Rummys Blog An world of endless Monday

Monday, 23 March, 2009

Blizz are telling me something

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Andrew.Rowbottom @ 1:00 pm

Honestly, hair VoA 10 man and what should drop but [Heroes' Earthshatter Chestguard]!

Dual specs on the horizon and Flowersz already has a T7 Enhancement Shaman piece! What gives Blizz? Do you hate clothies? Can’t you drop something for them once in a while?

Friday, 20 March, 2009

Deeper Analysis

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

I dashed off the last two posts in quite a hurry and/or late at night so apologies for any wierdnesses.

So a summary last nights Naxx run: scrappy again! šŸ™

Mana:

I know I go on about mana quite a lot, sick but I really really don’t like running out, imagine going to the fridge for a beer and finding out that your roomie/partner/cat took the last one, that’s how I feel about running out of mana.

Last night gave me a taster of what mana is going to be like come patch 3.1. Running without replenishment made a huge difference, and breaks Blizzards “bring the player” (aka “big green blob”) rule. Sure I only went OOM a couple of times and that could be mitigated by healing assignments instead of our usual Zerg them up to full health policy. But if I hadn’t had Blessings of Wisdom I would have gone OOM a lot more often, probably often enough to wipe the raid. Replenishment makes mana management easy, no replenishment makes stacking Mana Stream and BoW essential. BTW I did have to use some mana pots.

Healing has the potential to get quite a bit harder. Either that or raiding is going to start requiring some essential classes in the groups.

Lag:

I don’t know if 400+ms lag was what caused me to die on Heigan last night, it could equally have been me, but one thing it did affect my cleansing. Normally my lag is between 150 and 250ms. There were times when my healbot practically flickered with the debuffs – I’d see a debuff appear on a player and then within a fraction of a second dissapear. I doubt that our priest has the reactions of a Praying Mantis on speed, so I have to blame lag. I doubt it was my machine, it hasn’t changed and I even had the virus checker turned off.

New rule: reboot the router before a raid night, it might not help, but it won’t hurt either.

Healing Assignements:

We don’t really do these, but I think we should, particularly on cleansing poisons/disease/curses. When there’s two healers cleansing and it takes a 1.5 seconds a go (GCD) the time wasted when both healers cleanse the same player is something of an issue.

A similar thing applies to plain healing, the overheal figures show how often multiple healers were going for the same target. I’m not saying Healer A can only heal the tank, and no other healers can heal that target, but perhaps Healer A mainly tank, Healer B tank and melee, Healer C mainly melee. This obviously has to be balanced with who’s doing the cleansing.

Heigan:

Positioning is an issue with this fight, particularly range. Our tanks tank does a pretty good job of keeping Heigan far enough away from the casters to avoid the 3x slower cast debuffs (mostly), but occasionally some of the melee get out of range. It’s pretty frustrating hearing the raid leader shouting out for cleansing when the player is out of range and you can’t do anything without getting of the platform and into the fire! One solution has occurred to me, rather than having the tank carefully keeping Heigan at exactly the right distance, have the tank bring him just a couple of feet closer to the casters and, here’s the clever bit, make the casters move using more of the platform instead of standing right on the edge.

I dunno, it’s just an idea. It would mean the casters have to be more aware of their debuffs and actually have to move, but then again range issues are a PITA.

The 4 Horsemen:

Once again we managed to wipe on the “swap” aggro that the tanks have to manage. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t tank if you gave me 6 months paid training. Maybe though a macro:

/castsequence target BastardA, target BastardB for tank 1 and /castsequence target BastardB, target BastardA for tank 2? Then click on the macro once during switchover to swap targets.

What do I know?

This encounter a bit of a pig, ideally requiring 4 classes capable of healing or off healing, so an Elemental Shaman or Shadow priest are ideal to fill the 4th slot since they come pre-stacked with SpellPower and Mana Regen. I guess having the back row swap more often would also help. Again I’m inclined to think I should be dropping a mana/healing totem at the back there to help out. Though with the mana issues last night that could have made things a little tight.

