Exciting Things in the World of Alts

  • My Warlock is coming along quite nicely. He’s had 2-piece t9 for awhile, now, and is only 3 emblems shy of picking up the legs (the last expensive item he has to purchase). He just got the 264 frost emblem cloak today, as well as a few choice drops, like a ring and a 232 weapon. All in all, it was a big day for him, gear-wise. I even got a grats and a few laughs out of one of the guys in a random when I rolled Need on the Engraved Gargoyle Femur. Suspecting that I was up to ninja-type hijinks, he checked my gear, saw I had the Chilly Slobberknocker (from the level-75 Zul’Drak quest) and quipped that he’d just checked my gear to see if I really needed it, but that if he’d known I’d needed it that badly he’d have just passed. But yeah, a 175 blue –> 232 epic? Heck yeah, that’s my kind of upgrade.
  • I got the warrior to 78 today, before taking a break and getting sidetracked by the Warlock. I’m not sure why I’m stalling on getting to 80, but I think I’m just starting to get that tied-in feeling that comes with not having much leveling left to do. On the bright side, Warrior tanking is feeling natural in a way that DK tanking never did and I’m actually starting to look forward to queuing up as a tank for some instances (of course there are still a few that I hate in any role, like OK and AN). I had a very nice DTK run today that got me a ding on the last boss pull, and I even got a few compliments along the way (good group, good tanking, etc.). Having gone back and tanked a couple heroics on the bear, I found myself missing some of my go-to warrior abilities. I think my warrior may well be my favorite tank, after all, with the bear as a fairly close second. I’m not sure if this is because I’ve spent more time tanking instances on him, or because he just hasn’t had a whole lot of “those groups” to taint the experience (yet), or if it’s just that the warrior feels like the priest (in a jack-of-all trades, ability-for-all occasions sort of way) but whatever it is, the warrior just feels more like a tank than any of my other toons. That being said, I’m still in no rush to get him to 80 to be just another horse in the stable, waiting for gear. Or, well, to start the long-tedious process of slogging through 8 billion random heroics to gear up. I’m kind of focused on the warlock at the moment, and with the recent respec of the druid, adding the warrior to the mix means that something has got to give.
  • On a more amusing note, my sister’s comments on healing me through various obstacles (like group quests and such) have left me thinking. Every time we’re done, she says something to the effect of  “You take, like, NO damage.” I’ll save my final judgment until after I’ve done some of the harder-hitting bosses in heroics and such, but we’re both pretty astounded that warriors ever felt so leaky or damage-prone when we healed them. Both of us had had something of a prejudice against warrior tanks because all of the ones we knew and healed had a health bar like a leaky sieve. Both of us are noticing, though, that between juggling interrupts, stuns, and mitigation CDs, warriors can go ages without taking much damage at all.  Again, maybe this will change when bosses hit harder and have more stun-resistance, but for now, it’s seeming like maybe the leaky warriors weren’t being played too well. Also, what little sympathy I had for any previous ridiculously undergeared tanks is pretty much gone. I’m sitting at over 22k self-buffed at level 78, while keeping an eye on my defense. That’s without a proper tanking chest or shoulders (I’m using the heirlooms), or the tanking head, shoulder, and chest enchants. I should arrive at level 80 sporting somewhere around 26k+ HP self-buffed, fully defense-capped, and heroic-ready (which is in line with what my druid and DK were), based on the sort of gear I could get crafted and from drops/quests.  When I think of all the un-capped 18k tanks I healed through heroics, it starts to make me sick.
