladin did step in a number of times to backup heal, but obviously I couldn’t say if we would have managed OK without him. I think we would have wiped a couple of more times. Most of our problems were when people (including me) weren’t paying attention.

I did read up on thottbot before the bosses and I think that helped. I’m still forgetting to start scanning the players while the old spell is still casting, it definitely resulted in a couple of needless uses of natures swiftness. I also did actually run out of mana a couple of times, in one case finishing the fight healing purely on mana regen.
Group:

Zadoma 66 Human Frost Mage [Pink Elekk Society]
Gilfread 63 Human Arms Warrior [Darksun Angle Cult UK]
Velarie
63 Night Elf Feral Combat Druid [Redrum]- main tank
Gamling 61 Human Holy Paladin [Only Noobs Bleed]
Flowersz 67 Resto Draenei Shaman [Munqui Tribe] – main healer.

The next pug

A mixed bag this one, several members were playing fairly well together, though for some reason I had my suspicions of the Rogue – more later. The Warlock feared a couple of times and the DPS pulled aggro, but we downed the first boss fairly well. The DPS started behaving better and not pulling aggro too fast. The second boss beat us and the rogue immediately left. We got a 70 mage in so we downed him easily. The 70 mage left and so that was that.

Not a Pug

Sunday evening and once again I’m looking to get invited into a group that was visibly forming. I’d had time to do a bit of checking the armory for the group and knew that they already had a resto shaman in the party. I’d barely joined, when one of the group – an enh shaman got kicked. The leader said he’d kicked them because we needed a tank. Now I knew the party already had a healer so the wrong person got kicked in my opinion, let alone without discussion first. So I quit myself! OOh soo moral! I noticed one of my guildies, Hmagemasterh, in the group a little later, and then in the instance. But he seemed to have gone offline within an hour so I guess it didn’t go well [smirk]. PS. Toxicshot now has a low Karma rating.

Wednesday, 19 March, 2008

Pride comes before a fall

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Andrew.Rowbottom @ 1:15 pm

Did an Underbog run last night, pills it did not go well. We didn’t even manage to down the first boss despite several attempts! To make things worse, there was another Munqui guildie there to witness my humiliation. The trash pulls went easily, it was the boss that got us.

The last attempt on the boss was the best, we got him down to 17%, this was the fight where the DPS throttled back on the early damage and lasted the longest. Ironically this was the attempt where I died early on in the fight because of mushroom damage. I’d had to chase after the melee when they went out of range, and this put me in the middle of the explosive mushrooms that they had just stepped out of. It’s just about within the bounds of possibility that had I not died so early we might have actually downed him. Then again maybe not.
Damage to me in last fight:

  • 2 hits from Underbog Mushroom’s Spore Cloud for 1155 and 1243
  • 3 hits from Underbog Mushroom’s Spore Cloud (DoT) 392*3
  • 3 hits from Underbog Mushroom’s Spore Cloud (DoT) 864*3

That’s 6.1k damage in 12 seconds!

Hungarfen hits for about 500 per second.
According to WowWebStats I heal for about 450 per second during fights.
According to WWS I can spam HealingWave for a little over 1.5k per second. If I spam chain heal I get around 300 Hps, though I manage less than this because of target selection, moving etc.
Unfortunately in addition to Hungarfen his Underbog Mushrooms were also effectively putting out about 650 DpS.

Analysis.

The damage from the Mushrooms is Nature damage, so a Nature resistance totem may have been more useful than a Mana Spring or Healing Stream. Thottbot recommends a hunter’s Aspect of the Wild, which doesn’t stack with the totem. Also druids have Mark of the Wild and Gift of the Wild which does a similar job, and might stack with the totem. Certainly when Gift of the Wild was active about half of the mushroom damage was being resisted. Unfortunately I usually let the druid die very early on in the fights.

When I could focus heal a single target, i.e. after almost everyone else was dead, I could get pretty close to out healing Hungerfen’s damage, though even then, obviously they still died.