There MUST be a simpler strategy! How do guilds 10 man it with only 2 healers for example?

Aggro:

As a healer I notice when someone pulls aggro, I’m sorry to say that last night there was a player who stood above the rest in over-aggroing. It didn’t result in any deaths, but it’s another thing for the healers to worry about.

Smythy:

Gets his own section! Smythy was fairly quiet last night, it worries me.

Stats:

Hey, no write-up would be complete without a bit of pouring over the logs and e-peening would it? Flowersz didn’t do so bad on the healy meters, we were all pretty close together anyway at between 27 and 33%. An all knocking out around 30% overheal, that’s a bit high, but not as serious as some nights (I’ve seen 47%).

Respecc results:

Flowersz respecced before this fight to have 1% less crit, 15% more threat, and dropped Healing Way (reduced susequent Healing wave effect). She put the points into a shorter (down to 40 minutes from 60 minutes) reincarnate (or rebirth as our raid leader called it – confused me at first, but now I know), and it does make this ability slightly more useful, I’m happier knowing I can use it every 2 or 3 Bosses. The remainder of the points went into Ancestral Healing to give a 25% armour buff on a critical heal.

She also dropped the glyph for 5% extra chance of the earthliving HoT and bought an extra bounce of Chain Heal.

Result:

The armor buff was up quite a bit on the tank and the other players (482 applications in all!) , its particularly hard to guess how big an effect this has. Healing Way wasn’t proccing too much on previous runs (15 times over the whole of the previous run), so I don’t think I’ll miss it.

Since Healing Wave is only around 10% of my healing I’m potentially losing about 3.5% healing in exchange for the armour buff. Though in reality it was not proccing to much anyway. I’ll live!

There was a 4th bounce of chain heal 139 times, contributing 120705 effective healing (131486 raw healing). Or in other words it added a potential 3.4% extra chain healing (from a perfect maximum 12.5%), Making for 1.1% of my total healing coming from the 4th bounce.

Since Earthliving was sat between 1.9% and 2.6%, 5% of that is a rough loss of 0.1% because of losing that glyph. I’m sticking with the chain heal.

General gearing thoughts:

Although I saw Lesser Healing Wave casts in less than a second last night (assorted Tidal Wave, and [The Egg of Mortal Essence] procs) I’m thinking I should stop gemming for SpellPower and instead gem for Haste. It could bring up more mana issues, but I really want to cast faster – unhasted casts seem so slow now, and I’d love to get the GCD down to 1 second for faster cleanses.

Flowersz has had enough of all this analysis, she just wants to run around and heal!

Rummy out!

It did not go well.

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Andrew.Rowbottom @ 12:10 am

It was not a good night for me last night in Naxxramas. After starting the raid fully spell-powered up I pretty soon started having mana problems and realized there was no replenishment buff.

Changed to mana food and mana flask, illness though that didn’t really help make it a good night.

There was the death on Heigan (previous post), where I died on the very last flame, which was a massive surprise to me – I swear I didn’t see any “flames” on my screen, and I’d seen all the others. Annoyingly it was a third of a second before Heigan died and so stopped the group getting the achievement.

I also died on the eyestalk run, this gives us trouble every week. Three times we’ve tried to scuttle through, three times we loose a couple of players and have to recover them. At least this time we found out that invisibility potion hides the maggots, though not the eyestalks – which are unfortunately the worst. I wasted a Reincarnate here because I had the chat entry box open and instead of running forwards I filled it with w’s! F’ing crap!

Later on I pulled aggro after a wipe on Instructor Razzberry! I’d just rezzed someone, popped a Chain Heal, and BAM, aggro! Fortunately there was time for most of the other players to run out. So I didn’t wipe the raid, though it was extremely annoying.

After that it picked up a little, but not enough to cope with the 4 horsemen – they’ll be waiting for us on Monday šŸ™

Thursday, 19 March, 2009

How to annoy your raidies.

