Thursday, July 23, 2009

Q n A

8thDragon, a reader, recently asked me this:

My situation is this: I have a fairly well geared priest, but my 2v2 partner is a ret pally that has trouble tracking debuffs and using freedom / cleanse on me. This results in lots of CC chains that leave one of us dead. I tried 3's with him and an enhance shaman, only to get frustrated by how
easy it is to get tunneled to death by 2 melee on the other team.

So I started leveling a druid myself. She's up to 72, and I'm starting to question my decision. It seems to me that a druid is better able to self-sustain in 2's and 3's, but giving up on my 5/5 deadly priest (with all the furious off pieces) makes me want to start breaking keyboards.

What do you think? Find a rogue (or a mage, or both) and profit?


8thDragon, my initial gut response here is that the problem is two fold, as these kinds of issues are often unable to exist with some mistakes on both sides. Let's address each of the scenarios and point out some things that you and your partner(s) can adjust to make playing your Priest more enjoyable.

2v2: Ret/Priest. Before going into what your Ret buddy is doing, ensure that if you're playing a comp that's trying to kill your Paladin before you, utilize LOS as much as possible while trying to get your Psychic Screams off whenever you can.

Ret Paladins are quite mana sensitive if they spam Cleanse and so they need to pick and choose when to use their GCD's to cleanse you to stop a cc chain or when to play defensive. Recognize, first, that Cleanses weakness is that it can affect three different types of debuffs: Magic, Poison, and Disease, and that it only removes one application per Cleanse. That acknowledged, there are two scenarios in which Cleanse could benefit: If the CC effect is protected by alot of magic/poison/disease debuffs or if the cc is not protected by many debuffs.

The first situation comes when you are playing against Warlocks, Ret Paladins, good Frost Mages, Unholy Deathknights, or Mutilate Rogues who like to sit on you. As these classes can easily and quickly apply debuffs, it may not be worth the GCD's, mana, and time for your Ret Pally teammate to cleanse as their likelihood of hitting that cc debuff is quite low. In such cases, if it looks like your partner is going to die while your trinket is down and you're getting chain cc'd, your partner needs to play defensively to try to interrupt the cc chain with Hammer/Repent and/or your partner needs to learn how to get out of LOS of the opponents so that he can pick up a heal once you get out of the cc chain. It's cruicial for DPS to avoid the tunnel vision syndrome in order to recognize when they need to gtfo.

The other situation comes about when you're playing against Priests, Survival Hunters, Frost DK's, who are not paired with one of the classes from the first group. In this case, the likelihood of snagging the CC on the first or second Cleanse is very high and as such, should be a priority for your Ret Pally buddy to remove. I highly advocate creating separate macros that auto-target teammates for both yourself and your buddy for dispel purposes. A simple /cast [mod:shift,target=partnernamehere]Cleanse;Cleanse macro is a great way to quickly dispel your partner without having to manually target them.

Additionally, I would recommend practicing calling out every cc that you get hit with or specifically asking for a Cleanse. Optimally, your partner should be dispelling the moment he sees the cc land on you, but that can be difficult to see unless he a) uses a mod to tell him when you're cc'd or b) is expecting it. It seems as though he isn't expecting it, so I would recommend having him configure a mod or two to help him keep track of things. This is especially cruicial for Hand of Freedom as it can save you from many a Kidney Shot or Hammer of Justice.

In 3's, tunnelvisioning melee cleave teams are currently plaguing many battlegroups. The weakness of 2 hybrid melee teammates is that you have neither a Mortal Strike effect or multiple chainable cc's. However, you should have superior mobility with both Earthbind Totem and Hand of Freedom to help you remove snares so that you can escape. Your Shaman should Frostshock to help peel stuff off you and your Paladin should force defensive play through swaps. Force your teammates to save their Freedom effects for you as you will need them for every Rogue, Warrior, or DK that likes to sit on your face and take a big steaming ... yeah you get the picture.

With respect to your DPS teammates, since their damage is healable, they need to prePurge their swap targets and swap quickly and often. Repentence, Hex, and Psychic Scream can be and should be chained as much as possible, and depending on opposing healer, can be either used offensively or defensively (Tree's can't be Repented or Hexed). If your swap target is a healer, dump your cc's into their main peeler. If your swap target is a DPS, dump your cc's into the healer and try to pull out a Trinket. If you can get that healer to pop his trinket, either immediately swap to him and cc the DPS or play super defensively and wait until the cc chains comes back up and do it all over again.

What about the Druid? Well, if you have spare time, level her up. Druids have a very, very, very different game play from Priests and with the right classes can be a super easy faceroll to whatever rating. However, some people prefer the offensive power of a Priest and the safety of defensive dispels. Go with what feels right to you. I will say that both classes are incredibly fun when played correctly, so either way, you can't go wrong there.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Another Milestone

A funny thing happened on my way in today... somehow, we hit 100 posts.

...and while every writer wants their milestone posts to be insightful, funny, helpful and memorable, I've got nothing.

It feels like doing stand up comedy without a prepared set of jokes...

But, in an effort to keep our posts marginally weekly and to break through the drought of posts due to wanting to create an uber 100th post, today I'm going to touch upon where I'm at in the game, some reflections of the current season and my future prospectives.

My Priest and Druid are both well geared, fun to play and primarily specced for healing. My Priest has predominantly been involved in the 5v5 bracket and sporadically through the smaller brackets. The Druid has been mostly just been playing 2v2 with my Warlock buddy. In previous seasons, breaking 2k was a milestone, but this season, it hasn't felt quite the same. I can't put my finger on it, but I believe that part of it has to do with the new rating system. I don't particularly like it when new teams are created and have nothing to lose, because they don't have any real rating. Since they have no real rating, all it takes is for a lucky streak of wins to ramp their MMR up to the point so that when they do fight me, I have a huge risk of losing alot of points if I disconnect or make a bad call, to their zero risk (real rating <>

With regards to my future PvPing through WoW, I'm really looking forward to competitive Battlegrounds. Hopefully, Blizzard will make good on their plans and not take forever to make them a reality. The new Battleground should be a good time and it seems reasonably complicated. However, I hope there are no aspects of it that make a mockery of mentally challenged players like the Flag does in EoTS... I swear that flag is the biggest noob magnet in the game.

Looking at my Priest, I don't think I'm that great of Disc Priest yet, as playing the Priest class to it's utmost potential has been a difficult learning curve. I am slowly picking up Shadow gear as my hope is to play a little bit of DPS with the next patch. Healing all the time can get pretty old and since I've completely cut out raiding from my schedule, another distraction will likely be a positive experience. I'll still heal with both classes with 3.2 and Season 7, but I need to mix things up a little bit. Blizzard, please give Triple Specs. Dual Specs just isn't enough!

As for my Druid, it will always be Resto. I'm not a fan of Feral, although I do swap to kitty to complete dailies quickly and Boomkin largely escapes me as it has very few tricks beyond Cyclone and Typhoon. I'm hoping to find a strong 3v3 and 5v5 team next season that can use the strength of my Druid. We'll see if that comes about.

I do have some alts on their way up: a 76 Mage (will probably go Fire PvP) and a level 50 Shaman (will probably go Resto). Recruit a Friend is an amazing tool if you want quick alts. Definitely worth it if you have a few extra bucks and a few less hours to level.

Last point: It looks like the
Egotistical Priest is closing their doors and with that, another blogger is leaving my 'Blogroll'. Sad times, but moving on is a part of life. Hope they find enjoyment wherever they go.

Well, that's it, folks! Thank's for sticking with me for 100 posts and cross your fingers for a few more (and Pandaren in the Expansion!).