September 29, 2009 – 9:27 am
So you’ve got this offspec. And maybe you like to PVP too. You get a little gear for it, now and then, mostly when nobody else wants something, but by and large your main spec gets all the love.
What happens when suddenly you find out that your offspec is now also needed? Or that you’re playing more of a certain kind of content, and you really need some upgrades? How do you balance your “raiding main” with enjoying all the other things that you do?
I’ve found a few ways.
Don’t be a dick. It’s the quintessential rule of TRI, and I think it applies here. If you bid on a token and win it (whether by DKP, EPGP, SK, or Loot Council) it should be used for that which you said it would be used for. Don’t tell your raid that you need the gloves for a set bonus and then trade in the token for your offspec pants. Lying is bad, mmkay?
Evaluate your group. I play a paladin, and Aely’s offspec is retribution. We have two fury warriors, a ret pally, an arms warrior, and two DK’s in our raid, plus a warrior and paladin tank that both need offspec gear. The likelihood of my winning a piece of plate DPS gear in our 25 man is… small. If you’re the only druid in your raid, and there’s only one rogue too, your chances are much better.
Know what will be most useful. Prioritizing your offspec over your main spec isn’t usually a good way to go… but what if your raid now wants you to go DPS (or healy, or offtank) for a couple of fights, to help fill in? If your main is geared out the wazzoo, but your offspec really /really/ needs new pants, and that will help you be a better contributing group member, well – buy the pants!
Know what you find most fun. There’s a point where “minor upgrades” are all you’ll be buying for your main spec. And if you love PVP and do a lot of it, spending some badges on a major upgrade for your PVP gear instead of a minor or sidegrade for your main spec? Probably ok.
Be sensible. Remember this is all about balance. You need to be performing at the best of your game for your main role – but you need to have fun too. Finding that balance can take a little thinking, but it’s not too terribly hard.
In my case, I’ve just shelled out some Triumph badges for a new pair of melee DPS shoulders for Aely. Her old ones were abysmal, she /really/ needed a little extra +hit, and I’m now going ret on a fight or two, here and there. Plus the occasional Naxx run and a lot more soloing. The chances of my winning a set of tier shoulders for an offspec? Slim to none. Plus, there wasn’t really anything I could buy with the badges that would vastly improve her Holy gear right now.
And they’re pretty. >.>
September 25, 2009 – 9:22 am
First, Aely made out like a /bandit/ this week, picking up an Aesuga, Hand of the Ardent Champion from Hardmode Vezax and new boots from Northrend Beasts, as well as her “new” Judgment hat from Onyxia25. This means, among other things, that her armor is ALL MATCHING again. Which is awesome. There’s just something fun about looking like a badass.
In this picture, you can also see her new pet, a Red Dragonhawk Hatchling. She was a gift from a friend, and Aely is thrilled. Of course, said Dragonhawk doesn’t have a name yet, but she’s thinking Pigeon. Or possibly Magpie. (It has a penchant for chasing shiny things).
Next on the screenshot list is Annie Mae, who is looking very… special… in her new BWL gear. And her dragon squirtgun.
She’s still on the fence about the pink boots. They might be awesome. But they also might be awful. Who ever heard of a cowgirl with pink boots?
There we go. That’s more how she thinks of herself!
And to round out the fun, I’ve a new UI screenshot to share, with the two new addons I picked up to help with the GCD healing problem.
- HealInc – shows a bar for your current target (only) of all incoming casts, organized by the time they’ll land and colored for overheal. This addon also comes with a really snazzy resurrection monitor that I VASTLY prefer to the one from oRA2, as it shows you a castbar with a timer, so you can see if someone else is rezzing your target and if their heal will land first.
- HealthBarPlus – I don’t like this addon. However, it does kinda do what I want. It allows you to set a specific character as a new healthbar and will show up to 5 incoming casts (friendly or unfriendly) on that character, as well as who has that character targeted.
Unfortunately it doesn’t understand mouseover heals, so if I have TankA targeted, but have used a mouseover heal to heal ThatRogue, the addon thinks I’m casting the heal on TankA. This is somewhat helpful, as it gives me a visual representation of my Beacon of Light healing, so long as I keep my Beacon target as my actual target and use mouseover healing for the rest of it. Unfortunately it’s also ugly, poorly designed, not configurable properly (for instance, you can resize the health bar but not the mana bars, so I ended up turning mana bars off completely), and generally clunky and hard to use.
Anyway – this is what my UI looks like currently (click to embiggen!):
This is technically from after the Yogg fight ended last night, so you don’t see some things (like active heals on HealInc), but I’ve got greatness procced so you can see that in PowerAuras (the glowy around Aely in the middle of my screen). The two “tank” bars on the left are the bars from HealthBarPlus, and I think if I continue to use that addon, I’ll be making it smaller. I’m feeling a little restless and unsatisfied with the UI how it is right now, so I may have to do some reorganizing. Maybe it’s time for another UI post!
September 24, 2009 – 8:40 am
Annie Mae shoots a tin beer* can off a fencepost…. DING 60!
And after a very successful run into BWL with the nostalgia raiding group last night, in which they practically rolled her in loot, she’s looking very stylish in her… uh… hot pink boots. She’s already complaining.
Either way though, I’m going to finish out the Plaguelands before I send her to Outland, because I can still get XP from the Argent Dawn quests, and because it’s kinda fun to facesmash my way through there so successfully.
Being a prot warrior might be good for tanking? But it’s also definitely good for leveling, as long as you can handle keeping up with gear upgrades. I’ve found leveling a ret paladin requires a really good weapon upgrade every 5-10 levels, but leveling a prot warrior is more about the entire kit as a whole. Sure she dragged along with her Aegis of the Scarlet Commander until she got her Draconian Deflector last night on the BWL attunement run, but overall I’ve kept her gear pretty current, and it’s been awesome.
She doesn’t always work FAST (though Sword and Board helps with that quite a bit), but she’s pretty much indestructible if I don’t pull more than 3 mobs at a time. And, well, I’m having fun. Which is what counts, in a game, right? I’m not planning on being a tank; in fact, I’ve not yet actually tanked anything.
About the only thing I’m not happy with is the state of her professions. I know I’ll kick myself if I go to Outland and can’t mine Fel Iron (especially since it’s kind of everywhere), so I’ll be spending some time grinding my mining skill up past the evil, awful, dreaded, horrible “small thorium vein” stage before I crank back into full leveling mode.
It can’t last that long, right?
*It is Brewfest, after all!