Lei Shen Is Dead (Video Included)

19 08 2013

Two words: Hell, yeah.

So after progressing through Durumu and killing Primoridius and Dark Animus for 2 weeks, my raid team starting extending our lockout. We agreed we would hold the lockout until Lei Shen died. Well, folks, 2 weeks later, he’s dead.

Allow me to send a major shoutout to my raid:

Trespando – Paladin, Tank
Beernaked – Druid, Tank
Killercroc – Warrior, DPS
Kateara – Rogue, DPS
Ivarrikka – Monk, DPS
Valente – Priest, DPS
Flashbolt – Priest, DPS
Thelon – Shaman, Healer
Zekwu – Monk, Healer
Gooseigaly – Druid, Healer

It was an absolute privilege to be able to raid with you guys and I look forward to 5.4.

For those wondering, I still have Iron Quan and Twin Consorts to upload.





Proving Grounds

1 08 2013

So here are some videos I recorded showing the proving grounds and discussing changes to the Resto Druid spec. Enjoy.





Solid Progression

29 06 2013

Continuing on last week’s progression, my raid team walked into ToT last night and 1-shot the first 3 bosses. Tortos took a few attempts; I think we were starting to get too comfortable with ourselves. We moved on to Magaera but had approached our 2 hour raid time and I think we were starting to wear out. The intent is to go in tonight and down Magaera and Ji-kun, followed by progression on Durumu and Primordius. Finally, things seem to be going well.

Oh, and I finally got to replace my 502 bracers. Now if only I could get some replacement shoulders for my 486s…

So when we first downed Tortos I did not have the footage for proof. Here you are, folks. I’ve uploaded this for your enjoyment and as a preparation measure for other healers in my guild who will have to do the turtle kicking.

I also recorded our Jin’rokh, Horridon, and Council kills. I have them converting now and will upload them after raid tonight.





What Happened to the Raid Team I Knew?

24 06 2013

I’m serious. I ran with my normal group Friday night and swore I had stepped into the wrong raid group. We blew through the first 4 bosses inside of two hours. We usually spend two nights working to get that far. And then, on top of that big bowl of ice cream, we threw a cherry on top as we downed Magaera in 4 attempts, Ji-Kun in 3, and got a few solid attempts on Durumu. I was so proud of our raid team those two nights.

(Best watched in 1080p for all it’s shining glory)

So a few thoughts on Magaera.

First, the fight really isn’t that hard if everyone keeps their heads on straight and follow the plan. Stack when you’re supposed to stack, spread out when you’re not stacking. Stay out of green crap on the ground, it will very nearly one-shot you.

Second, when we first started our attempts we had 3 stack points for the various Rampages. I liked this when we first started out, but our raid team had problems with dropping junk on the stack points. Ranged DPS like to stand on the next stack point, so when the ice came out, it was on the stack point. Couple that with tired raiders and a general lack of common sense on our first night attempting Magaera (last week), people died. So when we went back in Saturday night, our raid leader opted not to use stack points and instead marked our most raid aware and fight-studied melee DPS with a skull for stacking. When rampages came, we knew to stack on him. When we were spread out, we were told to stand at maximum range.

The lack of absolute stack points helped a lot due to Ranged having to be at max range; ice was dropped well away from stacking locations, our melee DPS are very reactive and could haul butt when Cinders was placed on them (a shoutout to Killercroc, Ivarrika, and Kataera), and overall the areas around the heads were fairly clear. Until the end of the fight, that is, but that’s to be expected with all that crap coming out.

The downside to not having designated stack points is that the stack point may move Rampage to Rampage if your desingated DPS isn’t aware of your healing abilities. Inform them on your Mushrooms and ask that he try to keep stacking at the same spots. I really didn’t have to say anything to Killercroc, he’s just good enough to know. Instead, I had to learn to plant my Mushrooms based on him. Two wipes and I had his pattern down, so it’s not that big of a deal. We ended up only having 2 stack points, which made coordination a lot easier. Oh, and Mushrooms are going to be HUGE for you on this fight. Use them on every Rampage. You may not get them fully charged each time, but try to get them charged as much as your can; this very much becomes a balance of knowing that you are wasting mana in overhealing in order to have the needed burst healing to carry your raid through the damage phase.

Now, as you can see in the video, one of our raiders got hit with the poison bombs consistently. This is a major no-no and you need to get this straight with your raid. Tunnel-vision happens, but it is no excuse. I really wasn’t aware of why one of our DPS had died until I rewatched the videa about 10 times and happened to see him on the very corner of my screen take the poison bomb full on in the face. There will be a discussion had about that one.

