Archive for the ‘ICC’ Category

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Restoration Druid 4T10 bonus

03/15/2010

This was a topic brought up while discussing Trauma last week, so I thought it would do good to really delve into it for you Trees out there.  The choice here is less dependent on fight mechanics than the healadin 4T10 bonus, but is very much dependent on 10-man vs. 25- man.

– For 25-mans… –

The bonus was very much created for the 25-man raiding Tree and it is so incredibly powerful.  I remember well the hub-bub when the changes to GotEM went through and we all started to cry over the loss of that beautiful 4T9 bonus, but this bonus is almost better for the raid healing Tree then that one.  Having your Rejuvs spawning new ones on people near by makes all that “blanketing” you do that much more effective, especially as the bonus favors jumping to those who don’t have a Rejuv up on them yet.  Think of it this way: while you do your 5x Rejuv 1xWG spamming, your HoTs are jumping of their own accord to new people without you having to do a darn thing.  Considering that a single Tree can only logically cover about half a 25-man raid, the likelihood of the proc being wasted because everyone already has a Rejuv on them is very low.

Probably the main issue with picking up the 4T10 bonus is that Blizzard felt the need to put very little haste on any of the Tree tier.  It was a very disappointing choice on their part, as crit is almost totally wasted on a raid healing druid.  That does not mean that it is impossible to reach the haste soft cap while getting the 4T10 bonus.  The 25-man raider is helped by having both a Wrath of Air totem and either a Ret paladin or moonkin in their raid, as well, which can’t be assumed for 10-mans.  With careful gemming and choices of off-set gear, reaching the haste soft cap even with tier (and Trauma!) is certainly not difficult.

Do you really need to be haste soft capped?  If you’re looking to use the 4T10 bonus and raid heal, absolutely.  The key to getting the most of the proc is to have as many Rejuvs on the raid at one time as you can.  That means that a 1 second GCD is a must.  Speccing into Celestial Focus/Revitalize is another must.  (Not taking Celestial Focus as a raid healing Tree is like shooting yourself in the foot.  Not taking Revitalize is like shooting the rest of your raid in the foot.)  As much as it will pain you, gemming into that last bit of haste that you’ll need is a must, too.  Those Rejuvs bouncing around your raid will make it all worth it, I promise.

There really is nothing like a Tree using 4T10, Trauma and Althor’s Abacus.  Here is my best-in-slot list for 25-mans, maximized for that raid healing experience.

– For 10-mans… –

This is a bit more convoluted than it is with 25-mans.  A few of the issues that crop up with this decision is that there is easily attainable ilevel 264 gear, while the only tier available to the 10-man raider is ilevel 251.  We all know that spellpower is a major factor for druids, so that’s quite a difference.  Added to the above mentioned issue with the terrible itemization of the tier and you’re looking at a serious throughput loss in taking any of the tier pieces.  Another real strike against the bonus is that you only have 10 people to cover in these raids, making it far more likely that you’ll simply have almost everyone covered with a Rejuv already.

Interesting to me is the fact that many people claim haste is less useful in 10-mans, which is exactly the opposite of the way things.  A druid doesn’t have 4 other healers to cover the spike damage; being able to whip off those fast Nourishes and get back to rolling your HoTs is a must.  Haste is a guaranteed throughput boost on every spell you will be casting (up to the 1 second GCD, of course).  Your other choice on gear is crit, which only effects specific spells and is -not- guaranteed.  Also add in the fact that you aren’t certain to have a shaman or Ret. paladin/moonkin in your raids with you and haste from your gear/spec becomes ever more important.  The simple fact is that up until haste soft cap, haste gives a Tree more throughput point-for-point than even spellpower.

So, really, for 10-mans I highly recommend not going for the 4T10 bonus.  Heck, even the 2T10 bonus is completely underwhelming for 10-mans when you look at how much you lose.

Here is my best-in-slot list that I made for my own “strict 10-mans” druid.  You’ll notice that I gemmed very heavily for haste.  This is due to the fact that we almost never have the correct raid buffs.

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Trauma – Who should get it and how to use it

03/09/2010

I know, I promised this long ago, but it’s hard to slog through WoLs to find all the recent numbers.  Just be glad that Blizzard fixed the proc on Trauma or else this post would have been very short.  (“Don’t use it.”)  I’m going to go class by class, as it’s just easier to discuss that way.  The proc, by the way, is called Fountain of Light if you’re looking for it on your own parses.

