Rummys Blog An world of endless Monday

Friday, 30 January, 2009

Phew

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Andrew.Rowbottom @ 1:40 pm

Ho Ho! Guild run last night. I must say I was very hesitant when asked to heal, youth health Heroic Utgarde Pinnacle of all places! Rated in the “tough” category by some healers. Still I relented and agreed to “preside over their deaths” :).

Before the run I re-talented and moved a few talent points around away from focused mind (reduced silence) to reduced threat. I did this because the last time I ran with this tank I kept pulling aggro on the Hadronox fight. From my experience last nigh I think the aggro pulls were probably because of the encounter and some excessively premature healing on my part. In any case the respec was no biggie, sale except for all those spells disappearing from my action bars!!!!!

Actually it went pretty well, only a couple of wipes I think. A couple of times the Pala Tank (Bronze) chucked out some huge heals just when I thought I’d lost it and saved everyone’s bacon! Mostly for me it went well because there’s very little “get out of the fire” that couldn’t be avoided by careful positioning ahead of time. That and using Healing Wave instead of Lesser Healing Wave which seems to be much more effective, though your tanks *do* need high stamina.

I couldn’t have been too bad, after clearing h-UP, the group kept me on to do the Daily Heroic (Draktharon) and then on to pop one boss in Gundrak just to see if he was carrying anything nice in his pockets (he wasn’t). I bagged two more elders for my “Elder” title, I might just manage it, only a week to go for the rest though.

For a change there was a caster in the group, it seems to me that most of the groups I’ve run with are pure melee & hunters, and I really can’t remember the last time I saw a Boomkin, have they gone extinct?

Blue and better Loot list:

[Limb Regeneration Bracers] (Need: Flowersz)
[Sovereign's Belt] (Need: Flowersz)

[Cuffs of the Trussed Hall] (Flowersz)
[Design: Austere Earthsiege Diamond] (Need: Flowersz)
[Design: Timeless Forest Emerald] (Need: Flowersz)
[Breastplate of Undeath]
[Frozen Orb]x2 (Flowers got 1)
[Gold Amulet of Kings] (Need: Bronzeadin)
[Handler's Arm Strap]
[Legs of Physical Regeneration]
[Mojo Frenzy Greaves]
[Netherbreath Spellblade]
[Ring of the Frenzied Wolvar]
[Talisman of Troll Divinity]
[Waistguard of the Risen Knight]
[Ymirjar Physician's Robe]

Looking at it in a raw list I feel quite guilty, both epic drops, both Jewelcrafting designs, a Frozen Orb, and a random unwanted Blue. That frozen Orb is soooo going into the Guild Bank.

On the continuing improvement front:

LHW vs HW: a few times I had to revert to LHW when a player got very low, and it really didn’t feel as “powerful”. Not so much “They’re fine now, what next?”, and more, “OMG only just enough! Cast again!”. Definitely going to be using HW as a solid part of my armament again.

Thursday, 29 January, 2009

Update from WWS Logs

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Andrew.Rowbottom @ 2:14 pm

I’ve just managed to pull the WWS logs for Zurumat the Obliterator.

First attempt (FAILED):

  • LHW: 43%
  • CH: 21%
  • Riptide: 13%
  • HW: 0%
  • time: 1’05”

Second attempt (FAILED):

  • CH: 40%
  • LHW: 31%
  • Riptide: 19%
  • HW: 0%
  • time: 0’53”

Third attempt (FAILED):

  • LHW: 37%
  • CH:23%
  • Riptide: 22%
  • HW: 0%
  • time: 1’24”
  • healsPerSecond: 1963

Fourth attempt (SUCCESS):

  • HW was 34%
  • CH was 24%
  • Riptide was 17%
  • and LHW was 7%
  • time: 1’33”
  • HealsPerSecond: 2336

Can you see what I did differently? And nearly 20% more healing per second. As always this isn’t the whole story, surgeon there were 4 other players in the room.

I guess the moral of the story is:

If you don’t use all you’ve got then you’re not giving it all you have.

Fashion

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

As you know, decease I’ve been agonising about my “situational awareness” particularly not getting out of the fire. In a strange quirk this has sort of come up on PlusHeal and then Torbold posts suggesting training rooms (my words).

Training rooms (or holo-decks) is exactly what I’m looking for. For healers I would see it as a choice of single boss encounters with all the various tricks and a pre-programmed damage AI. As a healer you would choose Boosted, cure Guild and PUG levels of difficulty. All the matches are fixed length. The aim is, drugs of course, to keep the “group” up as long as possible.

Yeah, it would encourage soloing, but you could limit it by having only one training session a day and that can only last a maximum of 10 minutes.

