Written by | Posted September 8, 2015 – 9:51 pm Descent and Ascent

It didn’t take long to get from Thunder Bluff to the Echo Isles – Ankona took advantage of a wyvern so she could think and plan before getting to her destination. She had information to confirm with the spirits – was Gromnor dead? Was he really in the northern part of the Eastern Kingdoms, somewhere […]

Friday Five – First War Lore
comment 1 Written by on July 31, 2009 – 7:43 am

This is a slightly different Friday Five than the usual fare – but I liked it, and I think it’s an interesting thing to think about. If your character is one that wasn’t actually /there/ for the First War, treat this from the perspective of what they’ve heard about it. These were major events, and much like major events in the real world, people talk and learn about them. (If your Forsaken character doesn’t remember anything from before being undead, they STILL will have heard about this most likely.) And there’s no rule saying you’ve got to pick any one specific character to answer these!

Either way, I’ll hand the reins over to Gryph for this!

Hey there. I’m Gryphonheart from The Lion Guard. Since Anna seems to be fighting Writer’s Blah, I figured I’d offer to help out with this week’s Friday Five. Now, just to give you some forewarning, I’m not the kind of person who’s going to limit himself to five questions when I find something interesting. So, rather than five questions, what follows are five prompts that will hopefully get you thinking about your character’s perspective on past events.

Today, these questions are all about the events of the First War, which was the original conflict between the Human Kingdom of Stormwind and the Orcish Horde portrayed in the first WarCraft game WarCraft: Orcs & Humans. If you’re rusty on these events, feel free to check out the in-WoW book The Dark Portal and the Fall of Stormwind, the First War page on WoWWiki, WarCraft: The Last Guardian by Jeff Grub, or the aforementioned WarCraft: Orcs & Humans game. With that out of the way, on with the fivery!

  1. How much do your characters know about the events of the First War? If they’ve only learned of them relatively recently (such as may be the case with Night Elves, Tauren, Draenei, Darkspear Trolls, etc.), what do they think or understand of their significance?
  2. Where were your characters or characters’ families during these events? Do they remember any of them personally? Do they remember hearing of them in the aftermath of the war?
  3. How do your characters see the actions of their preceding factions (the Human Kingdom of Stormwind before the founding of the Alliance, or the original Orcish Horde prior to Thrall’s new Horde)?
  4. Do your characters share the same ideals that their preceding faction did? (For Alliance, this could be the resolute determination to safeguard their homeland from a terrifying new threat. For the Horde, this could be the desire for the glory of conquest and the need to sate their ever-increasing bloodthirst.)
  5. What do your characters think of the actions of Medivh and/or Orgrim Doomhammer? Do their betrayals make their legends all the more impressive to your characters, or do they cast them in a less endearing light? Have they earned redemption in the eyes of your characters or will they now and forevermore be considered traitors to their kind?
Spec Shenanigans – Sacred Shield Redux
comment 6 Written by on July 29, 2009 – 8:53 am

Before you read this post, go ahead and catch up on the discussion.  I’ve been tossing around some ideas for Paladin healing builds in 3.2, particularly the possibility of using a Holy/Prot build instead of the commonly touted Holy/Ret build that’s so common today.  Siha‘s talked a little about this build as well, and it’s something I’ve been trying (quite successfully) even in pre-3.2 raiding.

Reading over the “bug-fixes” part of the most recent PTR build I noticed the following:

Sacred Shield: This buff will no longer have any effect if the target is another player engaged in a duel. In addition, the heal from this buff will no longer cause the paladin to stand, and it is no longer possible for two paladins to both have the spell active on one target.

This is… not good.  Not good at ALL.  Among other things, it means that Divine Guardian is no longer nearly as useful for Protection Paladins, since Holy Paladins will need to be using Sacred Shield on their tank targets in order to get the buff to Flash of Light:

Sacred Shield: When a paladin casts Flash of Light on a target with this buff, they also now place a heal-over-time effect on the target, healing that target for 100% of the Flash of Light amount over 12 seconds.

After 3.2, an effective tank-healing Holy Paladin absolutely must have Sacred Shield up on their tank.

This is one more reason that the 51/17/ +3 build – Holy and Protection – is going to be MORE viable in 3.2, since Protection Paladins are likely to want to spend their talent points elsewhere. Unless they raid with no Holy Pallies, there will be no real reason for a 25 man tanking Prot Paladin to have buffs to Sacred Shield.

That’s actually not what’s bad about this change though. That’s annoying, but not awful – it’s a mitigation change, but not really a massive shift in gears.

