Saturday, October 31, 2009

Healing non-meme.

Miss Medicina has created a healing questionnaire to pass around to assorted blog authors.

The Altoholic has played all four healing classes to some capacity, having 3/4 of them at 80 currently, with main focus being on a fabulous paladin and the shaman.

What is the name, class, and spec of your primary healer?
I wouldn't be an Anonymous Altoholic if I gave you my name... so...
Anonymous, Paladin, 51/5/15

What is your primary group healing environment?
Altoholic does ten man raiding, trying to get our group onto twenty-five man raids.

What is your favorite healing spell for your class and why?
Holy Shock - It's the closest thing I have to a mobile heal, I use it every time it's up. I love it for healing in a pinch. With Infusion of Light, my crits give me instant cast flashes of light and crits of holy lights.

What healing spell do you use least for your class and why?
Flash of Light - It just doesn't heal much at all, it's rarely enough to do the job.

What do you feel is the biggest strength of your healing class and why?
I can heal tanks. A lot... and that's pretty much it.

What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your healing class and why?
I have no AOE heals. When big damage is flying around everywhere I feel helpless.

What healing class do you enjoy healing with most and why?
People capable of AOE healing - Holy Priests and druids. People who are capable of covering the AOE damage, alleviating the helpless feeling of not having AOE buttons myself.

What healing class do you enjoy healing with least and why?
Other holy paladins, the more holy paladins you have in raid, the less capability a raid has to recover from heavy splash damage. I've done raids with only two holy paladins healing successfully before (though the other paladin was an amazing paladin that was the GL of a top 100 progression guild which has since disbanded), I've cleared Naxx10 that way, but it's not ideal by any means.

What is your worst habit as a healer?
Not bothering to stop-casting to prevent overhealing.

What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while healing?
People, especially tanks, yelling for heals on vent. Stop telling us to heal, we know, we're doing it, it's our job.

Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other healers for PvE healing?
Yes, though a holy/prot build would be better for hardmodes.

What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a healer?
I look at Skada but I tend to take it very lightly: If my targets don't die, I've done my job. I may switch to WMO at some point, but I'm not in a rush.

What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your healing class?
This is a hard question to answer. The only misconceptions I hear are related to Paladins and PVP. Some might think we have infinite mana, but my folks have learned that it's not true as I announce I'm MSing myself to get mana back every minute for 15 seconds so others can cover me.

What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new healers of your class to learn?
New healers seem to have trust problems. They don't always realize that healing is a group effort, that it's teamwork. Sometimes they'll get caught up in whack-a-mole trying to top off one person and not using their whole toolboxes. Sometimes I feel horrible for telling other healers what buttons to push. (Then again, I've raided on all four, I'm entitled to make suggestions.)

If someone were to try to evaluate your performance as a healer via recount, what sort of patterns would they see (i.e. lots of overhealing, low healing output, etc)?
They'd see I'm an overhealing monster and that I rarely cast Flashes of Light.

Haste or Crit and why?
Haste. They nerfed crit for Paladin regen, and my heals are big enough that when I crit, it's mostly overhealing. The more haste I have the less chance that will be sniped or that the heal won't reach the target in time.

What healing class do you feel you understand least?
Discipline Priests - Disc as it stands now is a completely different animal from Classic and BC Disc.

What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in healing?
Grid. Visual Heal. Decursive. Power Auras. A few assist focus and cast on focus macros for Beacon of Light and Judgements.

Do you strive primarily for balance between your healing stats, or do you stack some much higher than others, and why?
I like to have a balance, I got to about 2000 healpower then switched to stacking int because int = regen for a raiding Paladin.

Unfortunately I don't have too many readers to pass this on to so I cannot call folks out. :p

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Altoholics Anonymous goes to the PTR

A little story about Altoholic's Guild:
A few nights ago, several members of the guild I'm in decided we'd go to the test realm and maybe get a chance to thrash around in Icecrown before it hits the live servers. We're not super hardcore progression, but I think everyone'd like to be able to clear into Icecrown's raid instance(s) so we may attract more likeminded folks to join our semi-hardcore team.