Here, have 2p.

No Utgarde Keep :(

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Andrew.Rowbottom @ 12:57 pm

There was no-one (literally) in LFG for heroic Utgarde Keep last night, cialis sale so I Pugged Heroic Violet Hold. It started off so so, this web we wiped on the first boss, treatment the Void Walker one, and immediately one of the players left. So we all hung around waiting for a replacement (or two as it happened) and went back in. Wiped on the VW again, and again, and then downed him, after that, though, it all went swimmingly. Mana didn’t seem to be a big issue, sure I popped a couple of mana pots to be on the safe side, but I didn’t use Mana Tide at all last night.

I changed my tactics on these fights, trying to cast more slow pro-active Healing Waves rather than the quicker reactive Lesser Healing Waves, and I think it made a difference, certainly on keeping the tank topped up. It seemed to me that I could get away with a single healing wave where I would have had to cast two LHW’s to achieve a lesser effect. The longer cast time spell as well as being just as effective also seemed to give me an extra second to plan the next heal.

I shall consider this. Somehow I’ve gotten into the habit of trying to heal damage after it arrives rather than seeing that damage is happening and expecting more to come in before the heal lands. Don’t get me wrong LHW is essential to prevent “death-while-casting syndrome”, but rather than trying to top off a 20% deficit I seem to be more effective if I plan to heal the next 20% before it arrives.

I’ve been meaning to respec to boost Healing Wave, I think I’ve got a few talent points misplaced. Most of the forums seem to imply that players are hardly using Healing Wave at all making the HW talents less useful. I’m now doubting this and will definitely include a couple of healing wave talents next time.
On the using the wrong spell front, I think it must be months since I last used Gift of the Naruu or Bandaged anyone in combat. Both of these are mana free, I probably ought to get them hotkeyed!

Afterwards a few guildies got together to bag the elders in Normal Utgarde Keep and Normal Nexus. Peasy easy run, we could probably have bandaged our way through it. Just for fun we downed the Frost boss while we were in theNexus. Because the tank required nothing more than the occasional Riptide and EarthShield to keep him topped off I was able to pay attention to my reactions when the Ice Spikes appeared, quite enlightening.

I’ve seen this boss a couple of times before, so I knew he did a “Steam Hammer” AOE and moved the camera to give me a better view of the ground. The first time the forewarning crystals appeared I was still surprised and then spent a little time finding the directional keys. Result: I didn’t move in time! Yup, even though I was pretty much just an observer I still didn’t quite manage to get out of the AOE! It’s so hard to be quantitative about it, but I think the delay was split about 50/50 between pointless surprise and finding the keys. Hopefully my new gaming keypad will help stop my hands wandering off their home keys. They do tend to wander around the keyboard a lot. Surprise, on the other hand, is just a mental attitude that familiarity will fix.

On a much more trivial note I found that the “Elder” title is put in front of your toon’s name, unlike the “Jenkins” title. I assumed it would be shown as something like “Flowersz the Elder”, but it would be “Elder Flowersz”. It amused me. I’ve got all the other pre-achievements for this title except the dungeon-elders, so I may just go for it, Gotta catch ’em all and get that title.

Wednesday, 28 January, 2009

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Andrew.Rowbottom @ 1:48 pm

Did a little more messing aroud with my setup, visit web it’s not bad, cialis 40mg though I may not get used to the chat window on the bottom right. I’ll probably move it back to the left again.

Strangely I was suffering from heavy heavy disk thrashing and the occasional ridiculously slow framerate (1fps!) Since I’ve actually disabled some addons this was unexpected. I suspect there’s something else going on. There’s still more addon’s I can trash. At varous points in the past I must have added pretty much every shaman addon I could find, tablets with much duplication and very little extra functionality. I think I’m going to strip down to Autobar and Gotwood.

I think the effort is going to be worth it just for the cleaner display. I think I’ll give it a try tonight in a Heroic Utgarde Keep PUG tonight. Another chance to go for Dalron’s Jerkin and build some confidence. If I get lucky I’ll have to start looking into getting some new pants, Flowersz current ones are from around level 75 ish! I can buy some stuff off the AH, but the crafted stuff seems to be lacking in mp5, and so is Flowersz, she could craft another JC mp5 gem I guess.

I had a poke at the Nostromo N52 and I’ve remembered why I’ve never adopted it. I think my hands are too small. There are 14 main keys, two of which are nigh on impossible to reach without moving my hand, subtract a further 6 keys for emergency movement, another for a shift key and the options start to be limited. The mouse scroll wheel thingy is an effort to reach. I can’t access two of the four directions on the “4 way D Pad”, again unless I move my hand. The Alt button is OK, but I’m having problems pressing that and any other keys except for perhaps the nearest ones, and it feels “claw” like when I do this. The “space bar” is just out of reach.