Third, healing cooldown coordination is huge on this fight. We learned that we didn’t need to use our cooldowns early in the fight as damage was low(ish). It isn’t until the last 3 heads that really needed those cooldowns. Sadly, after watching the video, I realized that I didn’t use my Tranquility. Bad Druid. If you watch the video and see a Tranquility going off, I’m pretty sure that was our bear tank. Check my spell bar, Tranquility never went on cool down. I’ve already discussed this with my main co-healer and he’s already fussed at me about it, so you guys can take a pass on that one.

Now, Ji-Kun was an immensely enjoyable fight. I was placed on the nest team because, of the three healers, I was the only one that had done the nests in LFR. There will be words had about that later this week with the other two. However, I was surprised at how well this worked out. I didn’t get much time to look at what was going on with the boss, but if you are not on the nest team, I highly recommend having Stampeding Roar on your cast bar to assist the raid during Down Draft. I do know that our tanks were soaking up some of the green puddles, but I am unsure how many they soaked.

Pro tip for those on the nest team: you have to refresh your feather stack on the third nest so you’ll have enough to do the top nests. It may seem trivial at first, but the 1-minute debuff you get when picking up the feathers can really mess you up. This debuff prevents you from picking up another feather to refresh your feather stacks. Remember you only get to use the feather 4 times before the stack falls off.

Killercroc ended up not refreshing his feather properly and was not able to fly to the third upper platform, leaving me and the hunter to deal with the eggs. We managed to kill one, but I died in the attempt and we wiped. It turns out that you have to kill the eggs quickly on the lower nests; if you take too long killing the second nest your debuff wears off and you refresh your feather stack. This will screw your heading into the third nest as you will not be able to refresh the stack then for the upper platforms. When you kill the first nest, haul butt to the second. Burn them as quickly as possible and get off of the pad, heading for the third. You want to be off the second nest by the time the debuff falls off. After that the fight is a cakewalk; at least my part was.

Once you get the boss down to about 35% you will likely stack with the rest of the raid and burn the boss. At one point during the main fight as I was nest hopping I had to Brez one of the DPS on my way to the upper nest. Doing that after having just come from the bottom nests and are about to leap into the air toward the upper nests is just….ahhhhh. I just can’t explain how much fun this fight was for me.

Durumu was enjoyable as well, believe it or not. He is not as complicated in 10 man Normal as he is in LFR. Well, that is to say that the maze is much easier to deal with. Your best bet? Have all range stack on melee and move together. It just makes it easier that way. We haven’t killed this boss yet, but I imagine we will get him next week; we were simply too tired by the time we got to him to be able to learn a new fight.

Oh, and a bit of humor: if you happen to have a bear tank, keep a close eye on him. There’s nothing like seeing a bear go from zero to warp in no time flat. It’s especially funny if you can time a “Engage Warp engines, Mr. Sulu” perfectly.





Patch 5.4 June 20 Update

22 06 2013

The first update to the 5.4 PTR notes has been made. There are plenty of changes being made to other classes, but I am glad to see that the initial notes on Restoration Druids are holding. Here are the changes that apply to us directly:

*Innervate now causes the target to gain mana equal to 50% of the casting Druid’s Spirit every second for 10 seconds. The total mana gained from this ability can never be less than 8% of the casting Druid’s maximum mana, and the amount gained is unaffected by Mana Tide Totem.

So yea and nay for this change. The “never be less than 8%” part helps to alleviate the concerns that many had about lower-geared healers and those choosing to run low-Spirit builds not receiving a benefit from Innervate. In this case it is still a nerf to lower-geared healers, but not so much as to be unusable. For those having continued mana problems, I encourage the use of Hymn of Hope prior to Innervate to increase maximum mana (if your Spirit is below the point that it would return 8% of maximum mana, using Hymn of Hope to boost maximum mana will proof beneficial) and Mana Tide Totem. Carry lots of mana potions and switch to Flask of the Falling Leaves. Not sure how many Restoration Druids have changed to the Intellect flasks, but I still utilize Falling Leaves (Spirit). This may change as we head into the next gear tier.

