Patch 5.4 Proving Grounds

27 06 2013

Currently, very little is known about one of the newest features, the Proving Grounds. What we do know is that the Proving Grounds will be based on role: Healer, DPS, Tank. Each will feature different difficulties: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Endless, if I remember correctly. For now I will be talking about the healing mode; I do tank on my Paladin these days, but I am not skilled enough as a tank to discuss a tanking mode with any confidence.

So, what is the healing mode? Right now we are not entirely sure. I would assume that you will be placed in a group 10 or 25 NPCs that are fulfilling the tank, DPS, and other healer spots in the raid group. In my mind I envision having to heal the groups through raid-like fights, having to deal with mechanics specifically relevant to your role, and having to heal the NPCs through mechanics relevant to their roles.

What I do not imagine coming to Live servers is a Proving Grounds that is stricly about throughput, although it would be nice if there were a mode with Training Dummies who health are all at 1% and we can test different styles of maximizing throughput vs. mana efficiency. We will likely see encounters that require us to step out of our comfort zones, especially as we up the difficulty.

One of the biggest questions being tossed around right now is whether or not this can be used as a teaching/learning tool. I currently have mixed thoughts about the answer to this question. Will this feature allow new healers to learn their spells and which spells are best used under which situations? Certainly. Will this feature give new healers a feel for what real raids and groups are going to be like? Unlikely.

First off, NPCs are programmed to do certain things and, regardless of how random we may want them to act, there is only so much randomness that can be inserted into an NPC. In the end, we can expect them to follow the mechanics properly and to be where they are supposed to be when they are supposed to be there. In a real raid/group environment you may have someone experience lag or forget that they are suppose to stack and thus are late getting to the stack party. As a healer you are expected to heal that person through the mistake.

Second, I imagine that I will care less about losing an NPC DPS, or even the entire NPC group, than I do allowing one of my fellow raiders to die. When I am in raid and allow someone to die I feel a pang of guilt; when the entire raid dies because of something I messed up, I feel terrible. When I watch their health bars fall lower and lower and my cohealers and I are blowing every CD in the book trying to pull the group through I feel a sense of urgency, anxiety, I’m pumped with adrenaline. While I’m sure that I will try very hard to keep a raid of NPCs alive and will get nervous if I approach failing, the nerves will be more related to the fact that I want to succeed as opposed to I don’t want my raid to fail.

I dunno. What are your thoughts on the topic? Do you think it will help you learn your class better? Will you use the scoring mode to compete against your co-healers? As always, leave your thoughts and comments in the comments below.


Day 05 – Favourite item(s) in game

3 06 2013

Geez, it’s already been more than a month since my last post. I apologize to everyone for the delays; work was crazy this past month. There is a lot that has happened with my Druid, and Druids in general, since my last post, but I thought it best that I continue the 20 days of blogging first. I’ll come back shortly and discuss some of the more recent changes.

Additionally, I am continuing work on the Resto guide. So for those of you who have checked it out and found it incomplete, I apologize.

Now, for my favorite items. First off I have to say that I was amazed with the revelation of Burning Seeds. I have yet to figure out how to get wordpress to in-text link to WoWhead, so here’s a link.

These seeds give the flaming cat effect that was granted to Druids from the staff in Firelands. I never got a chance at the staff (the progression of the guild I was in at the time wasn’t great), so these seeds are freakin’ amazing in my book. I read that they have been available in-game since Firelands, but no one really knew about them.

If you want to go get a few of your own, there are plenty of instructional videos out there. I’ll give a brief talk-through of it and if you have any trouble, check out a video. Go into Firelands and Prowl. You’ll need to Prowl past all the adds leading up to Alysrazor. Once you reach the boss, you’ll see the flaming bird adds. There is no way to avoid fighting these guys, but their fireballs will kill anything, so get their attention and start kiting the fireballs through the adds. You’ll then need to use the fireballs to kill off the eggs. Finally, kill each bird in turn with the fire.

