Monday, April 26, 2010

Druid changes, and, the boy's makin' daddy proud.

Oops, it's been two weeks since my last post.  Things have been busy around the homefront (read - kid's baseball) as well as work.

There seems to be a lot of verbiage on the druid blogs about the proposed changes to the ToL with the upcoming Cataclysm release.  I decided to hold back and not comment quite yet until I had time to digest it a little.  I don't completely agree with the detractors of the changes.  Blizzard has realized that the Tree of Life is nothing other than a cosmetic change, as the ToL's abilities are already baked into it's spec.  There are a few benefits when changing into the tree, such as 6% more healing to party members, but by and large the ToL is cosmetic.  I think for me personally, I don't want to be changed out of ToL as it's become part of my personal image for Tunin.  Initially upon looking at what they want to change one begins to feel like the druid is getting nerfed.  No one wants to be nerfed.

My suggestion to Blizzard:  We agree, the ToL as it stands is mostly a cosmetic device.  Please show us how you're not nerfing what resto druid healers can already do, but are extending what we can do with a cooldown.  Please make being taken out of ToL form during "off" cooldown times visually optional.  Distinguishing between the two, ON vs OFF cooldown, could be as simple as having an aura on the tree while his/her cooldown is being used.  Think shadow priests, but different.  This will make these changes more palatable to those of us who have tied our personal images to our trees.

On another note.  The boy is making his daddy proud.  My oldest son has caught the healing bug (quite the oxymoron there).  He's apparently been watching over daddy's shoulder enough that he decided this looked like more fun for his pally.  As such he respecced into a healadin a few weeks ago.  I've already watched as he progressed through his "epiphany" stage that I went through as well.  He's in his low 70's now, so we'll be watching at how he progresses up to 80 with his new toy.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Like it or not, healers do have priorities.  They generally go Me, Tank, Other (read DPS).  Priorities do shift at times, as I've sacrificed myself in the past to give my dyeing heal to a tank or the lone DPS left at the very very end of a boss's life.  But by and large, I'm here to keep my tank alive.  If DPS gets healed then consider it as icing on the cake.  Don't get me wrong though, I don't like having any deaths on my runs.  As a very strong rule of thumb, if I can keep the tank alive we're all gonna make it in some form or fashion.  The issue I'm taking way to long to build up to is when DPS begin asking for heals.

I like pulls begun with everyone completely topped off.  I know within one or two pulls who my top aggro pullers are going to be.  I usually have a HoT ticking away on them as well as my tank.  I can't stand starting a fight with someone's HP not fully topped off.  I can only imagine that most healers have this same mindset.  We all know someone who's happy to run off and start a pull with 75-80% HP, or half their mana.  This drives me nuts, it's an itch I have to scratch.  Which leads me to my next issue.  If you're at less than 25% HP, and you're not taking (many) incoming heals, then there are other current events going on around you.  I promise, you were taken into consideration during this pull long before you realized your health was low and that incoming heals were slow.  I've already made a priority list in my head, quite some time ago as this began to take shape.  Apparently you weren't on the top two (or three) of the list.  Get over it, I'll get back with you as soon as I can.  Seeing "Heal please" go across my chat box just adds one more item of information to process at an already stressed time.  I'm not a vindictive person, but I'd be lying if I said the thought had never crossed my mind to reorder someone's priority from "4" to "5" after such a request.  ;)

I actually had two great examples of this laid out in my head, but decided their specifics would be a moot point.  It does however make me wonder back to when I was playing with my DK as one of the lowly (heh) DPS.  I can't remember if I ever made the cardinal sin of asking for heals or not.  If I did ever do this in the past, then to the healer there that day I say this.  Sorry, I was but a young grasshopper who had not yet learned the way.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Epic Fail Tank.

A couple nights ago I ran across an Epic Fail Tank, but not for the reasons you'd initially think.  Wanting to pick up one more random run Sunday night, my oldest son and I hit the LFG button while teamed up.  We ended up in UK with an average group, but an 80 lvl DK as our tank.  I've run across lvl 80 DKs tanking non-heroic dungeons before.  They usually will own up to wanting to practice a new spec, or just not ready to be in charge of a heroic 5 man yet with their gear, etc.

Our first pull was large.  He went in and basically pulled the whole first set of mobs.  I was able to keep him healed up.  Luckily no one pulled major agro from him though, a few touch up heals here and there for everyone else.  I commented to him, "feeling a little enthusiastic are we?" or something to that effect.  The next couple of groups to drop the fire were no problem.

Then we entered the Dragonflayer Pens.  I'd learned in the past that I can judge how well a tank will do later in the dungeon by how they fight the first dragon to the left as we enter the room.  He didn't turn the dragon around.  A good tank turns the dragons around while fighting them in order to keep his DPS, and me , from taking flame damage from the dragon.  In my experience, a tank that doesn't turn them around either doesn't know he should because he's new, or my new category, he doesn't care.  Single dragon dispatched, we went to the moved on.

We began the next pull of the dragon and his handler.  About 8-10 seconds into the pull another dragon came across my field of view.  Uh oh, someone must have backed into agro range of another group, been there done that.  My initial feeling is 'no problem', this tank can handle the challenge, I'll just keep everyone topped off.  Then I saw the chat window.  The DK dropped two lines:  "Hahahahahaha", and "Have fun dying!"  Then he left the dungeon having run through the room and agro'ing every mob in the Dragonflayer Pen and dragging them to us.  Obviously, we wiped shortly thereafter.

Thinking back this had to have been his plan all along.  No big investment to him as we were no more than 5 minutes into the dungeon.  He was out to have some fun creating a major wipe and leaving with us helpless.  I'm not the vindictive sort so I don't think I'm gonna drop his name.  But it is written down.  As he's on another server I'll probably never run across him again.  Should I though, I have a special tanking death planned for him.  ;)

Anyone else ever have problems with a tank intentionally taking a group in to die?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Cooking got a little easier

Just got Tunin up to 450 cooking skill.  It took Tuninn (the DK) much more work to do the same thing.  Before patch 3.3.3 one had to buy recipes from the vendor for 3 Dalaran Cooking Awards, to get up to lvl 425.  One then had to finish out with either Gigantic Feasts or Small Feasts until one got all the way up to 450.

Since the 3.3.3 patch, I was able to buy Firecracker Salmon for 3 Dalaran Cooking Awards (as usual) and go all the way up to 450.  So what's happened is that it seems Blizzard has changed the cooking recipes so that they stay yellow all the way up to 450, instead of greying at 425.

I'm guessing they're trying to help people get to a cooking lvl of 450 prior to Cataclysm coming out.  That way they can lvl cooking there to whatever the new upper level SuperGrandMaster Chef is.