– And now it’s time for a breakdown –

Druids:  You want to pick this mace up, you really do.  Trees are absolutely the best class to use this mace, especially as you only lose -one- throughput stat (haste) in taking it, where the other healers lose two  (crit and haste).  It will proc off of HoT ticks, so being haste soft capped with the proper casting rotation is key to really having this bad boy shine.  On fights without aura damage or where the raid is spread out very far, you’ll still see at least  4% of your total healing from the proc.  On aura fights, you’ll see that number jump to about 10%.  To really maximize Trauma, make sure that you’re using the 4T10 bonus and pick up a Glyph of Rapid Rejuv.  You’ll see the usefulness of the proc jump a full 2% that way.

Shaman:  I’ve been hearing that this mace is considered best-in-slot, despite being behind in HEP.  From what I’ve seen, it can be a very good mace depending on the fight and on the healing assignment.  Generally, any fight with constant raid damage where you can roll CH through groups of people is a good time to use it.  At those times, you’re likely to see the proc sitting at about 6-8% of your healing, which is a decent chunk.  However, if you’re not in those optimal circumstances, you will see a big hit in Trauma’s usefulness.  Lucky for you, most of the hard fights can utilize the proc, if your healing lead does assignments correctly.  Have a chat with her/him to make sure they’re up to speed.  I’d suggest also having a crit/haste weapon in your bags as well, for those times when chain casting CH on clumps of the raid isn’t feasible.  If you’re really looking to maximize your Trauma, make sure you’re using 4T10 and casting Riptide every cooldown (but not “eating” it with a CH).

Holy priests:  There are two varieties of this spec and one is very much better than the other at using Trauma.  Holy priests using Emp. Renew are going to see some decent usage of this proc, especially if they are making sure to use CoH on cooldown on the melee or a similarly bunched up group.  Remember to keep PoM on cooldown, too.  Generally, a Renew using Holy priest will see about 5% of their healing from the proc under the best conditions, falling to about 3% on non-aura fights.  Like shaman, proper assignments are necessary to really get the most out of the proc.  A FoL specced Holy priest will not see -nearly- the numbers here.  You might be able to squeeze some more out of it if you glyph PoH, but in general you’ll only be seeing about 1-2% of your healing from the proc.

Disc priests:  You poor, unloved souls.  This weapon is really bad for you since you use no HoTs and it doesn’t proc off glyphed PW:S.  The parses I’ve seen have shown most of them with less than 1% of total healing from the proc!  You do have the added bonus that the only true throughput stat for you is spellpower, so if you end up getting it for just a spellpower mace, make sure to keep PoM on cooldown at all times.  If you get the chance to use Divine Hymn once in a while, that’ll help you out, too.  (To clarify, the loss of crit/haste/regen for a Disc priest is extremely minor if there’s a decent spellpower upgrade to be had.  PW:S scales horribly with anything but spellpower.)

Healadins:  The lack of throughput stats on this is a major issue for you with the added bonus that you need very careful healing usage to get anything out of the proc.  Fights with aura damage are a must.  You’ll have to be casting Holy Lights (it procs off the glyph) where all of your splash will hit the melee.  This means either all the melee is grouped up on the tank (ie. Festergut), one tank is standing close to the melee (ie. BQL) or you’re just pure spamming the melee itself (ie. Sindragosa).  Keeping the FoL HoT up on the tank is generally not going to help maximize Trauma, as forgoing any HL spam is just going to decrease its effectiveness.  Even under those circumstances, you’re likely to see no more than 5% of your healing from the proc.  Healadins with FoL builds should pretty much avoid the weapon altogether, as they’re likely to only see 1% of their healing from the proc, if that.

– So who gets the thing? –

Hands down, druids should get it first as it is best-in-slot without question.  After that, shaman should pick it up, followed by Holy priests.  After that, I’d most likely give the thing to Disc priests, since spellpower is such a big deal to them and the loss of crit/haste/MP5 on a healadin’s weapon is going to be a bigger loss for them than for just about any other healer.  It should be noted that the only healers who should be using Trauma on all fights are druids and possible Holy priests, if they are given proper healing assignments.  A note that all these numbers are from 25-man raids.  10-man raids will show a marked drop in the usefulness of the proc, due to fewer people to proc on.

I should probably put this in bold, but…  Do not replace Val’anyr with Trauma!  You shouldn’t be replacing the legendary with -anything- at this point, in fact.  The proc on it scales with healing, so even if the stats on the mace seem to be lacking, you’ll still be getting 10% or more of your healing from it.  And that’s effective healing, as the bubbles that aren’t used aren’t counted in the log.  Heck, I have seen fights where my #1 heal was the proc.  (No lie!)  If you are not happy with the amount of Val’anyr procs you are getting, you should examine your healing style first and foremost.

