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Category Archives: Mists Of Pandaria

Stuff related to MoP… I will be in the beta, and of course I am following the dev-process

A quick test of some new shaman talents

I decided to test two of the new shaman abilities while questing, in this case Ancestral Guidance and Astral Shift. Check out the video. These are nice CDs that can help the healer in your group a little bit for sure.

While Astral Shift is a classic “lower inc damage on yourself for a few secs” talent, Ancestral Guidance is right down the “heal while doing dmg” alley that Blizz seems to head into more and more.

Sure, we had stuff like disc priests and their smites, or Vampiric Touch, for quite some time in game, but think about it…the monk is based on “healing by doing damage”, and so it does not surprise me that a talent like Ancestral Guidance comes up.

While active, it reminds me a bit of VT… small numbers, but lots of them. It’s only a very temporary effect, but imagine a raid boss-fight, popping this ability when you have lots of raid-buffs or even encounter-buffs like the one during the Madness of DW-fight… for a short time, this ability can actually contribute some very useful extra-heals.

I have to play around more with the talents.. the shammy ones are interesting, but still, the druid ones seem to be the most exciting ones for me right now. We will see how things will change, this is, after all, still early beta.

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2012 in Classes, Healing, Mists Of Pandaria

 

Two beta-observations

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1. The language barrier

In every WOW-beta, you see the “language barrier”. People apparently are used to their own servers and the fact that those apparently are reserved for a certain country and language, so in the beta (remember, it’s one EU-server), people speak their native language, instead of trying to find and use a language that would guarantee most people understanding them (I guess English would be a good choice).

I didn’t take a screenshot, but I saw one conversation while questing, where someone asked (nicely, actually) whether it’d be possible if people could try to speak English in general chat, so everyone (or maybe, the majority of people) could understand.

What followed were a lot of rude comments (in German) by some of the German players (my mom was German, so I do understand the language), going on about how English wasnt the most used language, and that, if the guy wanted to understand them, he’d have to learn German, it was their problem.

One guy even went so far as to say “Yeah, its because we are still the evil Krauts”.

I think that that is not the problem. Yes, the EU-server has no language-rule or anything, of course. Yet, if you do ask questions in General Chat, you will probably get more answers if you ask in English, as I do believe that English is the language that is most commonly taught in schools all over Europe. I might be wrong there, but that’s what I think to be the truth.

It has NOTHING to do with ill feelings towards Germans or any other nationality… I just think that a) General chat is cluttered already, and if about half of the messages there are in a language one doesn’t speak, it becomes even more hard to follow anything and b) imagine yourself in a room where a lot of people talk, and some speak a language you don’t know… it is a strange feeling, and it might even make you feel uncomfortable.

I remember a few PUGs I was in where everyone spoke a scandinavian language. I ofc did not understand it, and at some point, from the few pieces I picked out (there are some words that can be understood if you do speak English or German), it was obvious they also were talking about me, which was not a nice feeling. Also, even if that hadn’t been the case, doing a 30 min instance with 4 people who talk in a foreign language doesn’t make you feel very… involved.

Please understand that this has nothing to do with being elitist or not liking certain countries or whatever. The reason why I think that some people ask people in General chat to try to speak English is simply to make it possible for everyone to understand what is being said… and those who ask questions will get something out of it as well, as there are more people who understand the question and can reply.

To immediately yell out “Ah, you just don’t like my country” is a rather exaggerated response, uncalled for, and not really helpful at all, and even though I do understand at least the German chat-contributions, I totally understand why some people ask to stick to English when the general chat is filled with many different languages.

So again, please don’t take this as an elitist “You HAVE to speak English” type post, I am just trying to maybe look at this from another perspective, and was a bit saddened to see the rude and disrespectful replies (which he ofc couldnt even understand) to the guy who asked…

I dunno, just some rambling, I guess

Observation #2

Healing without addons after using them for so long takes time to get used to. Call me a “newb”, and yes, I am aware that there are healers who heal without any addons at all, or can easily switch forth and back between healing with and without them, but after using Grid&Clique for so long, it’s weird for me to go back to switching with the F-keys, even though I of course can still use my Naga.

Right now, all addons are inactive on the beta (to make sure any problem encountered is caused by the game itself, not a combination of addons), so I hope that will change soon. Of course, once the expansion is out, people will use their favorite addons again, and so, to test healing changes better, I wish I could still use my addons. Again, call me a “n00b” if you want to, but I have been successfully healing heroics and raids for a long time now, and have gotten used to using addons. It’s not only the convenience they bring, it’s also that the whole “mechanic” of healing is different with mouseovers etc.