Possible tactical changes:

  • Drop a nature resistance totem
  • Start the fight near the boss and walk backward towards the healer so that they are always out of the mushrooms
  • Maybe use an Earth Elemental to tank the fight for a bit
  • Hold off DPS until the tank has a good aggro lead, this should make focus healing easier. I think this may be more important for paladin tanks as I believe they need hitting to generate aggro.
  • Make a macro to target the boss’s target, that way I can focus heal the player who’s going to be taking the most damage. I guess it’s going to be something like assist targets target, or targetstargettarget
  • Maybe get a pet to automatically attack the mushrooms to reduce the amount of damage they do? Is there a way to get a pet to aggressively target anything except a particular mob?

The Party
Getz 62 Human Protection Paladin [no guild] (490) 8.6k armor (55.8%) 5359/3545
Deeky 65 Human Demonology Warlock [Munqui Tribe] (538) 5923/5387
Flowersz 66 Draenei Resto Shaman [Munqui Tribe] (576) 4961/5971 +550 healing
Shariaati 65 Draenei Enhancement Shaman [Cookie] (498) 5341/4322 2.7k armor (25%)
Grownyer 66 Night Elf Feral Combat Druid [Nordic Alliance] (594) 6967/3772 2.2k armor (20%)

Tuesday, 18 March, 2008

Munqui Instances

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Andrew.Rowbottom @ 1:13 pm

This isn’t a gripe. Honest

I’ve not been in an instance with a Munqui in ages, clinic not since Scarlet Monastery I think. This is mainly my fault. I don’t advertise in guild chat when I’m looking for a group, and I never seem to be available when others advertise or there’s an organised event going on. I’m really going to have to do something about this now that I’m back doing dungeons again.

Being an anti-social person isn’t fun.

Not much to say.

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Andrew.Rowbottom @ 12:59 pm

So far I’ve quite liked the Outlands, tuberculosis the mobs behave differently, buy information pills and, best of all, the instances are short. The last instance I ran, Blood Furnace, took 1 hour and 40 minutes. Fair play we only wiped once, but we did have a couple of brb (be right back) eating style delays. Add an extra 30 minutes on top of that for getting the group together and you still have something that can actually be played in an evening, after doing the horses, and eating in a social manner with my girl friend.

Now I’ve been here a while, I’ve had the confidence to re-spec mostly into what will almost certainly be my end-game role, this is because Level 70 doesn’t seem so incredibly far away anymore. Re-speccing restoration has certainly given me much needed practice in healing and pushed me into instances where I’m having more fun than simply soloing.

I’m still learning the healing trade, the two most recent lessons I’ve learnt are

  1. Use those trinkets to boost long lived spells/totems
  2. Once you have started casting your next heal you have a couple of seconds to be picking the next player to heal / cycle through F2..F5.

I’ve just moved into Nagrand and have been suckered into doing the kill 80,000 poor innocent beasties quests. Now I know I’m a bit weird, but I don’t actually like killing things that don’t want to kill me first. I’m seriously thinking of abandoning these quests and looking for others to do.

Oh, and I’ve been referred to as Flower Power in chat, which is kinda nice.

Monday, 17 March, 2008

Healing and Earth Shield notes from the BloodFurnace run

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Andrew.Rowbottom @ 1:44 pm

Yeah, website like this yeah, here this isn’t of any interest to anyone but me.

EarthShield on the warrior accounted for 115k heals averaging 416 heal per go.

Direct heals on the warrior from Flowersz accounted for 260k heals. So about 1/3 of the heals on our tank were from Earth Shield. I thought he was easier to keep up. Respect to the Wrath of Air + Vengence of the Illidari trinket combo.

The warrior did chug 3 healing pots though, which is a shame.

On the Earth Shield front, I see that it was either healing for 350, 380, 415, or 445. In my normal gear, unbuffed it heals for about 240.

  • 240 – plain with normal fighting kit
  • 350 – plain with healing gear
  • 380 – healing gear + Wrath of Air
  • 415 – healing gear + Vengence
  • 445 – healing gear + Vengence + Wrath of Air

So a fully buffed earth shield can contribute 4.4k of healing over 10 charges, that’s worth almost 2 full Healing Waves, or 3 Lesser Healing waves or 4 chain heals in my healing uniform, usually with Wrath of Air deployed. I’m certainly going to make this spell rotation part of my normal pre-pull practice.

