Friday, October 17, 2008

Moving! Shadow Priest: 3 hours /played at 70

We've moved! Well.. my characters have, at least. As of this morning, both of my active 70s are now on Kel'Thuzad. Archimonde wasn't a bad server at all, but the PvP population was pretty tiny and I missed the sheer amount of activity that one gets with a larger server, a la my first PvP server: Mannoroth. I haven't decided on the new names, as I always create a lvl 1 char with the to-be-transferred character's name on the new server to give myself the opportunity to rename if needed, but I'll update the links to the right once I do make that decision. I'll probably stick to Moochu (Druid) and Ruckuz (Priest). Point of note: Ruckuz was my Mage's name, hence the blog title.

I (and my friends who also transferred over) are now actively looking for a guild that is planning on completing 10 man content, some 25 man content, and doesn't mind PvPers clogging up their ranks. If anyone has any recommendations, please feel free to comment!


About a week ago, I hit 70 on my Priest, marking it as my 5th 70. For those keeping track, that's (in order): Rogue, Warrior(first to 60), Druid, Mage, Priest. If I could multibox, I'd have a pretty solid 5v5 team. Of course that'd be on paper; multi tasking on one character is bad enough.

With the arrival of the big seven-oh, there was much splurging on following purchases (all craftable items crafted):
  • Epic Flying Mount + Skill
  • Bringer of Death (LOL): +40 spellpower enchant
  • Rep Satin Helm: Powerful Earthstorm Diamond, Runed Living Ruby
  • Rep Satin Chest: +15 Resilience Chest, 3x Runed Living Ruby
  • Frozen Shadowweave Shoulders: Honored Scryer Enchant, 2x Runed Living Ruby
  • Frozen Shadowweave Boots: Boar's Speed, Runed Living Ruby, Steady Talasite
  • Battlecast Pants: Runic Spellthread
  • Unyielding Girdle: Steady Talasite, Solid Star
  • Bracers of Nimble Thought: +15 Spellpower
  • Level 69 Cloak of the Sorcerer: +20 Spell Penetration
  • Scryer Rep Items for Scryer's Bloodgem
  • Medallion of the Horde with +20 Resilience
Total cost? ~9k gold. Might as well spend it before inflation sets in, right?

So, with some ridiculously bad gear,~9k health buffed, ~130 Resilience and 675 Spellpower, we headed to the Arenas.

Oh, and lest I forget to mention, in the mad rush to buy buy buy, I neglected to train my level 70 spells. So, that means no Mass Dispel, no Prayer of Mending, no blah blah blah... Pro, right?

I can't say that going 8-3 in the 1500 2v2 bracket justifies me as amazing, because lets face it, I'm not. BUT, it's the 1500s, and the fact that we were beating full S2/S3 players and winning games we shouldn't have won (hai Lock/Dru, wtf were you doing?) says something: my near full brutal rogue buddy shouldn't be in the 1500s. There's something hilarious about Shadow Word: Death'ing someone for pitiful amounts of damage only to realize that you just broke a sheep doing so, or realizing that you have Shadowfiend while you're drinking behind a pillar. Again, very very Pro.

The theory behind acquiring this gear as opposed to running instances to obtain rep to buy the entire rep satin set and getting the Unyielding set to max out resilience/stam, is that while the rep satin set does have survivability, it has next to no spellpower. While I could have possibly tanked that full S3 rogue for a few seconds longer with some more resilience, sub 500 spellpower is largely a joke. At least with a couple hundred spellpower more, my attacks would actually be reasonably threatening.

Did it work?

Well, our sample size of games (11) is relatively meager, but my damage definitely helped my teammate nuke down one target, even if I was slated to die shortly before/after. Since he outgears pretty much anyone we're fighting, a 1v1 situation usually turned out in our favor, especially if I was able to get a dot on the second target after blind was used. As such, I definitely think it was the right thing to do. BG's is a similar story. With the crazy damage being spread about now, any clothie's life expectancy is zilch and putting out some dots to help swing a battle is about the only good I can do. My next goal, as I slowly acquire Honor and Arena points (to help with leveling), is to give Disc healing a shot and to do a write up on deep Resto impressions in BG's in the arena. More to come!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

3.Whoa! Burst and Druids

We've been spending the last couple of days catching up on the overflowing RSS feeder (caused in part by a very relaxing long weekend) trying to glean some insight as to the current viability in 3.0.

Or, as i like to call it: 3.Whoa!

Since talk about 'teh PvPz' here, and hopefully people reading this are keeping up with PvP news, I'm sure that everyone has heard that burst damage is out of control. And it is. It is honest to God, flat out, way the hell out of control.

With the advent of the OMGadins and the Cya-Muti-laters, self preservation tactics have never been more important. The reason for this is requirement is that any two melee, especially if it includes any of the two aforementioned, can nuke me in the span of a full Kidney Shot or a Hammer of Justice. In fact, a high end PvE geared Mutilate Rogue 100-0'd me while my trinket and Barkskin were down. Thankfully I caught the EOTS rez timer as it was ticking out and came back for round 2. Sadly, the second verse was same as the first. Amusingly, the only clean escape that I managed to eek out last night was in an AB, getting gang banged by a Warrior and a Ret Paladin, when my Warrior buddy managed to successfully peel both melee off of me and even so, I was at 30% with the MS debuff, Barkskin up and at least Lifebloom and an NS'd Regrowth ticking.

Wait, Natures Swiftness'd Regrowth? Why not Healing Touch?

Glyph of Healing Touch: Decreases the cast time of Healing Touch by 1.5 sec., the mana cost by 25%, and the amount healed by 50%.

With the appropriate Resto Talent (Naturalist) and the Glyph, Healing Touch can be brought down to a 1 second cast time for around a 2k heal with around 1k spellpower for around 460 or so mana. Ok, big deal, right? Well, actually it's a pretty big deal, especially for a level 70 Restokin; lack of Swiftmend. See, one of the biggest problems with RestoDruid PvP is that if you are ever put in to a bad position where hots won't be enough to save someone, especially with the much more expensive Lifebloom, the only other option is to expose your nature tree. This is usually to the tune of a) 1.5 seconds for a Cyclone, which means you have to get close, hope it isnt resisted and hope their trinket is down or b) 1.8 seconds for a Regrowth. Notably, both options open up the Nature school to lockout. Of course, not getting into this kind of situation would be best, but, in such cases, it's infinitely easier to pump out a quick 1 second Healing Touch while avoiding interrupts. Even with Pummel/Kick off GCD, its very difficult to stop such a fast cast when latency is taken into consideration. You may not even have to juke the cast! If you have Nature's Grace proc'd, that's a half second cast time.

I can't say whether or not it's going to be viable or even mana efficient in the long run for the arena, but, it's incredibly fun in BG's to have a cast time that short. The one thing it does do poorly is it removed the viability of NS Healing Touch. Gone are the days of a clutch crit NS Healing Touch for 9k. However, little forward thinking will be able to mitigate a significant portion of the incoming burst.

All said and done, last night's BG experience was quite fun as both Boomkin (58/0/3) and as Restokin (31/0/30). I have yet to try a full resto tree build synergizing Living Seed and Imp Regrowth, but I'll be honest, it doesn't really have the allure (or disruption/escape) exhibited by the old 8/11/42 build. Without the WotLK spirit itemization or Dreamstate, I just don't know how long a deep resto Druid with PvP gear will be able to go without going oom fighting the burst.