We will see! =)

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2012 in Misc stuff, Mists Of Pandaria, Rants

 

Feeling heroic

The track in the video above is from the Wandering Isle zone music, and plays while you quest sometimes as well.
I love this tune a lot, it really does make you feel heroic, makes you wanna run out and blast something with fire, ice, huge maces or nature energy =)

Some people have asked me what music is playing in the “druid healing” video I posted on Saturday… this is the one.

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2012 in Mists Of Pandaria

 

Questing with the moonkin

I started questing a little bit with my lvl 85 moonkin today, and so far, the spec still feels familiar… I don’t notice too many sweeping changes.
Basically, you juggle your lunar and solar powers, switch spells based on your eclipse-status. Mana isn’t much
of an issue at least while leveling either (especially compared with the horrible experiences I had with my shammy as a healer).

Of course, the zone is quite crowded, but it wasn’t too bad, and the reward of one of those first two quests was worth it:

Considering I still had “spire of the scarlet pain“, that is a nice reward indeed =)

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2012 in Classes, Mists Of Pandaria

 

A little video about the druid-changes

 

So I just tried some of the new healing spells, and wanted to show you a little bit of what you can do. Of course,the “classic” stuff is still there… Rejuv, Regrowth, Nourish, WG, LB, Rejuv&Swiftmend for AOE, etc.

In the video, you can also see me place the shrooms (the new placing-mechanic is nice…after all, there aren’t many people who wanna place just ONE of them, so being able to activate the placing-ability ONCE, then click three spots in a row to place them makes it quicker, prolly even while you heal), call in my treants, etc.

Of course, the effect of Cenarion Ward can’t be seen as it is triggered by taking damage.

Watch the heal-numbers and the mana-usage… it feels quite nice IMO!

The char you see is lvl 85, mostly in LFR-gear with 397s thrown in, ilvl 390

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2012 in Classes, Healing, Mists Of Pandaria

 

Playing around with the new druid talents

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So far, three of my chars have arrived at the beta-server, because other than the questing on Pandaria, I wanted to check out healing. I have of course taken a look at the new talents, even though I didn’t get to try them all in “normal” situations such as instances (still downloading parts of the data, and also, last night was raid-night in DS)

While the shaman- and priest-talent look nice, I was blown away by the changes to the druid. I dunno whether that is just early euphoria, but so far, this looks like FUN, and might help me get back into playing the resto-druid. I really loved the spec, but during Cata, I felt like something was missing, and compared to my shaman and priest, I felt like I was struggling more with the druid in the same situations… it just felt like something was missing.

1. Treant form
The good ol treant-form is back. In Cata, I used the glyph to make my tree-form look like the old treant, because it’s…I dunno, THE healing-form for me. Sure, the shape is rather cosmetic right now, but it sure feels good to see it being back, and it seems the backlash from druids convinced Blizz to bring it back.
I was hoping for this setup: If you want to, you can use the treant form (which is plain cosmetical, not boosting your stats), and in situations where you need to boost your output, you switch to the “new” tree-form… like a “primal tree” or something.

2. Cenarion Ward
One thing I like about shaman-healing is Earth Shield. It allows me to switch my attention to others in the group while the tank gets some healing from ES. Now, with CW, I can add that to the HoTs I have on the tank. Its not as same as the Earth Shield, as it has lesser charges, and a 30 sec CD. It does LAST 30 secs, but the charges get used up, so you can’t keep it on the tank if he keeps taking damage. Still, a nice tool.

3. Healing Mushrooms
Of course, a stationary effect you can trigger is tricky sometimes, but imagine a fight like Zon’Ozz… before the fight, or during the “bouncing phase”, you position them where the raid will stack, and use them when the dark phase starts, providing extra heals.
Or, if you know where the tank will keep the boss, and he won’t move much, you can place the shrooms there for an emergency heal. I am pretty sure that more and more possible uses will be found.

Love them or hate them, the mushrooms are an interesting mechanic for the druid in general (it took me a while to get used to them, but I actually like using them when I play balance), and it makes sense that there now is a healing-version. Let’s try to put it to use!

4. Treants
I can be a whole forest! Imagine being in treant form, then calling out three more treants that provide extra healing… a treant-emergency squad. I can’t measure yet how much healing output they add, but just like the shrooms, this can be a very useful CD when the group/raid takes a lot of damage.

