Healing Halion is harder than I hoped.

Okay, bad alliterations there. It was just so tempting.

Halion the Twilight Destroyer, the newest (although not completely new anymore) raid encounter in our beloved WoW, is interesting. I like the fight.

On normal mode, he is quite easy to beat while still being an interesting boss to fight. For many guilds, he went straight to farm status after he was released. The hardmode is genuinely hard, from what I could see last night – and that wasn’t much. There is so much going on in that fight effects-wise that my PC and Internet both just kept crashing. The Internet connection was in a sorry state to begin with and I couldn’t do much about that except wait for the others to finish their silly downloads, and my PC shall be upgraded shortly.

Nevertheless, I will try and describe what I could gather from those few precious seconds I had in the fight and from what I heard on Vent.

The hardmode changes the whole fight. It is genuinely hard. My new guild (hopefully a place I can call home soon), who is progressing fairly well in ICC25 hardmodes, was struggling with even getting him to P2 – they succeeded on their last (29th) try, when I was already replaced due to the aforementioned problems. On one hand, I want to be able to do the fight at all (working on that) and down him, but on the other hand this appears to be much more challenging than anything I’ve come across in ICC and I think that’s great.

What I’ve been curious about, though, is which priest should be in which realm in P3. It matters little for the normal mode of the encounter, but in the hardmode, there’s two lines of argument. One is to have the Disc priest in the Twilight Realm because she can more easily heal while moving, the other is to use the Holy priest for that so that Body&Soul can be provided to those with the debuff to enable them to move as quickly as possible. I don’t think it’s easy to determine which is the better course of action without seeing how much your raid struggles with movement where B&S would help, but it’s certainly something to think about.

I’ll not go into more strategy details since we’ve not worked this out completely yet ourselves and there’s enough guides out there already, but I think I like our pink new dragon foe more than I ever thought I’d like any member of the Black Dragonflight.

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Alt runs

This past weekend I did my usual weekend raiding, getting the week’s two ICC out of the way.

I did ICC25 with a PuG on Saturday and even for a PuG it was worse than what I’d encountered those past few weeks. There was some ninjaing at Saurfang, the raid fell apart and I put the raid leader on ignore. Couple this with the fact that everyone was more than geared enough to go for Kingslayer, and you may be able to see why I’m frustrated with this sort of thing.

Afterwards, I was lucky enough to be able to join an ICC10 alt run of a progression guild on Kazzak I’m friendly with (seriously love these guys, and I now informally applied to them). We had to take along two randoms – always a bad idea – and called it after wiping on Marrowgar heroic, so no one got saved and we didn’t have to run the rest of the instance with two people who were incapable of switching their target to Bone Spikes when necessary. We decided to reform the raid on Sunday afternoon.

It took about 5 hours to get a raid group together from the time I was told to be online on Sunday, but it was well worth it. There was one other person not in said guild participating, and he was from another progression guild, so no worries there.

Some people did bring undergeared alts, but we had a near perfect raid composition (including a shaman who wasn’t an idiot, for once). We only succeeded at the two easiest hard modes because gear was unfortunately a bit of an issue, but we killed 10 bosses without much trouble – hard to see that in a PuG, even when everyone is decked in ICC25 gear.

Sindragosa was the weekly and we tried to down her while getting the quest done 4 times or so, and then went for a try without attempting to do the quest. That didn’t go all too well, either, and it’s probably in part because I got distracted enough to miss Unchained Magic on myself and kept spamming heals, dying to 20 stacks of that at the beginning of her first flight phase.

After that it was getting late, so we called it a night.

Having done 5/12 HM in ICC10 and also downed Sindragosa in the past, this wasn’t my best raid but it was one with skilled people and felt more like an accomplishment than most PuGs do. I’d be fairly happy just doing alt runs with skilled people for the moment, happier than pugging anyway.

Let’s just see what they think about my application.

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Updates on spreadsheet, guild search and general Blizzard news.

First things first.

I am proud to announce that I have finished a priest spreadsheet, it can be found here. It doesn’t do much — it merely shows the casting times for a healing priest’s more relevant spells. Not too fancy, especially not for Disc, but it seems to work with my own data, I’m in the process of letting some other priests I’m friendly with input their stats to see if it gives them the right numbers, too. And it’s just good for my ego to have presentable results.

Please be aware that I’ve thrown this together in an hour or so, so don’t be too awed by it. I specifically decided to make this because I know my other spreadsheet is a lot of work and I needed some results to keep me going with the larger problem.

Guilds! I finally submitted a formal application to a raiding guild, the one I’ve done ICC10 with recently. I spoke to some of their officers on Vent and they seemed rather pleased with what they saw even though they aren’t really looking priests at the moment. They might want me to go Holy and I don’t actually feel very bad about that even if I hope that I can still be Disc for those fights where a Disc/Disc setup can actually shine. Possibly Disc with Holy gems, though. I’m supposed to get a reply tonight, I’m obviously hoping it will be positive.