The final thing to keep in mind if you’re using any proccing item:  The real key is to cast as much as possible.  Cheers!

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Holy Paladin 4T10 bonus

03/07/2010

While trying to slog through Trauma data, I got sidetracked by this little conversation.  I thought I’d touch on it for all those not wanting to slog through it themselves.  I promise to try not to preach or harp.

– Some assumptions –

I’m working with the ilevel 264 tier for this.  This is partly because I doubt the vast majority of raiders will ever get four of the hardmode tokens and partly because anyone with the ability to get those four tokens probably have their own strong opinions on the matter.  Also, I’m assuming that the four pieces of tier that would be used would be shoulders, helm, chest and legs.  Two of these pieces (shoulders and helm) are considered best-in-slot for their ilevel, so those are a safe assumption.  I chose to keep the gloves as the off-set piece because you lose less haste that way, assuming you have the best-in-slot option.  (Unclean Surgical Gloves)

All of this theorycrafting is assuming a Holy Light build with appropriate stat weighting towards that.  I have absolutely no idea what this set bonus would be like for Flash of Light builds.  All numbers given will be with the assumption that the 676 haste rating soft cap has been obtained.

– What you lose, what you gain –

Let’s first take a look at the difference in basic stats before delving into quantifying the bonus.  Please remember the above assumptions.

With 4T10, you lose: 2 sockets (40 INT [~30MP5 from INT]), 108 haste
With 4T10, you gain: 32 crit, 46 MP5, 18 SP, tier bonus

As you can see, regen wise it is a net gain to go to the tier.  It is in the huge amount of haste loss that the tier is really hurting.  It is up to the set bonus to determine if this incredible loss of throughput is worth it.  (source)

The proc translates to 265 haste rating for the first Holy Light after a Holy Shock.  This means that if you have to use a Holy Shock to keep the tank alive while moving out of a fire:
1.064s HL cast after the HS with 4T10
1.202s HL cast after the HS without

That is a substantial difference.  However, the fight now continues and you are able to stand still to cast again.  The next HLs look like this:
1.252s HL cast with 4T10
1.202s HL cast without

So, during heavy movement fights where you find yourself having to move once every 6 seconds (when Holy Shock comes off cooldown), you only lose .038 seconds of cast time per HS+HLx3 rotation.  This means that during fights where you find yourself needing to use Holy Shock often to keep up the tank, the situational proc could be handy for you.

There are a few strikes against the tier, though, mostly in the fact that no fight will ever truly require the bonus to be used to it’s maximum amount.  Even movement heavy fights like Sindragosa P3 never require the use of a Holy Shock on cooldown and usually require heavy tank healing.  What this means is that the gain of haste once every 20 seconds when you move doesn’t make up for the loss of throughput during the rest of the phase.  Add to this the likelihood of proccing an instant FoL from Infusion of Light (Divine Favor added to the Holy Shock macro is an old, old trick) and the number of times the tier bonus becomes useful drops.

– To use it or not to use it –

It is an interesting bonus, to say the least.  My overall feeling is that the situational nature of it doesn’t make up for the overall throughput loss; when gearing correctly for difficult content, the actual difference in that first cast of Holy Light is small.  Add in the factor of a high rate of IoL procs and it just seems even less useful.  In any fight where you aren’t moving constantly, it is just a large net loss.  If my raiding group ever finds itself far overstocked with the tokens and I find myself with hundreds of spare Emblems of Frost, I would most likely freeroll on the two pieces I would need, just to have it around for Sindy if I feel like I want it during hardmodes.  It is certainly not something I would spend DKP on or take over someone who needs their set pieces.

As a sidenote, casting Holy Shock when it isn’t needed, even with the tier bonus, is a net HPS and HPM loss.  So standing in one place and doing it just to use it?  A really bad idea.

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Everyone else is saying it, I might as well get on the boat.

03/03/2010

The ICC buff is just too soon!  I have no problems with the concept and I think it’s actually the best of the ideas Blizzard has come up with to help less skilled guilds see content.  It’s just way -too soon- for it!  There were servers without Arthas-25 kills still, for goodness sake.

Does it really make me a raiding snob to think that they should have pushed the freaking nerf back a couple more weeks?

This is the last true raid of the expansion.  It will have to last us months while we wait for the next one.  -Why- is Blizzard trying to rush people through it?  This is especially true of those guilds who aren’t able to down hardmode content!  They’ve been wiping on Sindy for two weeks and that’s too much or something?