Why am I concerned about this?

It is not uncommon for a raid to have two Holy Paladins, especially with the vast quantities of constant tank damage that seems to be the flavor of the month for “how to make healing hard”.  Multiple Beacons of Light can now stack on one target – and they remove the stacking ability from Sacred Shield? So your two Holy Pallies, who are 90% of the time assigned to healing the tank, now must BOTH must have the Bubble Pally build, and they must coordinate who has Shields on the tank.

Two Pallies.  One Tank.  See the problem?

With Sacred Shields no longer stacking, the “second Holy Paladin” (especially if that paladin prefers the crit based 51/5/15 build) can not be as effective as a tank healer.

If Blizzard wants us to bring the player, not the class – then why are they shoehorning raids to only have a proper use for one Holy Paladin, and making the mechanics enforce that bringing two actually diminishes the effectiveness of the second Paladin? The Beacon Stacking issue is now something that they’ve fixed for the same reason.

Why fix one such issue only to create yet another one?

Account Security Reminders
comment 2 Written by on July 28, 2009 – 1:18 pm

Read, Learn, Apply, Be Secure!

Thanks Rilgon!

(Also – if you don’t have one, definitely look into an Authenticator – either for an iPhone/iPod or the individual key dongle. I know they’re frequently sold out, but keep checking. It’s worth it!)

Spec Shenanigans
comment 1 Written by on July 28, 2009 – 12:53 pm

I’ve talked here before about switching from my current (55/0/16) build to a prot-subspec build that focuses on Divine Guardian and sacred shield as a method of mitigating incoming damage.  (I have concentration aura for group buff/synergy reasons.)

Once I finally got the tokens together to get a 4 piece Tier 8/8.5 set bonus, I picked up a 54/17/0 “bubble” spec as my secondary dual spec (goodbye shockadin build :( ) and started tinkering around with it.

roundlikecircles by dimitri_c

This past week, I used this new Bubble Pally spec just to see what happened, and I had the following observations.

  1. I did not miss the critical strike rating that I lost from the ret tree as much as I thought I would, with the exception of Holy Shock. (I think this is probably due to picking up 5/5 Divinity)
  2. I DID miss the 10% reduced mana on instant cast spells – not just Holy Shock but Beacon of Light and Sacred Shield especially.
  3. In general, though I never went completely out of mana, my mana did not go nearly as far as I was used to, and I had to switch healing styles.  I think this is a good thing, 90% of the time, and I think I was a better balanced tank healer for it.  That last 10% of the time is any fight or period of time where the tank is getting his face beaten in (Hard Mode Auriaya, for instance).  With this spec, it is not possible to chain cast Holy Light for more than a very short time.  Divine Illumination helps some with this, but not much, and not nearly with enough regularity to make a real difference.
  4. The mitigation is awesome. Having Sacred Shield as a 1 minute buff is even MORE awesome.  Because the 1 minute cooldown is easier for me to manage, the combination of increased uptime and increased absorbtion with the increased proc rate resulted in more than twice the absorption over the course of a 25 man raid than I’ve seen with my other build.
  5. I’m still torn between Glyph of Divinity and Glyph of Holy Shock – the lowered cooldown on Holy Shock is really nice – but it’s a lot more of a mana hardship to use it all the time.  Remembering to use Lay on Hands every fight isn’t something I’m particularly good at.  Probably could go either way, really.

Oddly, when I went back to do the numbers, I didn’t see a lot of change in my overall Illumination and Replenishment mana regen, which is slightly disturbing for the success of this build post 3.2.  (I’m particularly surprised about the lack of change in Illumination regen, since this build carries 6% less crit than my ret-subspec build does)

Because of the huge nerfs to Illumination, Replenishment, and Divine Intellect, I’m worried that this build won’t be sustainable as a long-term tank healer in 3.2 raiding.  Unfortunately I don’t know that the standard 51/5/15 or 51/0/20 builds will work much better, so we’ll have to see how that shakes down.

Fortunately, I didn’t find myself totally useless or my overall throughput diminished at all. Your mileage may, of course, vary – depending on the other healers in your raid, the buffs you’ve got flying around, and your own personal style of healing. I’m quite pleased, though, and will continue to experiment with this particular spec, at least until further experience says that I’ve got a real problem on my hands.

Image Credit Dimitri_C

Descent and Ascent

September 8, 2015 – 9:51 pm

It didn’t take long to get from Thunder Bluff to the Echo Isles – Ankona took advantage of a wyvern so she could think and plan before getting to her destination. She had information to confirm with the spirits – …

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