  • Speaking of ridiculously bad gear: I just respecced my bear, dropping his feral dps spec for a resto spec.  I threw together a resto set with some rep rewards, some crafted gear, and a couple blue drops I had socked away in the guild vault. I didn’t want to invest too awful much into my starting resto gear in case I didn’t like it. That being said, I threw together enough crap that I had a blue in every slot, most of which were at least 187 and all (save my weapon) were enchanted (with 2nd or 3rd-best options, I’ll grant you, but enchanted), coming out having spent well under 300g. I felt a bit bad about not enchanting the weapon, but enchanting mats have been very slim for me of late, so I couldn’t quite bring msyelf to spend the mats on an unknown variable like this.  All of this gave me a wow-heroes score of just over 1400 (supposedly Naxx-ready). Yeah, gearing up for heroics is so fricking hard as a fresh 80 (*heavy eyeroll*). Despite my sarcasm, I still felt woefully undergeared for anything resembling a heroic, despite the dungeon finder saying I was good to go for the vast majority of them (more of a sign of my high standards than anything else). So I figured I’d give myself a break on my learning curve and queued for a random regular as a healer. Of course, the universe was having a laugh with me and stuck me in Forge of Souls. I warned the group that this was my first instance as a tree and that my gear was 6 kinds of crappy and off we went. Everything went swimmingly until the final boss. We wiped twice, both times coming close, but I was just not able to pull off the miraculous saves that I’m used to. Both wipes were caused by my death (including one spectacular case of extreme fail in which I got killed by Mirrored Soul, was rezzed by the boomkin, and was then promptly 1-shotted by the stompy-move as soon as I popped back up, apologizing profusely for my noobishness the whole time). Finally, we got it on the third try, albeit with two deaths (one of which was reversed by my rebirth). I think the difference-maker was that the dps I left dead refused to stop dpsing during Mirrored Soul (which is what killed me on one of the 2 wipes and also what killed both the dps on the successful run) and leaving him dead allowed me to focus on unavoidable damage long enough to keep us all up (since everyone else stopped dps during Mirrored Soul, it was much easier). I’m not going to say that everyone else played perfectly, or that I couldn’t have overcome it with a bit more practice and gear, or even that the wipes were all his fault. None of that would be entirely fair, but it’s very frustrating when you’re just starting out on a toon and you tell the party that you’re new and that your gear is bad, and you explain the fight mechanics, and somebody still doesn’t follow them. The “just heal through it” mentality has become so ingrained in some people that they don’t even bother to learn anything about anything. Still, all in all, not a terrible experience: I learned a few things about trees, reworked my Healbot shortcuts and action bars to more intuitive, and got an instance under my belt without too much fuss. I seemed to be more bothered by the 2 wipes than anybody in the party did. Nobody complained, and two of them seemed perplexed by my apologies, commenting that wipes were just par for the course in randoms. I don’t think they understand that I’m used to healing an instance in which there aren’t one or two deaths, let alone two full-on wipes. Oh well, c’est la vie.
  • Initial thoughts on the tree: hurray! I have a new healer to play with! Ok, seriously, I just love healing. Tree healing is very, very different from paladin healing, but having played a holy priest helps with the transition, I think. That being said, a new style of healing makes it all even more exciting and challenging. Gearing up the druid may actually be an adventure. The inherent slowness of the HoTs and relatively-long CD on Swiftmend makes me miss my paladin burst, but the health-pool-softening method of rolling HoTs is something I could get used to, too. For now my go-to method is using Regrowth/Rejuvenation on the tank, with Nourish/Swiftmend/Lifebloom as necessary to keep him up through spikes, and using Rejuvenation or Wild Growth as needed for the group damage. Lifebloom is awesome for spike damage, and the mana-return feature makes it awesome for casting during clearcasting procs, since I get back mana I never spent. I haven’t found much of a use for Healing Touch, yet, though I may macro it, along with Nature’s Swiftness, into having another panic CD for saving a low-HP tank. Mana is something of an issue for now, but Innervate and chugging mana pots (I have one of the everlasting ones from alchemy so I can chug freely) helps tremendously. I think I’ll probably save my first real heroic for a friends-only meta-guild run, in case things go poorly. That way I can switch to kitty and let someone else take over heals if need be. In the meantime, though, I’m pleased with how things went and excited with the prospect of having a new healer to play around with. It looks like with just a little gear and a little practice, tree healing can be everything I thought it would be.
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