In the previous days, we've discussed what we've copied to the test realm. Folks have not only copied their mains, but also premades of the same classes so they might be able to see the gear difference (learning the encounters in the best possible gear on the premades will probably make it easier for us to do the encounters in our 10 man raid gear and badge epix easier, I reserve that skill > gear, however, gear does make things easier). Several members of the team have copied multiple classes of characters. These members have... 2-3 80s each.

Today I realized that my guild has several altoholics aside from me, though my case is most pronounced with the 10 toons above 70. As such, sticking with the "I'm being somewhat anonymous with this blog" theme, I shall henceforth refer to the guild I am in as "Altoholics Anonymous".

The Advantages of Altoholicism:
Now Altoholics Anonymous isn't a bad guild. Our many alts, our personal armies, allow us a type of flexibility that a group of players with only one toon lack. I think the general consensus is that alts in our particular group are a valuable resource and utility. We do try to gear out our alts to respectability so they can be used as utilities, though not usually at the cost of taking gear over someone else's main.

With our personal armies we can switch gears, switch roles, let people get a break from playing the same character. If a member of our raid is missing and we have an extra of a certain role free, someone else can switch to fill in a spot, making sure our raids go with decent composition.

Being Altoholics has definitely helped with our knowledge of the game and with our respect for other players in other roles, probably moreso than a one-class one-trick pony player would. You see, we've been the tank, the healer, the melee dps, the ranged dps. We've probably been on the receiving end of all of the stupid things that people do on WOW and it keeps us from doing said stupid to each other.

First Impressions of the PTR:
So early this morning, I'm talking 7am EST, a few of us hopped on the PTR.

The new LFG system with the random group thing is amazing.The ability to set up your talents completely before you commit them (can be turned don in the 'features' thing) is also amazing.

We used the lfg thing to find two dps for an instance and proceeded to try out Forge of Souls... I believe on heroic mode. Our pug DPS seemed to be an elemental shaman and a fury warrior. I don't think they were assisting off of Ye'olde tank so they died from stupid a little.

The instance was easy, I mean sickeningly easy. The trio from AA were pretty clueless on the instance, we just threw ourselves at the bosses assuming the basics of wow raiding (stay out of the stupid, don't pull agro, don't die).

The godfather of souls' whirlwind took us by surprise, my response to him pulling magic to himself was to move away from him, expecting him to do an AOE on himself (like a blastwave style thing), instead he did a whirlwind which hit myself and the hunter. I cheated and bubbled like the bad healadin I am while the hunter bit the dust. You hug him when he does this ability.

The RoS knockoff boss was pretty simple, one of the others had done the fight before and said something about red beams and ghosts. We stop dps on the red beam, I'm not sure if it's everyone needing to stop or just the target (I think it's everyone) and.. that's about it.

I'm immensely disappointed. WTF?
I mean, I hated Heroic Magister's Terrace like you wouldn't believe but those instances are supposed to be giving out amazing loot. I kinda expect to have to work hard for and challenged it.

Fail.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Fun and Exciting... not.

Last week, the raid team Altoholic is in cleared TotC in 10 man. We did it in one night, we weren't expecting to get anywhere but got through it with a few wipes.

We went in this week and did very well on the first two fights... then we reached the Faction Champions.

Our opponents were Resto Druid, Resto Shaman, Warlock, Shadowpriest, Ret Paladin, Arms warrior. Two super annoying healers, two fearbots, and a melee rape squad.

After two nights of wiping and getting three alts that could have gone on other runs with friends and cleared the instance, we finally killed these douchebags.

Myself and our prot paladin benched our mains in favor of his DK and then his Rogue while I benched my holy paladin in favor of my lesser geared resto shaman. We have no 100% attender Shaman types in our main team. At all.