I was very disappointed to see that Mana Tide Totem would not have an effect on Innervate. My hope was that the Spirit boost from MTT would be able to buff the Innervates. I have only been keeping up with the intermingling of different spells since the launch of MoP when I found myself really struggling. While I have been vastly unhappy that I have not been able to use Innervate and MTT at the same time as they overrode each other, I am not aware whether or not this has always been the case. Raiding in ICC I healed mostly with Restoration Druids, a Pally, or a Priest. Cata saw me healing mostly with Pallies and Priests. The launch of MoP was the first time that I regularly and progressively healed with a Shaman.

For those who like to PVP, please be aware that Faerie Fire has had its duration decreased to 20 seconds, down from 40.

*Glyph of the Master Shapeshifter now reduces the mana cost of all shapeshifts by 100% (up from 90%).

I can’t say that I have ever burned through mana due to shifting too much, we don’t tend to shift much when healing. This is likely more of use to other specs. However, fights such as Tortos do see me shifting to Stag and Cat form frequently as I’m designated kicker in addition to raid healing, so situations like that may see a benefit. Strangely enough, mana is never a concern for me on that fight.

*Living Seed effects can now stack up to 50% of the casting Druid’s maximum health.

You know, I’ve never been a fan of Living Seed. Back in Wrath we had to spend 3 talent points in it to unlock Efflorescence. When the Living Seed requirement of Efflorescence was removed, most Druids left Living Seed behind. It reared its head again when it became a passive ability. Even recently when I examined my World of Logs, I found that Living Seed was only doing 1% of my total healing. This is mostly due, in my opinion, to the fact that we don’t stack Critical Strike rating in Restoration as it is our weakest stat. With the new T16 bonuses trying to synergize with crit and Living Seed, we may see Living Seed become a larger portion of our heals. Time will tell.

And that’s it for this round of updates. Time will tell if any/all of these proposed changes will fly or die. I sincerely hope they survive. I don’t raid 25s, but I understand that we are still struggling in that area. I find 10s to be very doable for our class, but we lack a lot of the utility that other healers bring to the table, forcing us to rely more and more heavily on our sheer throughput to stay in the game. Me? Bring on the throughput buffs, baby.

As always, leave your thoughts in the comments below.





Patch 5.4 Notes Are Out

14 06 2013

So some big news came out earlier this week. The patch notes for 5.4 have been released. http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/10158897/

Bear in mind that as of this moment the PTR is not available for this patch, but it should be coming shortly. With all of the changes for Restoration Druids, I think I may download the PTR and have a look around. As it stands, we’re in for a real treat. As with all things PTR all, some, or none of these changes may make it to live, but from the amount of changes I’m seeing in the notes it appears that the Devs want to pay some lovin’ attention to us so we should see at least a few things come through.

Rank 4 Healing Touch has a very nice write-up on these proposed changes. http://r4healingtouch.wordpress.com/2013/06/12/preliminary-patch-5-4-resto-druid-changes/

I’d like to go over a few of my own thoughts on these notes. I won’t be discussing every change listed, just the ones that I find most interesting. So, without further adue, let’s jump right in.

Innervate is being changed so that it grants 50% of the casting Druid’s Spirit as mana per second for 10 seconds. My Druid’s Spirit is currently 10089. For simplicity of math, let’s round that down to an even 10k Spirit. With that, I’ll be looking at 5k mana per second for 10 seconds, 50k mana total. Innervate currently returns 60k mana, so this could initially be a problem. However, keep in mind that I have the 522 mana trinket, the 502 Horridon trinket, and a Restoration Shaman co-healer that gives me Mana Tide Totem when I want it. Couple that with Flask of Spring Blossoms that I run, and mana usually isn’t a problem for me these days. This change is geared for heading into Tier 16 as our Spirit levels will rise and we will get better beneifit. Depending on how you work your stats, some Druids will get more return out of this than others. As gear levels rise, we should all see at least some increased mana from this.

The Dream of Cenarius talent is being reworked to give Restoration Druids an “Atonement” spec. This passive talent will increase Wrath’s damage by 20% and will heal a nearby ally for 100% of the damage dealt. Priests should not be concerned that we are moving in on their Atonement turf as Wrath does minimal damage and is not at all an efficient way of healing. This spell will be sueful for low damage periods when trying to use other healing spells will harm your mana reserves. Please note that Wrath’s mana cost has been increased by 50%.

Heart of the Wild will now also provide a 25% bonus to healing for Restoration Druids. There are several opinions out about the usefulness of this aspect of the talent, and I still have not completely made up my own mind. Chances are I will continue to take Heart of the Wild for fights were our DPS is tight. Although, I may find that I like the new Dream of Cenarius talent. Time will tell.