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Andrew.Rowbottom @ 9:36 pm

21:17:47.144 UNIT_DIED, geriatrician …, cheapest “Flowersz”
21:17:47.512 UNIT_DIED, for sale …,”Heigan the Unclean”

Yup, I was the only death, at just 368ms before we would have got the achievement. 368ms is less than the lag I was having (423ms from memory), though I’m checking now and it’s dropping back down to 300 even as I write..

[@22:00 Now my latency is down to to 164ms!]

/facepalm

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Andrew.Rowbottom @ 6:58 pm

I’m freaking out, more about looking at my gamepad. Where do I put the spells?

I’ve written several lists of spells I use; sorted by frequency of use, reaction time required, spell category, cast-time, alphabetic, you name it I’ve got a list for it!

I’ve got colour coded charts of which keys are the hardest to reach, which ones cannot be reached while pressing the “shift” key.

I’ve got spreadsheets with trial spell layouts.

I’ve done everything except actually plug the damn thing in and start using it.

Paralysis through analysis, and fear of getting it all wrong.

I had a light bulb moment on the way home. Virtually all my raid keystrokes are either two handed with the left hand pressing Shift or Control or only use the left hand. So I should still be able to play two handed, but with one hand on the controller. Then I can “migrate” my two handed spells onto the keypad. Finally a way forwards!

Gaming keyboard

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Andrew.Rowbottom @ 12:52 pm

BRK is gloating about his new G11 gaming keyboard, disease it’s nicer than either the Saitek or Nostromo N52 ones I’ve got, but then it’s also more expensive. But it’s making me think: I really must get some practice in on it, once I’ve set up my keys I’ll have to run a couple of PuGs, ideally easy peasy low level ones, working up to Heroic Utgarde Keep. First though I’ve got to figure out what spells I actually use in a raid… Time to look at the WWS logs.

I’ll keep you abreast of my progress, and particularly whether it’s worth the effort.

Patch 3.1 and dual specs

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Andrew.Rowbottom @ 12:50 pm

I think I’m going to start prepping for patch 3.1, hepatitis I’m going to buy my second set of glyphs before I need them and probably buy some of the BoE epics, prostate I predict there’ll be a slight surge in price for both glyphs and BoE epics as everyone starts gearing up their second spec. I’ll also keep stocking up on Titansteel bars in the hopes that they’ll sell when the new recipes come out, ampoule I’ve already got 12, but I’ve been slacking on that front lately..

But the really big question is….. Enhancement or Elemental. As Elemental I’ve already got a load of spellpower, haste and mp5 gear, since I’m a caster spec already. I am completely missing on +hit so that’s a 20% miss rate until it gets sorted!

On the other hand Enhancement is fun and a different game. I’ve already got some Enhancement stuff in the bank, but only barely enough to do heroics. I imagine I’ll have to spend a few thousand buying some BoE epics and craft a few decent gems.

Either spec will mean re-learning how to do instances.

The guild is a little melee heavy, and we’veĀ  with Paladins coming out of our ears (5 guildies and 2 out-of-guild alts out of 19 on our last OS25 run) , so guild-wise another caster might be beneficial on some fights, our healers are currently running at ridiculous amounts of overhealing so they could probably spare a healer on some fights. That said, I’m sure the other healers are thinking the same thing, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they were better geared as well.

Also on Dual Specs, our only raiding warlock is having a little QQ because he’s doing poor DPS on trash, (great on bosses though), the penalty of being affliction. He’s been wondering if he should go Destruction. Maybe Dual Specs will solve this.

I can’t help but think that Blizzard are going to start designing dungeons to *require* Dual Specs, caster heavy on this boss, healer heavy on this one and so on. Already some of the bosses favour slightly different group makeups, not significantly at the moment, but when raiders start swapping specs based on the bosses it doesn’t seem unlikely that Blizzard are going to have to react and alter the encounters to take this into account. Harking back to the “Bring the Player not the class” you can see that Dual Specs is actually a step in this direction, if you allow players will change spec mid-instance, making the class (well spec at any rate) less important.