An added annoyance is that we’re going to have to take trials to non-ICC raids now.  Being in ICC is just going to inflate their numbers and make people look more skilled than they are…  Well, which I guess is the point of the nerf.

…do you really think any group who min/maxes their play is -not- going to take the buff?  You really think that any progression group is going to do that, just to watch lesser skilled groups get achievements and loot?  Achievements should really be only obtainable without the buff, but that would make people angry, so Blizzard would never do it.  People who yell “click it off!” are the same ones who yelled “that’s what hardmodes are for!” when people complained about ToC being too easy.  It makes me insane.

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ICC-25 Plague Works – More impressions

01/11/2010

This weekend, we finally stepped into the 25-man version of this wing.  I fully expected to for us to get our butts handed to us repeatedly by each of the bosses.  I was… well, disappointed.

– Rotface was pretty much exactly like on 10-man, which means that so long as people don’t stand around like fools, you should be able to beat it easily.  It is very similar to Saurfang in that all you need to do is know when to -move- and you’re golden.  Using Heroism at 30% or so made burning him that last bit so much easier.  We downed him on try #4, although we should have gotten it in three, but what can you do.  Next week, it’ll probably take two tries, just because people have short memories.  But overall?  Extremely easy.  Oh and we had a slight issue with our Cleanser having an itchy trigger finger, which amused me.  Really, don’t cleanse the debuff right in melee, give the person a second or two.  I like a “Flash of Light then Cleanse then Holy Shock” rotation on the person as they run away.  But yes.  Easy.

– Festergut was supposed to be this incredibly hard fight, but… it really wasn’t.  We even used 6 healers, while most people seem to use 7.  We did one attempt with 5 healers, but that failed because the healer we had DPS was our Inspiration giver and the damage reduction buff is a -must.-  Next week I’ll rearrange and try with 5 again.  We had some people with way too low of DPS (don’t all 25-man groups?), but our top people worked hard to make up for them.  The one thing I did like about it is that I had to use all my tricks and ended the fight with about one Holy Light left of mana.  Mmm, heavy healing is yum.  It helped, I think, that we’re so heavy on melee DPS.  We actually had to have both our Trees out with the ranged DPS to keep up at 8 people in range.  We downed this guy on try #4, too.  One of the wipes was due to lack of Inspiration on the tank and her getting two shot (Blizzard lies!) and another was due to the tank getting a spore at the same time I did.  Boy, did -that- suck.  You do not want one of your tank healers having to -run- during a fight like that.  Geez.  But yes, surprisingly easy.

– Prof. Put we didn’t get to see much of, as we only had time to use five of our attempts. Sigh.  (Why can’t we stay longer?!  Booo…..)  But he was pretty difficult.  We’re trying a new strategy next week, which will hopefully help a bit.  Unlike Festergut, being melee heavy on this fight is bad, bad, bad.  Well, it -should- be.  Somehow our Unholy DK was still out DPSing all the ranged…  One thing I liked is that for the green ooze, we had all the healers stand on top of the targeted person to help absorb the damage.  When it was split between the healers and the melee (since they were chasing the slime), we could eat two explosions in a row before massive death.  Trees are super awesome on this fight, too, I should note!  All that running and damage to multiple people!  I’m tempted to see how a Disc priest would fare, as being able to bubble spam while running around might be very awesome.  Our first wipe was caused by the Itchy Trigger Finger cleansing the buff from our abomination person, too, which again amused me.  He’s too used to PvP!  I will say, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him screw up like that before, so it induced giggles and “hearts” in me more than anything.  The rest of the wipes were due to, you know, the fight sucking.  Those bouncing slimes are my -bane.-  I have no depth perception, so I end up running around, unsure if they’re coming to me.  And then I get hit anyway…

– Trash is even more hilariously easy, but fun!  The two “mini-bosses” were an utter joke, but hey.  Rep!  I actually got the chance to tank a couple of our copies, which made me laugh so hard.  I love getting to shockadin!

Overall, we’re in a four-way tie for getting the two guys down on my server, although it looks like another Horde guild might be getting their second kill tonight, which would make it a five-way tie.  We’re also one of only two groups who got both guys down on a single night and in so few tries.  So yay, easy content?  The Prof. will be biting it soon, I’m hoping, either next week or the one after.  I’m still disappointed on how easy the bosses have been so far.  It reminds me of post-3.0 TBC raiding in Black Temple.  Siiiiiiiiiigh.