Alright, how many of you are still here by this point? Believe me, those are the lackluster points of tis post. These points certainly have potential, but they are certainly not what I’m bragging to my co-healers about. The bragging points are as follows:

Allow me to be the first to tell you (well, maybe not the first) that Wild Mushroom will be mobile. Note I said Wild Mushroom…without the s. Wild Mushroom will now plant a single mushroom on the ground that will accumulate 100% overhealing from Rejuvenation. This is down from 150%, which I assume has to do with the say the math worked with 3 mushrooms. You can expect that your single mushroom will take longer to charge. However, if you need to move the mushroom, you can recast the Wild Mushroom and it will retain its previous charge. This will allow you to move a charged mushroom any number of times as needed for stack positions. More usefulness on the mobility to come when I talk about Efflorescence in a few. Please note that Wild Mushroom can no longer crit.

Nature’s Swiftness will no longer be a talent and will be learned by all Restoration Druids at level 30. This is important as Nature’s Swiftness is both an emergency cooldown as well as a throughput CD (throughput in that it increases the heal used by 50%). I took this talent and have never changed it. I believe that Ysera’s Gift is the new talent that will be taking its place, and I will likely take Ysera’s Gift over the other options.

While we’re on the topic of emergency heals, a fascinating new Glyph is on the way: Glyph of Efflorescence. This Glyph will increase the healing done by Swiftmend by 20% and will cause Efflorescence to be triggered by the Wild Mushroom. The Efflorescence effect will be centered around the Mushroom and will exist as long as the mushroom is on the field. Ladies and Gentledruids, Efflorescence can now have an extremely high uptime, be placed where ever we want it, and will not be wasted when forced to use a Swiftmend to heal a range that is not standing near anyone. Someone kick on the “Happy Days” show theme song, please.

An interesting change that I never forsaw coming is the change to Soul of the Forest. For Restoration Druids the spell haste granted by using Swiftmend will be increased to 100%, up from 75%. For those of you using Soul of the Forest to buff your Wild Growth, this haste increase will further amaze you. Couple this with your Lifeblood ability (no reason for a Druid not to pick flowers IMHO >.>) and you can heal some serious damage.

This just keeps getting better and better, doesn’t it? I feel like a Infomercial salesman.

BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE! ….No, seriously, there’s more.

Genesis is a new ability for Restoration Druids that will be learned at level 88. For a lack of being able to explain this better than the Patch notes, I quote:

“Genesis is a new Restoration spell learned at level 88. Genesis targets all party or raid members within 60 yards and accelerates the casting Druid’s Rejuvenation effects, causing them to heal and expire at 400% of the normal rate. Costs the same amount of mana to cast as Rejuvenation.” (PTR 5.4)

Genesis will not cause Rejuvenation to heal more, only to do all of its healing in a very short period of time. To once again reference Rank 4 Healing Touch’s post on 5.4, casting multiple Rejuvenations around the raid and hitting Genesis will cause the last Rejuvenation to expire in about 2.5 seconds (assuming you hit Gensis immediately after casting the last Rejuvenation) and the Rejuvenations cast prior to the last to expire in a time determined by their remaining duration. I want to reinforce that Genesis will only effect the Rejuvenations that you have cast and will have no impact on Rejuvenations cast by other druids.

This could be a massive combo chain for Druids in 5.4. I myself already use Soul of the Forest to buff Wild Growth when large damage occurs. Imagine predictable raid-wide damage occurring in which you can throw out multiple Rejuvenations, cast Genesis, pop a Swiftmend before all of the Rejuvenations expire, and follow it up with a buffed Wild Growth. Oh, and remember that Wild Growth will be buffed to 100% spell haste. Sexy.

Needless to say I am very interested in how 5.4 will develop. Please keep in mind that all of this is PTR and some or all of these points may be changed, reworked, or removed all together.

As a final note, I want to point out to you, as a healer, that Shadow Priests and Balanced Druids will no longer take 15% reduced damamge and Warlocks’ Fel Armor will no longer reduce damage taken by 10%.

Assuming you have managed to stay with me to the end of this post, what are your thoughts on these changes? Are you excited? Confused? Or maybe you think that we need further tweaking. As always, leave your thoughts 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. http://www.wowhead.com/item=94604

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. http://www.wowhead.com/item=77194

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.








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