Economy

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Andrew.Rowbottom @ 12:44 pm

I don’t play the auction house much anymore. Back in the day I used to regularly log on in the morning do a quick Auction House scan for disenchanting and maybe “flip” anything that looked particularly cheap. Profits weren’t big, bulimics but they were steady for not a lot of effort. Now I simply don’t bother, laziness really.

I read the Greedy Goblin and other blogs, and pay some attention to what they say about making money. But the economy on my server doesn’t always match what they are seeing.

Take this post from The Greedy Goblin, (s)he says that prices typically rise at the weekend and drop mid week. I just haven’t seen that, Dragon’s Eyes (from the Jewelcrafting dailys) were selling at 100g last Saturday, and last Tuesday night were selling at 127g. Fairly typical price fluctuations for these items in my experience. Another example is Northern Spices, more than one blog says that these are an easy way to make money, selling for around 3g each, on my server they sell for half that. What’s more cooking them up isn’t overly profitable, most cooked foods are going for barely more than the money you can make from selling the spices, though I have just found a food that sells for a bearable profit.

I’m wondering if these differences are reflecting a culture difference between the US and Europe. Perhaps Europeans, even the “weekenders”, are more inclined to level their trade skills and do the crafting dailys. This would explain the price drop for daily products over weekends.

I’m not saying mine is a difficult server to make money in, I suspect that the GG could rake it in were (s)he to come to my server. Even I have been able to find some nice niche markets now and again and I know a very simple small profit can be made turning titanium ore into titanium bars, I rarely buy the bars, two ore is usually cheaper. Which is strange because every player that can mine the ore can also smelt it into bars for around 10% more gold. [2 x ore for 8g -> 1 x bar for 9g].

Wednesday, 18 March, 2009

Miscellaneous raiding

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Andrew.Rowbottom @ 12:47 pm

Summary: Sarth (heroic) 19 man, price Sarth (normal) 10 man and a peek at Malygos.

Guild run of Obsidian Sanctum, which after the usual delays ended up with us 19 manning it (5 healers) Flowersz as usual in the middle of the tables. I do believe that 19 manning it was more fun than 25 manning it, though we weren’t in too much danger of wiping. Flowersz got hit by four Twilight Portals and by 6 Flame Tsunamis, not good :(.

She won a new purple which she’s not wearing because it would break her set bonus, so it’s going in the bank until she gets the tier helm.

By contrast in the 10 man she got hit by one Twilight Portal and one Lava Wave. Go figure.

One thing I think works for me in AoE fights is to move whenever I’m not casting. It seems to keep my fingers over the movement keys, makes me look at the screen as a whole, and puts me in the right mental attitude.

After the two visits to OS we tootled on over to have a first ever (for many of us) look at Malygos (normal). It’s going to be an interesting fight when we try it for real.

Tuesday, 17 March, 2009

Respec?

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

I’m wondering about respecing Flowersz, ailment she’s got 3 talent points placed in Healing Grace (15% threat reduction) specifically to deal with issues she’s had in 5 man PuGs.

I’m debating about moving these into Ancestral Healing – 25% extra armour value for 15 secs after a crit heal. My crit rate is 30-40% at the moment so I imagine that would make it a pretty steady buff.

Another place I’d love to put some points would be Improved reincarnation, viagra 40mg though that would be 2 points nicked from somewhere else, pancreatitis and to be honest I don’t often find a place where I can reincarnate with impunity in Naxx. I do have a spare point in Healing Way that I could probably move without worry. I might even nick a point out of critical strikes (1% less crit) to bring it down to a 40 minute timer and temporary 20% extra reincarnate health.

The only question is: Do I wait for a free respec when 3.1 goes live, or do I do it now?

Hmm, 16.5k gold in the bank, 1/3%, maybe I should stop wavering and just do it. I’ll do it after tonight’s Heroic Obsidium Sanctum if it isn’t too late, or tomorrow if it is.

Oh yeah, the Munqui raid last night downed Kel’Thuzad, congratulations!

Also in the respec front: Flowersz is now back in her birthday hair style, “Sassy” is alright, but not quite as good as “Nape”.

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