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So I attended my first raid in …. Awhile

5 Nov

It’s funny how you think you know what you want to do in-game.  For me raiding has always been this mysterious thing that everyone (bloggers, my coworkers) seems to be doing, but I can’t for one reason or another, like an erratic schedule, lack of full T10 and Kingslayer title, you know, the small stuff. 

This mentality of having to be amazing as a DPS to get into pug raids was a prime issue with me rolling a healer (Nycterenne).  It seemed that all these raids were getting hung up on two things, tanks and healers.  Now from talking to a coworker of mine who had recently started healing, he turned me on to healbot (Great addon), and said that healing with this is dead easy.  I installed the addon, and jumped into the queue for Scarlet Monastery (I know I was in the 30s as the time, but it was a long time ago), and got a group almost instantly.  Suffice to say, healing hooked me, and shows no signs of letting go.

I healed my way up to 80 using the dungeon finder.  Some days this seemed to be a better plan than others.  Fortunately, for the last few levels, I’ve been lucky enough to avoid all the idiot queue-jumpers out there who have no intention to tank, but will queue as one because of the instant queues.

Now that I’m 80, I’ve been running heroics, and I’m mildly disappointed that I’ve been able to heal ToC and FoS pretty much right when I hit 80 without too much trouble.  I was expecting healing heroics to be a bit challenging until I geared up.  Maybe this was different in 3.3.X, but posed me no trouble whatsoever in 4.0.1.

One of the things I was looking forward to was getting into a few PuG raids to see if raiding is something I want to do.  On my DPS characters, I saw PuGs trolling for healers for what seemed like forever.  Unfortunately, since we are so close to Cataclysm, PuG raiding seems to have disappeared on my server. 

The other day, I was lucky enough to get into a 10-man weekly pug who was going after Marrowgar.  Unsurprisingly, we spent a lot of time waiting around to find some tanks, but we finally got into ICC, and got rolling.  I was amazed at the difference in the raid healing to the heroics I’d done previously.  The adrenaline got flowing, and it was exciting, but it was so chaotic, I’m not sure how well I actually did.  I came close to running out of mana, but I kept myself and the tanks (my assignment) alive, so I guess it was a success.

I was amazed that I ran out of mana as fast as I did.  Since I’ve hit 80, it seems like I don’t fall below 90% mana for more than a few seconds during heroics, so it was a bit of a shock to see the low mana warning flash up during the Marrowgar fight.

Well, we’ll keep an eye out to see if some stuff comes up to get my feet wet.  I’ll definitely need to do more raids to see if this is for me.  But I can definitely see how this can be fun with your guildies, and not 9 random strangers from Dalaran.

Falross

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Spec Attachment

17 Sep

I just recently changed Nycterenne from a feral off-spec to balance, and it seems to be working out much better.  I’m reminded of the situation where I picked up dual-spec for Ikotar, and specced Survival, and haven’t looked back.  This has me thinking about why I pick certain specs for my characters, and what I might be missing from merely reading about specs vs. trying them out myself.

Ncyterenne I was intending to keep as feral for an off-spec, since with Ikotar and gravesaur, I have range DPS covered.  However, I’m doing abyssmal DPS as a cat.  I’ll defiantely be revisiting the spec when I get to later levels.  It might be a case of not having all the usefull abilites yet, since my gear is decent for the level I’m at (by no means best-in-slot, but not 15 levels behind either).  This will also simplify my gear choices, and allay any guilt I might have at rolling for off-spec pieces that I may outgrow before I have much of a chance to use.  So far, LFD queues are pretty fast, so I don’t have to quest unless I want to.

