World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft

Prayer of Healing Request

Overall Healing Performance

Beruthiel at Falling Leaves and Wings put together an analysis of current healing throughput in Mists of Pandaria. Although Beruthiel is focusing on Druid healing performance, one thing is clear, as with the early stages of Cataclsym, Priests are once again at the bottom of the charts.

Looking back at Vixsin's post on healing in early Cataclysm, we see that Priests were not doing any better, and were sitting at roughly the same place.

Interestingly, it looks like I chose the wrong time to switch away from my Shaman, as they appear to be doing well.

Prayer of Healing

One of the issues with Priest healing, especially in 10 person raids, is the fact that our main AoE healing spell, Prayer of Healing, is a group-only spell. It is, as far as I know, the only remaining group-only healing spell in the game. In practice, the group nature of the spell means that it almost never hits the full 5 targets. In addition, there are many, many times in 10 person raiding when I simply can't effectively use the spell, since only two or three players are within range, at which point it is more mana efficient to use single-target healing spells. This is especially true when we have only 1 or two melee DPS in the raid, or when the ranged are spread out far enough that Prayer of Healing cannot hit all of them.

I know that 25 person raiders often (legitimately) complain about not having enough room to spread out. In 10 person raids however, the opposite is often true; healers typically have a much larger "area" to cover, with players often out of range. Besides requires the healer to run around a lot more, this also significantly reduces the effectiveness and usefulness of Prayer of Healing.

Interestingly, when running in (25 person) Raid Finder, Prayer of Healing is more balanced, as it is much easier to find a group in the raid that is close enough to heal all 5 group members. Of course, this assumes that the raid is actually grouped up by melee and ranged, which is rare. Rarer still is the raid leader that will listen to Priests request to "please give me assist so I can organize the groups" :)

Smart Healing

Honestly, I'm not the biggest fan of "smart healing", but I think that changing Prayer of Healing to be a "smart heal" would be a huge improvement, and would significantly increase the versatility and throughput of Priest healing. That said, I do think that this change might require additional balancing, such as slightly decreasing it's healing output or increasing it's mana cost to account for the fact that it's actually healing the maximum number of possible targets.

Published Oct 24 »

Valor Points in Mists of Pandaria

In my opinion, the Valor Points system that Blizzard has given us in Mists of Pandaria is terrible. I like that Blizzard has given us new ways of getting Valor Points, but I think the actual number of Valor Points that quests, bosses, and dungeons give is simply too low. After 3 weeks of MoP, I have yet to cap out my Valor Points for a single week. Let's just do some math on what it would take to do this.

Let's start with the "worst" case, and assume we use only daily quests to cap VP.

  • 1000/5 = 200 daily quests per week.

So, if you're doing daily quests and nothing else, you will need to complete 200 daily quests to cap your valor points. That's a lot of dailies. OK, let's assume we're also running LFR. That gives 180 VP total.

  • 1000 - 180 = 820
  • 820/5 = 164 daily quests per week.

OK, that's still a lot of daily quests. What about if we run 1 daily heroic, say 5 days a week?

  • 1000 - (60*5) = 700 [Heroics]
  • 700 - 180 = 520 [LFR]
  • 520/5 = 104 daily quests per week.

Hmm, that's still quite a bit of daily quests. OK, let's include 3 normal mode raid bosses.

  • 1000 - (60*5) = 700 [Heroics]
  • 700 - 180 = 520 [LFR]
  • 520 - (25*3) = 445 [Normal mode bosses]
  • 445/5 = 89 daily quests per week.

Anyways, I could go on. My point is, I don't think it's easy to cap Valor Points. Actually, ironically, if you look at the "time investment" it seems to me that a casual player running heroics and scenarios, and doing some dailies, is probably going to cap their VP faster than a raider.

Looking at the situation from this perspective, I think the Valor Points that raid bosses give are too low. If I remember correctly, we were getting around 100 VP for each raid boss in Cataclysm. Compared to that, the 25 VP from MoP (normal) bosses seems too low. I think Blizzard should, at the very least, bring that number up to 50 or 75.

Published Oct 23 »

Theramore's Fall Scenario

The Theramore's Fall scenario was released to the US realms today. I don't have much good to say about it.

There are SPOILERS, so read on at your own risk!

In terms of the actual scenario mechanics itself, It felt like we needed a tank. The one time I was in a group without a tank, everyone was constantly really low on HP, and several times I pulled all the aggro and had to start healing and using CDs or I would have died. On another run the group ran ahead while I was healing up and a patrol aggroed on me and killed me in seconds. So yeah, running it without a tank feels like a handicap. I was expecting to see more "avoidable damage" but other than the "bosses" it didn't feel like any of the damage was really avoidable, unless you could chain-stun or chain-cc mobs. The damage was more difficult to deal with when there was no tank, since aggro is all over the place, and not all classes have damage avoidance or mitigation cooldowns.