I think I must have a short thumb since most of the difficulties are thumb related.

I’ve ordered a different gamepad with an adjustable thumb. With some leftover christmas tokens, so it’s not like real money. I don’t expect it to make a big difference to my gameplay, it’s really the brain that needs changing!

Laterz!

Tuesday, 27 January, 2009

Misery loves company.

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Andrew.Rowbottom @ 12:57 pm

There’s, see for me, prosthesis a timely post on PlusHeal from a new healer asking for tips on how to avoid tunnel vision. Makes me feel a little better, even though I’m not a new healer by any stretch. Most of the suggestions are about spotting when you are taking damage and remembering to heal yourself. I can do that, in fact I can usually move out of the poison puddles etc, though it takes a short time before I do (working on it). The good thing with puddles is even if you’re a little slow you only take an extra hit or two of damage, which isn’t usually fatal.

For me the real bastards are the AOE’s I call “Steam-Hammers”. There’s always a little forewarning (rumbling rocks in a circle, small Ice Crystals etc), and then WHAM! you’re hit for 100% of the possible damage. If you notice a little late and don’t quite clear the circle you don’t take a percentage of the damage, (I wish!), it’s still 100%! I can handle the puddles, even if I don’t see it on the screen I still get a hint because my health starts dropping, I look away from the bars at my toon and start moving. SteamHammers don’t show up on the bars, if you’re too focused you’re hit, and hit bad!

I do feel a fool, one of the responses said ” Scroll your camera view back so you can see more of your surroundings” which reminded me of how I used to handle the bombs in Zul’Aman and that was to scroll my camera far back and look straight down on my toon. That way I have a clear uninterrupted view of the ground/bombs. I completely forgot this trick! /kickself.

Anyway, I’m getting on with my UI changes, I’ll post what I’ve done when its finished the first draft. There’s a thread over on PlusHeal with player’s UI’s, there are very few resto-Shaman ui’s out there. My general impression is that they’re more cluttered that those of the other healing classes.

After that it’s messing around with the N52! That’s going to take a lot of thinking, 15 keys may sound like a lot, but some of them are very difficult to reach, and I’ve got a lot of situational totems and a few situational spells. Something to mull over on the bike journeys.

Monday, 26 January, 2009

Get out of the fire!

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Andrew.Rowbottom @ 1:56 pm

Or should I stay or should I go now?

After the last post I fielded a couple of whispers from concerned guild mates. These raised quite a bit of guilt, thumb I didn’t want to get into a whole debate about why I should stay, so most of my responses were very non-committal bordering on the outright lying. I *do* appreciate them taking the time. The problem is that I have still not decided, I may be a third rate healer, but I *am* a first rate procrastinator. Also I hate any kind of drama, I really don’t want any of that. Which makes me wonder if I should be posting here at all!

At the moment I’m paid up until the 3rd of February so I’ve set a decision date of the 1st (see end of post!) which should give me a few more days thinking time and couple of days to put my affairs in order if that’s how it goes.

What are my options?

Quit the game when my time is up:

This has been the #1 option, though not the only one. It’s certainly on the cards. I’d have to decide what to do with all that gold I have, it would seem wrong to quite and not give the 15k to the guild. Giving up would be an enormous change, I’ve been playing the game now for well over a year, I’ve even managed to get an emotional attachment to this fictitious creature called Flowersz. Not as strong as if I’d been RolePlaying her, but still, you know, I quite like her.

Fortunately for me “when my time is up” is a bit more flexible than simply in a week’s time. There’s a procrastinate sub-option available (press ‘3’ after the tone), I’ve still got a 60 day game card so that’s another 8 weeks of not deciding, and it means I’ve not wasted £20! Win Win?

Get better!

The preferred option obviously. A few ways of doing this are available, with varying likelihood of success… As it stands I either completely miss incoming AOE or spot it, but start moving too late. What I’m looking for is to reduce the three components:

  • spotting AOE
  • physical reaction time.
  • thinking

Change my screen layout:

This has some potential, on the last run simply dragging my healbot below Flowersz feet made it easier to keep an eye on what was happening on the screen. OK, when I tried this I kept stopping before I’d fully moved out of the AOE, but that’s an easily cured habit. Maybe I should look at one of these clean “all-in-one” setups so I can declutter the screen. This  will only help a bit, but maybe it will help reduce the “spotting” delay.