Other stuff: Glyphs arent as essential anymore, they just add cosmetic effects or some useful stuff that fits your healing style. Still, I like the new swimform (orca)… as “classic” as the old form is, many players agree the swimform is incredibly ugly. I did use the Glyph of Rebirth (when using CR, the target comes back at 100% health…a nobrainer IMO), and will play with the others.

Obviously, I cant test out the lvl 90 talents yet, and with 3 healers at 85 and a monk I wanna lvl, it might be some time until I can, but so far, the changes to talents and glyphs seem like a lot of fun. Maybe it’s just because this stuff is new, but to me, it feels as if there are more options for the druid now, more Cooldowns and things like the Cenarion Ward, which might just make resto-style healing more fun for me again. Hope that will happen, and I hope that when I try to heal some instances, that those changes will turn out to actually make a difference =)

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2012 in Classes, Healing, Mists Of Pandaria

 

First beta-impressions

I spent a few hours in the beta by now, and just wanted to share a few impressions… =)

– As expected, the panda-starting-zone is totally overrun. Still, the quests are nice, the area and landscape is beautiful (just like the music), and I have to say..the female pandaren is really nicely done. I am not sure yet whether she actually fits into WOW for me (as she might be a bit TOO cute), but the animation and facial expressions are nice indeed.

– I also rolled a human monk. Unfortunately, no quests available for monks at Northire Abbey yet, so I had to grind my way to level 4 or 5, in order to start questing in Goldshire. Since I didn’t have gear or weps from quest rewards, that was…challenging (level 3, starter gear, going for lvl 6 kobolds), but some white level weps from the vendor (!) helped, and by now, I have a mix of crafted and quest gear.
I am not quite sure whether I like the martial arts style of the monk, but then again, I just made it to 10, chose the healer-spec, and will try him in instances next week.

– Also, the copies of some of my 85s arrived, and I queued for a normal MoP instance. The design was nice, but it took some time to get used to healing. My gear is mostly LFR-raid gear, ilvl 388, and I was able to easrily keep the first group up.
However, mana is a BIG issue, both regarding the mana-costs of spells and the mana regeneration. I admit I wasn’t healing as strategically as I could have, but I was OOM on the water-boss before he really got into phase 2. Check out this article with impressions from Joe Perez.
Then, we hit the water boss, the one I read about in advance, and he was just as annoying as I expected him to be. Granted, with each such bosses, you might need a successful kill or two in order to fight him easily, but right now, he simply feels like an annoying design.
The idea is from SSC. I found the harmful void zones hard to see… a dark room, with black, watery voidzones from the dead water ellies, plus the actual water you cant step into. The first part was easy, the second was…
annoying. Even with Natures Grasp in use, I found it hard to getr ANYTHING done while avoiding the water wall. The two possible strategies seem to be:
a) get behind him, burst, run around to dodge his water rinse and repeat while sloooowly grinding him down.
b) the hard method, with the group with their backs to a wall, the healer healing through the water-beam. This is
not fun if you have mostly melee chars.

The group I was in (as usual, the others didnt say much) tried the first approach, and soon, I was dead, without
being able to cast much.
Now, I am sure it just takes another attempt, and I am sure many will find this whole thing easy. I am not sure what to think…its SSC all over, and why not make him do this ability temporarily, instead of the whole fight? It feels kinda pointless to fight a boss that is basically a lawn-sprinkler, revolving 360 degrees while blowing a stream of water. If this was only in the last 10% or like, at 80, 60, 40 percent or whatever, it would still require tacts, but right now, it just feels annoying…
Am I being too negative? I dont know. The other parts were ok, but this wasnt much fun, as its not only a recap of old mechanics (SSC and Deadmines), but just… not fun.

I am sure the other fights are more fun, or maybe this one is easier for druid or priest (instead of shaman), and the designs are great.It didnt feel quite as tough as early Cata, even though I was OOM at some point, and I
still have to get used to a) the new talents and glyphs and b) the lack of addons, as I was healing this old school-style .

I will try again, but so far I can say:

– Beautiful landscape and music

– Quests seem to be fun

– Initial instances dont seem to be as hard as they were for healers in early Cata

– I hate that water-boss. Results may vary, but this one didnt win me over, even though I hoped he was less annoying than the description sounded =)

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2012 in Classes, Healing, Mists Of Pandaria