But really, these mechanical issues are small compared to the story and lore issues with this scenario.

The story was non-existent. It really needs an intro cinematic. Or a quest with some text to read. Or something. Anything! I had no idea what was going on, who anyone was, or why anything was happening. Then at the end when (Garrosh? the Goblins?) drops the mana bomb on Theramore, I was even more confused. What a joke.

From the Horde perspective where was Jaina the whole time? Why didn't she just come in a kick our butts? I did not understand this. On a lesser note, where was Thrall? Still busy dealing with the death of Deathwing? Jaina has been a friend and confident of Thrall for a long time, and I would expect to hear something from Thrall about this.

Theramore's Fall Scenario

Again, from a Horde perspective, who was the spy? Why was he there? What was he doing? How was he caught? Why wasn't he just outright executed? How did a Blood Elf spy in Theramore? So many questions. So few answers.

Why did we attack Theramore if the Goblins (or Garrosh) were just going to drop a mana bomb on it? A distraction? Really? Saving the spy? Maybe?

Talking with a few people in-game, apparently there's actually a very interesting back-story to this scenario, only it isn't in-game, it's from the latest WoW book, Tides of War. Lame. This story should have been in-game.

I don't think this is a small problem either. In my (albeit relatively small) guild, I could only find a single person that understood what was going on, and that was because they had read the Tides of War book. Every single person in my guild did not like the scenario. There was an overwhelming sense of confusion, being let down, and anger that Blizzard had "sold out" and was effectively forcing you to have to purchase a book if you wanted the actual back story.

This is not how an MMO is supposed to work. For shame Blizzard, for shame.

In the end, the only redeeming quality is that the scenario is relatively quick, taking less than 10 minutes to complete. That's pretty much it.

Published Sep 17 »

I Can't Hear You Over the Sound of How Awesome I am

After two weeks of near misses, the OpenRaid group I've been running Heroic Ragnaros with managed to get I Can't Hear You Over the Sound of How Awesome I Am.

Sinestra Awesome Achievement

I still dislike Wrack as a mechanic, partly because it seems like that was all that I was doing, so it's good to be done with this fight.


Published Sep 14 »

Raid Cooldowns in Mists of Pandaria

MMO-Champion posted a great listing of the new buff system. However, I think the listing is incomplete, as it does not include raid cooldowns. I've gone through the listing of talents for Mists of Pandaria and compiled a list of raid cooldowns.

Raid Damage Reduction Cooldowns

Raid Healing Cooldowns

Raid Mana Restoration Cooldowns

Raid Battle Rez Cooldowns

Raid Haste Cooldowns

Am I missing anything?

Published Aug 27 »

KAHolyPower for MoP BETA

If you're playing on MoP Beta, I now have a beta version of KAHolyPower for MoP. It's a significant rewrite, with new functionality and config options in development.

Here is some of the new features and functionality I have in the works:

  • Support for 5 Holy Power.
  • No more graphical modes (they were just confusing anyway).
  • Independant width and height adjustments.
  • Ability to choose background and border colours.
  • Vertical/horizontal toggle.
  • Checkboxes to toggle the sound effects at 3, 4, and 5 HP.
  • Checkboxes to toggle the animation at 3, 4, and 5 HP.


This screenshot shows the Holy Power with different colors:

This screenshot shows the latest configuration window:

Download Link

The latest version is available here: KAHolyPowerv2.1.5MoP-BETA

Published Jul 30 »

Heroic Deathwing Defeated!

After a total of 28 attempts over 3 nights these past two weeks, my guild downed Heroic Deathwing with most of us picking up the Glory of the Dragon Soul Raider meta-achievement along the way. I'm super proud of everyone in our guild that stuck through the long attempts and demoralizing 13+ minute wipes :p

So yeah, grats us on killing a bunch of arms, wings, tentacles, parasites, bloods, fragments, terrors, and even more bloods!


Here's a really quick summary of the strategy we used.

We had 1 tank, 3 healers, and 6 DPS. We were missing one of our main healers, so one of the healers was an ALT, two of our DPS players were unavailable for our kill, and we had to PUG in someone we knew (thanks Guldaby!) but other than that it was more or less our usual group.

Platform 1

The tank took the first Impale, with a Hunter using Deterrence to survive some tentacle damage and Feign Death for the second Impale. We miss-directed the Bloods to the tank, and kept them up until the Corruption tentacle was down. We had our Paladin healer using survivability cool-downs on the first Impale.

Platform 2

Repeat of Platform 1, except with our Rogue using Evasion and Vanish to take the Impale.

Platform 3

Repeat of Platform 1, with Blistering Tentacles.

Platform 4

Repeat of Platform 2, with Blistering Tentacles, and the Rogue using Cloak of Shadows for the Elementium Bolt explosion. The melee (we had 3) were helping kill the Corrupting Parasite.