A breakdown of my healing would be around 580k direct, 115k Earth Shield and 100k healing stream. So as is usual with Shaman a reasonable amount of the quality output (30%) comes from indirect sources, in this case Earth Shield and Healing Stream.

This shows that Healing Stream contributes significantly. The only issue is that healing stream means no mana spring. This isn’t a problem if there are 2 shaman since I can rely on the DPS shaman to lay a mana spring totem, it is more of a worry if I’m the only shaman present.

The group used 5 healing pots in all, 3 on the tank, and 2 on the off tank. The hunters didn’t use any at all!

The death list:

  • 5 – Murree (62 Hunter) [Shadow Keepers of Insani] 5.8k Health
  • 3 – Shariaati (64 Enh Shaman) [Cookie] 5.2k Health
  • 2 – Tirekssuperr (62 Arms Warrior) [Brigada] 6.3k Health
  • 2 – Dikkedwarf (61 Hunter) [Hands up Pants Down] 5.3k Health
  • 1 – Flowersz (66 Resto Shaman) [Munqui Tribe] 5k Health

I must point out that Murree got as many heals as the other hunter Dikkedwarf, I’m guessing most of his deaths were caused by his pet dying. Dikkedwarf didn’t have his pet out as much.

Clearing up some old quests and a Blood Furnace run

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Andrew.Rowbottom @ 9:02 am

This weekend I successfully made an effort to clear up some old group quests in my quest log. My quest log has been filling up with group quests lately so I thought I’d have a go a t clearing them down. Most of the quests were level 62 or thereabouts so didn’t present a lot of problems. Sunday morning and evening seem to be quite good times to do this. I got help on most of the quests from strangers passing through which was really really nice. I even had a hand from a hordie on an escort quest, medications obviously I returned the favor when he went back and did it himself.

I also managed to get in a group for the Blood Furnace which we cleared with only one full wipe, human enhancement though we did end up with just myself and the off-tank standing at the end of one of the boss fights. My healing gear is now quite improved with around +500 healing. I accept that level 66 is actually a bit high for this instance, but then again I am still fairly novice.

I am now the healer that played with his steam tonk controller during a pull. My only excuse is that I thought the tanks and primary dps could handle a single pull on their own. I was wrong, the DPS died. Ooops, my bad. Oh yeah and :-).

Unfortunately in good groups I personally am finding it harder to evaluate the players. When no-one accidentally pulls extra aggro, and there are hardly any deaths, how can you tell who’s the player that is highly skilled/pulls the group together? Some clues seem to be:

  • announces on each trash pull that they need the Gun of Outrageous Power from the last boss.
  • never talk on chat.
  • never bandage themselves before the next pull.
  • ask for food for their pet.
  • get narky about not being resurrected immediately. Sometimes in the middle of combat.
  • Loot during pulls.

On the bandage font, if I finish a pull on 75% mana I can happily start the next pull straight away, if I have to heal everyone up a little bit it takes time and mana, and I can end up having to drink which takes even more time. If everyone bandaged themselves the time is reduced.
Even low level instances are looking like the fastest way to get XP for me nowadays.

Once again I’ve started dying, though usually because I’m biting off far more than I can really chew.

Blood Furnace debrief

what went well:

  • I’m using my trinket now on practically every pull, coupled with Wrath of Air that gives a max of +220 and +101 to my healing. Then I cast earth shield and healing stream.
  • I’m using my Hypnotis’s watch (-750 aggro on use) when I pull, or expect to pull aggro. It’s quite weird, even joyful, watching a mob turn and run towards you, then change his mind and go back to the main fight.

could do better:

  • Focus more on the tank. Occasionally I’m healing a hunter when the Tank suddenly gets hit badly, this is not good.
  • Focus more on the weakest members. Some of the DPS have a lot less stamina and fall over much quicker if they’re being hit than others, these need special care.
  • Refresh totems.
  • Use my new earth elemental totem when things go bad. An extra tank is probably worth having.