Change my hardware:

I could try seeing if dusting off my Nostromo N52 would improve my gameplay, word on the street suggests that it may help a bit, though that comes almost exclusively from DPS ers, and usually rogues at that. It may help reduce that fraction of a second while I move my hands back onto the strafe keys from wherever they’ve wandered. So ideally this might reduce the “physical reaction time”. One issue with the N52 is that I use a different set of spells when in a dungeon from anywhere else, so I’d need to practise somewhere, potentially putting 4 other people at risk (can I hear someone saying PUG?). Certainly changing from using the trackpad on my laptop to using a trackball made a huge difference, I doubt I could heal without a trackball, so maybe the N52 will help.

Practise Practise Practise:
This would be the thinking time aspect. One way to get practise is to Pug it up… Guild runs are off the cards until I gain a lot more confidence. Maybe do the Nexus a few billions of times! This will also give me a chance to get used to the N52. Actually guild runs are not completely off the cards, I think I’m ok to do some pre-80 normal instances, and I know I can handle Heroic Utgarde Keep – gear makes up for quite a lot!.

Can anyone recommend a questline (preferably daily) that has tons of avoidable AOE? This seems to be an integral part of many boss fights, but I can’t remember seeing it in any quests. My quest strategy has nearly always been plant my little grove of trees and stand and fight. The fight is nearly always the same too, Earth Shield, Lightning bolt pull, Flame Shock, Lava Bolt, Lightning Bolt, Lightning Bolt, Earth Shock, LB, LB, LB, EShock, repeat until mob dies of boredom. Occasionally I drop a different totem, but I NEVER EVER MOVE.

Addons

I found verbal anouncements for destroyed totems really useful, and if I stay I should rewrite the code. Perhaps I can add a mod to BigWigs to sound a big bell when AOE is due. Of course this requires AOE to be “signalled” in game by an event that can be hooked. If I could get a second’s warning to look at my screen I’d probably do a lot better. In line with this would be a big fat “focus” castbar so I could see when the boss was going to bang out something serious. This would help with overall healing as it might give me a second or so’s warning that the tank is going to take huge damage.

Avoid the Problem

Go DPS! Don’t know if this is going to cure my problem, I’ve not been DPS in quite a long time, I know I’ll have to watch omen and learn kill orders, but maybe I’ll be watching the screen instead of playing whack-a-mole.

Writing all this junk has helped settle my mind, there *are* things I can do to improve, I haven’t tried everything yet. If I’m lucky it will pull me out of third rate healing and into the second rate league. And if it doesn’t, well maybe I can become one of those scrubby DPSers!

Friday, 23 January, 2009

Sometimes you just have to accept it.

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Andrew.Rowbottom @ 8:44 am

Guild run on Azjol-Nerub last night. Possibly the worst run I’ve ever been on. 4 good players, resuscitator 1 bad player. I really can’t put guildies through this anymore.

By an amazing coincidence it is exactly 6 months to the day when I posted this.

Today my reasons are different, I think they’re much more solid this time. It’s no longer about how I’m affected by other players, it’s about how I affect other players.

I’ve always been able to persuade myself that other players are arseholes (non-guildies ofc, arseholes don’t last long in the munqui tribe), but it’s a very different thing when it’s myself.

Anyway, the bottom line is that while I’m watching the health bars and deciding which is the best spell for the job I am almost completely incapable of watching the screen (situational awareness). This means I’m a static player, which has been acceptable in the past but with Wotlk Blizzard have slightly changed their dungeons, they have, quite rightly, introduced more game-play mechanics requiring some more situational awareness (Nexus being an example). A little more situational awareness than I’m capable of unfortunately.

Last night for example, I really don’t think I was capable of doing much better. I’m healing my heart out so hard at times that it’s taking three more heals before I could spare the 1.5 seconds global cooldown to refresh my water shield. Then I die. Then the group dies.

I think my A+ game might have been enough last night, but that simply is available on demand, and  my playing last night  just wasn’t up to scratch for even a middling level heroic.

Time to take a break. Maybe work on this for a bit.

Thursday, 22 January, 2009

Geesh!

Filed under: General — Andrew.Rowbottom @ 12:42 pm

This article on the bbc news! I’m rendered speechless!

Inalienable rights. Discrimination. Segregation. Rank stupidity!

Chunner, approved chunner, chunner!

Tuesday, 20 January, 2009

Clarification

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Andrew.Rowbottom @ 4:16 pm

In no way was my previous post an attempt to say that Flowersz isn’t good enough to raid. Just a warning that gear can be bought, site not earned.

If I’m invited I’m going! (Real Life permitting)

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