Phase 2

Glyphed Holy Nova is seriously OP! We stopped at 17% to kill the Fragments and Terrors, then used Bloodlust and killed two waves of Blood adds, stopping at 7%. Then we killed the second set of Fragments and Terrors, using healing cool-downs to keep the tank up. After that we pushed under 5%. We had our Hunter, Shaman, and Warriors slowing the Blood adds. We ignored the last set of Fragments and Terrors, finishing off Deathwing with less than 30 seconds to spare.

Healing Comments

We had a rotation going for the mana regen cool-downs, although on our actual kill we kind of messed it up a bit. Overall the fight didn't feel difficult to heal. According to the logs I spent 35% of the time doing DPS, with the other healers spending 31% and 19% of the time DPSing :D On the flip side, I'm not quite sure we could 2-heal this fight, as when the healing does get rough, it really does get rough, and all of the healers go from about 90% mana to 10% or less in a matter of seconds.

Final Thoughts

Overall, most of us felt that Heroic Madness was a bit easier than Heroic Spine, although not by much. It was also another "do almost boring things for 10 minutes till things get hard and you wipe to tiny mistakes" kind of fights, which aren't exactly our favorite. Although, to be fair, I'm not sure how else you would do it without it being too easy.

Published Jun 20 »

Introducing EquipFail

The other day my guild downed the Heroic Spine of Deathwing fight. However, after taking a look at my armory page the day after the fight, I realized that I had been wearing some fail gear.

Yeah, terrible. Fail.

However, Honeytrap on twitter suggested that it would be nice to create an addon to warn people about this. That's a great idea, and I can't believe I didn't think of that sooner!

Challenge & Solution

The difficulty with creating an addon for this when to check for and notify someone that they are wearing something they shouldn't. If you wait until they start combat, well, it's too late! It's possible to hook into the Ready Check events, but the problem there is that the events don't fire if you are the person performing the ready check (which I usually am) and not every raid group uses ready checks, let alone dungeon or PvP groups.

The best solution I could come up with was to check equipped gear when a player zones into an instance. So, whenever you zone into an instance, the EquipFail addon will check your character's equipped items, and notify you if you are wearing anything that you shouldn't be.

Here is what it looks like:

Why yes, you can click on those item links!

Where can I get it?

The addon is currently on CurseForge. It should be available on the main Curse website and through the Curse Client in a few days when it get copied over (this is something that happens automatically and I can't control).

What does it check for?

EquipFail checks for the various rings of the Kirin Tor, fishing poles (wow there's a lot of them), fishing hats, a few trinkets, and some other odds-and-ends. There are probably a lot more items I could be checking for, so let me know (here or on the Curse website) if you have anything else you want to check for. EquipFail also checks for empty slots.


There are a few outstanding issues that I still need to deal with:

  • Handle the Ready Check events. Despite what I said above, this might still be useful.
  • Clean up the notification messages. They're not great, and the warning dialog box could be better, although it does play nice with other dialog boxes (see the screenshot above).
  • Deal with 2-hand weapon; right now if you are using a 2H weapon, the addon will tell you that you are missing an off-hand item.
  • Check for tabards? Warn if wearing no tabard? Warn if wearing a guild tabard? This might have to be some sort of optional configuration setting. Still not sure what I want to do with this. Maybe always put up a warning asking the player to check their tabard?
Published Jun 09 »

Heroic Spine Video

Here is a video of our Heroic Spine kill:

Thanks to Picardie for recording it!

Published Jun 08 »

Heroic Spine Down!

After 51 wipes over four nights of attempts my guild managed to get Heroic Spine of Deathwing down.

This puts us back in 3rd place on our realm, which we're pretty happy with.

Next week we plan on spending a night or two working on Heroic Madness of Deathwing! For most of us, this is also the last achievement we need for the Glory of the Dragon Soul Raider achievement, so it'll be a nice way to end the Cataclysm expansion.

Resto Shaman Comments

I ended up using a relatively crazy spec. In fact, it's was such a strange spec that I took a screenshot of it for posterity :)

Basically, it's a mostly healing spec, with the movement buffs taken out (no running allowed on the back of a dragon!) with a few DPS talents thrown in to help out with the burst DPS on the fight:

I also picked up two Earthliving buffs, including the Blessing of the Eternals talent and the Glyph of Earthliving Weapon glyph. These are unusual for me, as Earthliving is typically not very effective in 10 person raids, typically hovering under 1% of my overall healing done (in 25 person raids, I've heard that it's very effective). However, for this fight, the combination of the talent and the glyph are quite potent, and Earthliving counts for 12% of my overall healing!

Before you make any funny comments, yes I did try out the Glyph of Healing Wave on our kill attempt :D I really couldn't find anything better, and I thought it would be effective for the first plate, where I'm trying to conserve mana as much as possible.

In terms of damage done, my damage output was absolutely minimal at 1,089,633 damage done, although most of that was helping with Tendons, or regenerating mana, which is absolutely essential in this fight for the crazy incoming damage in the third phase.

Published Jun 07 »

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