Unsure:

  • I’m healing pets as a last resort, usually I just hope chain heal is doing it’s job.

On the UI front, I’ve finally spent time configuring MarsBar so all my totems are now two logical key presses away, for example Fire Resistance Totem is Alt-W (for water), R (for resistance), though most of the frequently used totems are also on Shift+number where they have always been. At least this way I can reliably cast the less frequently used totems – Poison cleansing etc. without having to actually read the tooltips.

I’m going to have to write an addon to give me an audio announcement when my totems are destroyed/expiring. I think this is happening during the longer fights, especially boss fights involving waves of mobs, though I always miss the text messages. I’ll also be adding specific messages when I drop the resistance totems, far too often I’ve dropped Frost resistance during a fire event.

Question: Why on earth did blizzard decide that the fire spirits can’t give me fire resistance? Instead they give me Frost resistance.

Friday, 14 March, 2008

Ho ho ho, hee hee hee, I’m a laughing shaman and you can’t kill me.

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Andrew.Rowbottom @ 12:54 pm

Ho ho ho, sick hee hee hee, I’m a laughing shaman and you can’t kill me. Unless you’re another player of course.

Since I’ve gone Restoration I don’t think I’ve died once outside of instances. The fights take longer, and I now have to “rotate” my elemental shields depending on how much health or mana I have. Usually starting with lightning shield, refreshing until I get low on mana and then popping Water Shield to regen a bit of mana for heals. Sometimes I put an Earth Shield up for a change, though I prefer to use this as a random buff on strangers. I have actually taken on two mobs of the same level as me at once, though not intentionally. In one epic fight I was pulling an add/respawn every time I killed one and I kept this up for about 5 or 6 mobs before I gave up and ran away. I completed almost all of my kill quest in that one fight! I’m getting egotistical now!
I’ve gotten better at “popping” my trinkets and cooldowns when questing, though I’m still rubbish at it when healing in instances.

Speaking of instances, I’ve done a few instances lately for practice as a healer, and I definitely need it. I’ve now healed a good handful of instances, I started on Slave Pens and Underbog, but since then I’ve been concentrating on the Hellfire ones because there’s a more leeway for making mistakes. Unfortunately I’ve not picked up a single blue from these runs. C’est la vie!
Obviously I’ve been pugging again, and again I’ve come to realise a few PUGs are “good”, the rest is an even split between “fair” and “poor”, the difference is usually obvious within a couple of trash pulls. Curiously a good leader can make quite a difference.

The last group I was in had fairly experienced tank, mage and hunter, I can’t comment on the warlock because he didn’t say much at all. Anyway the tank had to go AFK for about 10 minutes to handle something and we kept on trying to deal with the trash. There was a fair bit of rancor during this process, so much so that I was seriously thinking of quitting the group – which would have been a first for me. Anyway the tank came back and we got back into the swing of things. We nearly wiped a couple of times, but only wiped once on Nazan when I stood in the way of his flame. I got a little advice from the tank and we downed him.

It was all practice for me, which I badly need. What I found interesting as a healer about the encounter was having to literally spam Healing Wave on the tank to keep them up, chugging a mana pot half way through. It seemed like a tough fight to me!

I’ve still got to learn to use my vengance of the illidari +healing trinket more often, it’s only got a 2 minute cooldown and at the very least could be used to boost things like Earth Shield. I’ve also got to learn to keep a better eye on the squishies, particularly the Mages, they really are glass cannons without any stamina!
Earth Shield by the way is fantastically cool. Every-time I use it on a tank I notice how much slower their HP bar goes down. It makes life soo much easier as a healer.

I also have to learn to recast totems when they expire. I’m fairly sure that they’re disappearing part way through the fights. I may even hack an addon together to verbally announce timeouts since I never notice the visual clues and aways have sound on when I’m in a group.
On the guild front: I missed out on a guild group that went into Dire Maul, but I’m now on notice that I will be getting more practice!

Flowersz is now level 66, and may yet reach level 70.

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