I log onto my druid when I want to PVP, having a PVP styled PVE encounter is somewhat annoying. It really feels like bring the player not the class has been thrown out the window because a less than ideal setup for that fight with poor RNG luck can yield an unhappy wipefest.

But really. Can't they come up with anything better?
There are so many fights in the game better than Faction Champions.

I fucking loved Vael and Nef in BWL. The Twin Emperors was interesting. The last boss in AQ20. Jin-do the Hexer, the ZA fights, Teron Gorefiend, Leo the blind, Vashj. These were fun and interesting encounters.

Is the faction champions and recyling old boss fights with slightly altered elements the best Blizzard can come up with?

Fire the developers. Hire me. (I'd also come up with better looking armor than the developers have managed lately.)

Since we don't have much to raid the rest of the week after we clear stuff tonight, I've got an idea.

Lol, Bots.
One of my guildlings discovered great lag in Storm Peaks which he believes is being caused by bots farming fire elementals.

I had an idea. I don't know if it'll work but I plan on making a little PVP related mischief on our PVE server. It involves my hunter, a pet named similarly to the mobs the bots are killing, a PVP flag, our PVP pwn squad, and camping all night long, oh yeah.

I'll make a video of it if it works.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Altoholic loves pugging.

Much to the dismay of my guildlings, I suggest that they 'pug it up' for heroics from time to time. To this, they cry and sulk and say they do not want.

There's a method to my madness.

When my team runs on our offnights and brings a random person or two with us, they've given themselves an opportunity to meet new people and make new friends.

We might just happen to find a few people who're looking for a solid long-term group and just didn't know about us. I know some of our members and regular raiders were once pugs, people who can't raid with their groups, people with funny schedules, people who'd just never really been given a chance. Many of them have grown to be assets to the team and good enjoyable company to be around.

Those that don't join us may wind up being people we can call upon for help with things, or contacts we can get to do enchants or other goodies we don't have access to ourselves, or maybe wind up telling others in situations from my aforementioned paragraph about that 'cool group of people'.

With the next patch comes cross server LFG. I don't know if it's just for instances or if it will also work for raids. I personally hope it does.

I know there must be more people out there like us, I've been trying to reach them on other servers but I think the target audience isn't in reach. All I see in people seeking is "looking for hardmodes" not "looking to work hard and earn my achievements", I think the people I'm looking for are just feeling down and behind.

They're late night players struggling to find stuff to do, stuck with only one option on their server that may not be ideal or suit their personalities. They've got potential but no opportunity, perhaps their gear is sub par, no one will give them a chance to shine. They stop searching and farm, bg, or run the daily heroic and slowly accumulate their triumph badges.

They become casuals.
They become scrubs.
They devalue themselves and stop trying to find a group where they belong.
They fall bored and lonely and quit.

The next patch may bring them back. It's important that I get out there and hit pugging hard and catch these diamonds in the rough and give them a bit of polish, give them a chance to shine.

If we can pug people into raids, that's even better! I could grab one or two pugs into the 25 man raids. Short a DPS or one healer? Grab someone out of LFG. We might just catch a keeper.

With the next patch comes a new title: The Patient.
As my guildlings suggested, I shall get it and wear it, for my patience is great and everyone should know it.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

And then there were four.

Two nights ago, yours truly, has successfully leveled my two aforementioned alts to 80.

I now have four level 80 toons.

I hit 80 with 1600g on the Shaman and 1200g on the Druid. After buying skills, respeccing the Shaman to have raid-worthy Elemental and Resto specs, and getting appropriate glyphs I sat at 1400g and 1100g or so gold.

Looking back, I paid 2000g to get the two dualspecced, and they've made that back, they also paid for their own cold weather flying. I would have made more but all of the herbs were milled into darkmoon cards, the DEables throw into the guild bank, and the frost lotus made into flasks for said bank.

I made about 1000 gold as a bonus on top of the two toons. More importantly, I'm in the mood for questing, meaning I may go out and finish zones and get more gold, more achievements, and work more on that loloremaster title.

Yay.