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Initial Impressions – ICC-10 Plague Works

01/09/2010

Last night, we took two groups of main through ICC-10 for badges, rep, and to prepare for tonight’s 25-man.  (The last of the three is most important to me!)  We’ll be taking our “real” 10-man group through tonight or tomorrow it sounds like, which should be a much harder run, but I’m looking forward to it.

–  Exploding trash?  LOVE IT.

–  Getting to chase the flying trash as a healadin to range Judge it down?  LOVE IT.

–  Getting to kill versions of my friends (and myself) for the trash?  LOVE IT.

–  Rotface was actually a challenge to us, especially once that 30% soft enrage hits and things just get crazier than crazy.  The melee range on the big slimes is insane, though.  Our kiter would get hit by the things while he was way away.  We also had issues with people standing in the spray, but once we got used to the mechanics, it got better.  I can see this one still being a bit of a challenge in a few weeks, which is glorious.  Anything that gives a lasting challenge is always a plus.

–  Festergut is a “gear check” of sorts, although I tend to label it more as a “DPS and HPS check.”  (A friend of mine does 6k DPS easy in ilevel 213-226s on his Ret paladin, so I always hesitate to call -anything- a true “gear check.”)  It was… well, really easy for -me- at least.  I got to stand in melee and just bomb the heck out of everyone.  At the end, the tanks were taking incredibly massive spikes, so I’m looking forward to it tonight on 25-man.  (Didn’t Blizzard say they were trying to get away from that now?)  I was working my Holy Light spam like it was going out of style, but overall this was a really easy fight.  We only wiped once to it and that was due to failure of spreading out the spores correctly.  Really boring.  This is going to be my new “Patchwerk nap” on 10-man.

– Professor Putricide we didn’t have much time for, so we only gave him a couple of tries.  Being melee DPS heavy on this one really screws you up, as they’ll spend so much time running after the slimes.  We also had people who liked to stand in the middle of the room so they didn’t have to run around, which I can’t blame them for.  Man, do I hate having to heal on the run…  I suffered from Flask Dodging Fail, which I have to work on.  Overall, it seems to be an execution fight.  Having limited tries for an execution fight is a very interesting concept!  It might actually take us a couple of weeks to -down- the guy, which I adore!  His voice is funny, but I don’t get the chance to listen to him as much as during Rotface, too much running.  The person tethered to the orange slime takes quite a bit of damage, so running with a strong “pitch hitter” on your healing team is a must.

–  I really recommend bringing three healers until you’re familiar with these fights, even if you out gear the content.  And work on those reflexes!

–  Am I happy with the new wing?  More-so than I was with the first ICC bosses.  Having two execution fights of that type, especially one with limited tries, really helps give some challenge.  Also, Frogger 2.0 is cool looking (I found it easier than Frogger 1.0 since it’s easier to time) and the main big room thing looks awesome.  The side rooms with Rotface and Festergut are very “blah,” but the Professor’s room is pretty awesome.  The strange “bug encounter” thing before his room confused the heck out of us, though!  I still have no idea what that’s about.  The traps are also very easy to deal with, far less challenging than the ones with the Warders.  But yes, I’m pretty happy for now.

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Revised Best in Slot list for healadins

01/07/2010

I have a confession to make:  I really hate MP5.  For so long, I’ve tried to convince myself that it was a justified dislike, as INT just laps it in the mana regen area.  I tried, oh I tried, but in the end you just have to realize when it’s become irrational and not useful to a logical mind.  So this is my mea cupla to my readers…  The previous list is still not a bad one, but I’ve gone through and replaced some bits with mail, three pieces exactly.  I hate wearing mail, I really do, but seeing as my list already including a cloth robe, going for a couple of mail bits doesn’t really seem all that bad.  It should be pointed out that the items are based on WoWhead, which lists several pieces with different sockets than MMO-Champ does.

– Non-hardmode BiS –

Profile here!

Back – Drape of the Violet Tower
Chest – Meteor Chaser’s Raiment
Feet – Earthsoul Boots
Finger – Rep ring and Marrowgar’s Frigid Eye
Hands – Unclean Surgical Gloves
Head – Sanctified Lightsworn Headpiece
Legs – Puresteel Legplates
Neck – Blood Queen’s Crimson Choker
Relic – Libram of Renewal
Shield – Bulwark of Smouldering Steel
Shoulders – Sanctified Lightsworn Spaulders
Trinkets – Solace of the Defeated and Meteorite Crystal
Waist – Belt of the Blood Nova
Wrists – Crypt Keeper’s Bracers

Talented 51/17/3, the totals from this set of gear:
INT – 2156
Spellpower – 3008
Haste – 960 / 29.28%
Crit – 699 / 31.50%
MP5 – 174