The last issue I want to adress, which every gaming blog is discussing at the moment: RealID and the rather shocking announcements about it. I’m sure anyone who reads this has read some of the other things going on such as people actually showing how easy it is to find someone’s real life adress and such from just their name and character name. I have my own reasons for not wanting my account’s name all over the forums, and those are different from the reasons most have (potential stalkers and such), but I can see how there are still very real dangers. I’ve long ago put in place an online identity that does display my real name with the rest of the data being random (but still credible). It has been quite successful at leading past stalkers onto a wrong trail.
I won’t say more, even saying as little as I did here might prove a mistake. I’m willing to take that risk because I hope someone will read this and follow my example.

I am  aware that there are quite a few people off the Internet who in fact know all my real life data and also some who have enough to find it out without my consent, but the idea is still viable and can help protect you if you choose to expose yourself to the public by using the O-Boards in the future.

If it comes to this RealID implementation. What with the potential threats by people holding a grudge against or developing an unhealthy obsession with you, future employers googling your name to see you flame someone on your server forum and other issues connected to this, I do hope it doesn’t happen.  I also think it’s a bad, bad step business wise for Blizzard. Maybe Activision hope to get something out of this, but I do not know what.

The other bit about this is that they want to merge it with Facebook in some fashion. I sometimes think mentioning my character on Facebook at all is simply a bad idea because there seem to be people who make judgements about how hardcore I’ve been with raiding when I down Rotface heroic. Ha, ha.
This whole linky-deal would just make that problem more severe, and possibly decrease my influence over matter which is something I don’t like at all.

Posted in Priestly theorycrafting, Raid composition and synergy, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Healing Spreadsheets

I’ve started working on a Disc spreadsheet.

What inspired me was this thread on Allakhazam where I answered some questions about Disc raid healing. As you can see when you read it, I made some blanket statements about gemming choices without providing any mathematical proof. Gemming for Disc is very straightforward. I have now done some theorycrafting and for our current shield-spamming playstyle Spell Power seems to really be ahead of everything else for throughput by a huge margin, once we’re over haste cap. This confirms my experiences and what the leading Disc bloggers have said for a while now, but I ended up making a spreadsheet to at least do the math for our most important spells.

Spending time in Excel anyway, I have decided to attempt to create a spreadsheet that can be used as an in-depth tool for gear analysis based on World of Logs data.

What it will do once I’m finished is enable a priest to put in their base stats and log data from a specific fight, as well as raid buffs present at the time, and then modify some stats to determine the impact some choices have on their average throughput. Using relatively small data samples (single bossfights), RNG plays a large role and the data the spreadsheet produces will not reflect reality as accurately as I’d like, but it takes into account our personal playstyle in specific encounters, which is incredibly significant for healing.

We are not DPS, we don’t have an optimal rotation because even being the most proactive healers in the game, our spell choice is still a reaction to what an enemy is throwing at us or about to throw at us. Taking data from logs to run through the spreadsheet takes this into account.

There is also another problem I can’t solve and that is overhealing. Luckily Disc is the one healing spec where this isn’t such a big deal and we can’t just gear for more haste anyway since the global cooldown cannot be shorter than one second.

It also doesn’t take mana efficiency into account but that isn’t a big deal nowadays, anyway. Exploit Rapture, friends! I will probably post about this soon since it’s one of my favourite topics.

So all in all, the spreadsheet will never correctly reflect anything but I hope to get it to a level where it’s nearly as good as your average DPS spreadsheet for the purpose it’s meant to serve. Or at least get it to give reliable enough data to support our gear choices.

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LF Guild

Hello everyone!

Let me first introduce myself, or rather my character in World of Warcraft.

My name is Kalivha, and I am a troll lady. Trolls can’t get much more ladylike than me. I am a level 80 Discipline priest and currently an officer in a social guild that can’t really get raiding started due to serious attendance issues – the price of being social.

This brings me right to the core of the problem. Back in 2007, I used to be a progression raider. My guild wasn’t anything special and at the time I was still a Night Elf, but we did reasonably well, the environment was relatively serious and we actually got some Alliance-side server first kills. On a bad server. But that is not the point.

I’ve been in social guilds that raided very casually since and I really hate not being able to progress. In my current guild, we all have the right mindset to do progression raiding but we have 4-5 active players which means hitting Trade Chat and even with selecting people as carefully as possible you always get enough fail to not get very far in current content (or even outdated content, for that matter – I’ve yet to participate in an Anub’Arak 25 kill).

Knowing my own mindset and that of our guild leader, I have persuaded the two other people who are still truly active in our guild to try and apply to a proper raiding guild with me. I would love to keep playing with them but ultimately I cannot bear the frustration that pick-up groups bring anymore.

So I’ve been writing my application. I’ve yet to post it anywhere since I’m missing a World of Logs parse showing my performance in a raid, and since we haven’t fully agreed on a guild to apply to yet. I’ll log my next VoA or something, which I should be able to do today, and then send in my application. This is a lot like looking for jobs. I enjoyed writing the application more than I did for most job applications and I feel I did a better job, too. It’s at least at the same standard (truth be told, I wouldn’t put this much work into applying for some random retail job).

So hopefully I will find a guild and finally get a challenge out of this game. I like doing my best, but I can’t truly fulfil my potential if I’m held back by others like this.

And if I get to participate in progression raiding, I will do my best to share my experiences here.

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