With Ikotar, until relatively recently I was specced Beast Mastery with no intentions of rolling any other spec.  However, since I read a few blogs and forums, I couldn’t help but wonder if I was missing out by rolling BM.  For quite awhile I resisted what I was reading, happy with Big Red Pet, and Exotic Pets.  Then came the heroics.  I was usually #3 or 4 most runs, and I started to evaluate what I was doing.  Sure I was going to miss Big Red Pet, but I was rolling a wolf or cat, which I could keep if I went SV or MM.  After a bit of research, it became apparent that Survival is the way to go for lesser-geared hunters, and off I went to the trainer to purchase dual-spec (after all, this was only a test, right?).  I was surprised how much I enjoy Survival, and I’m pretty much SV full-time these days, even for questing and farming.  Now that I was doing better DPS, this change of spec has breathed new life into Ikotar.

I have had a really tough time trying to justify dual-spec for Gravesaur, since I’m attached to Demonology, and I shudder at the thought of questing without my Felguard.  This has some interesting parallels with my situation with Ikotar, even though the irrational part of my brain insists it’s different.  I’ll likely go Destruction, since burst and AoE seem to be the ticket for heroics in Wrath.  We’ll see how things shake out for Cataclysm, but I suspect the Felguard will be back for the grind to 85.

Well I gave Destruction a try, and I did more DPS on the target dummy, but it didn’t translate well to instances.  I ran 4-5 instances as destro, and was doing 5-10% less with a more complex rotation.  Maybe the situation changes in the 10- or 25-man raiding environment, but there doesn’t seem to be any benefit to destruction in heroics with my play style. 

I’ll have to test Affliction to see how that pans out.  I’m curious about this one, since I levelled and raided some as Affliction in vanilla WoW, and enjoyed it.

Musings

3 Sep

I’ve noticed that when I hit a milestone or try to decide which of my alts or mains to play, I have a couple good experiences, and then decide this is how it’s going to be going forward.  Then, a short time later, the RNG swings the other way, and I wonder if Fate has it out for me.

In the latest iteration of this, I had decided that I want to push to get my druid up to 80, since insta-queues are the way to go after praying for handouts as an unconnected DPS trolling trade chat and LFD.  Once I hit 58 I made my way to Outlands, and jumped into the queue for random BC dungeons.  Now before this, I found that I was spending up to 15 mins in the queue for old-world dungeons as a healer, and even sometimes getting into groups as DPS.  I was expecting this trend to continue more or less until Northrend.  However, once I was in the BC random queue, I got the window telling me that my group was ready almost instantly.  “Now that’s more like it”  I thought to myself as I zoned into Hellfire Ramparts for the first time in a while (most of my alts haven’t made it to Outlands yet).  I was blessed with a great group, good tank, sensible DPS, and I wasn’t overwhelmed keeping everyone alive.  We breezed through in 15 minutes or so, and ran it again right after.  After that I had to log  off.

I wish I had the schedule that allowed me to keep playing when things are going well, so I don’t feel as though I have to play when things aren’t going well.

Now, after the first few great groups, the pendulum has swung hard the other way.  I can deal with 1 clueless person in a group, but lately, it seems to be 2-3 morons in a group who are either trying to annoy the rest of us, don’t realize what they are doing, or just don’t care.

I strongly suspect this has a lot to do with the fact Death Knights start at 55, and are 58ish by the time they join the rest of us in Azeroth.  Coupled with the fact that they can (at later levels anyways) tank, and that queue times are non-existent for tanks, you get a lot of people queueing as tanks who either don’t intend to tank, or expect to learn as they go in Outlands.  I suspect a lot of these people are just avoiding queues, since from what I’ve read, you don’t get many of your tanking abilities until the mid-60s. 

Then again, I have seen warriors and paladins who queue as a tank, and have no clue what they’re doing.  Maybe it’s just queue-jumping.  I’m surprised at how many healers and tanks don’t seem to care about their reputation in-game.  Sure, with LFD you have a much larger pool of people to draw from, so eventually you’ll piss off enough people so you won’t be enjoying that instant queue that probably made you roll a tank or healer in the first place.  Good luck finding a guild at that point as well.

Well, I suppose that’s enough of a rant for now.

Falross