Once dead, you can start the RP to start the boss fight. As soon as the fight starts, Alysrazor will start dropping the feathers. Pick up three feathers, fly straight up and head north north west. You’ll see the platform to the final bosses. Land here and you’ll see the portal from the beginnning of the raid. Around this portal will be 3-5 seeds. They’re hard to find, so look hard.

Another favorite item of mine was Kiril, Fury of Beasts.

I was tanking on and off in Dragon Soul depending on the week, so I was reguarly tanking Deathwing. The first time the staff dropped it went to a Hunter in the group. I finally managed to pick it up. Not only was the staff great for making your butt huge and in the face of the entire raid, but it worked as a nice visual effect for resto druids. I used equip the staff during low damage periods prior to damage spikes, smack on the boss in cat form and proc the staff. By the time the stacks stacked up and I was at full size, it was time to pop Tree of Life and Tranquility. The first time I did that in raid my guildies were “Woah WTF?”

So how about you guys? Do you have any favorite items that you love to show off any chance you get? Talk about them in the comments below.

Day 01 – Introduce Yourself

10 04 2013

As many of you may have guessed already from the blog itself, I’m a Restoration Druid.  I state it as such and not simply as a Druid because Restoration is my specialty.  I’ve played a pretty good bear (still do, at times), a decent cat in Firelands, and a mediocre Moonkin.  Nothing feels as second nature to me as running around the raid spewing massive amounts of green numbers of life.

In fact, I’ve been using my healing add-on, Vuhdo, for so long that I never even think about the buttons, barely even notice what my fingers have to do in order to cast the spells that I want.  Sure, I play other healers, Pally and Priest, but neither as as natural to me as my Druid.  Of course, my Druid is the first character I created and have been healing on him since he got his first healing spell.

Aside from all that, I like to think of myself as a valuable member of my guild, SummuS.  I joined the guild back in Dragon Soul and have contributed to the healing team since.  Between myself and my co-healer, we’ve pulled our raid group through some pretty sick stuff.  How sick, you ask?  Let’s just say my guild could earn the Darwin award.

And, well…that’s it, I guess.  I’ve always lurked around other Druid blog sites, but only recently fired this one up.  I don’t hold any real level of importance in the Druid community, but I have served as mentor for multiple druids that I have met along the way.  Maybe one day I can hang with the top brass such as Restokin, Falling Leaves and Wings, Big Bear Butt (what up, Bear!), but for now, I’m just blogging.

20 Days of Blogging

10 04 2013

So, in an effort to re-energize my fingers and to get this blog back up out of the mud, I have decided to take on a blogging challenge that many others have taken.  I may not be able to pump them all out in 20 days, but we’ll see where it goes.

This list of blogging topics will be as follows:

Day 01 – Introduce yourself
Day 02 – Why you decided to start a blog
Day 03 – Your first day playing WoW
Day 04 – Your best WoW memory
Day 05 – Favourite item(s) in game
Day 06 – Your workplace/desk (photo and/or description)
Day 07 – The reason behind your blog’s name
Day 08 – 10 things we don’t know about you
Day 09 – Your first blog post
Day 10 – Blog/Website favourites
Day 11 – Bad habits and flaws
Day 12 – A usual day in your life/online time
Day 13 – People (players/bloggers) that you admire
Day 14 – This upsets you
Day 15 – Your desktop background (on your computer) and why you chose it
Day 16 – Things you miss (post Cataclysm)
Day 17 – Your favourite spot (in game or outside it)
Day 18 – Your favourite outfit
Day 19 – In your bags/bank
Day 20 – If this was your last day playing WoW, what would you do?

So many possibilities of things to write about.  Don’t worry, I hope to weave in some Druid chat in and amongst all these tangents.  With that said, I’ll move on the Day 01 in my next post.

Rank 4 Healing Touch

A home for all things druid, and the games we play

The BigBearButt

Warcraft through the eyes of a Restoration Druid.