The Gray Place

Highway

Posted in Uncategorized by mrfenris on January 31, 2011

Their changing our computer policy at work because someone, somewhere got stupid and greedy.  Writing a political blog on work time while being paid by the very same administration that your blogging against, is a bad idea and of course now everyone must suffer (or at least must follow policy.)

I only titty at work.

/shrug

Dunno what I’m going to do yet.  Maybe a flash drive?

Friends and liars don’t wait for me, ‘Cause I’ll get on all by myself.
I put millions of miles under my heels;
And still too close to you I feel.  -Audioslave

 

 

Warbringer

Posted in General Me, Instances, WoW by mrfenris on January 26, 2011

Just a half-ass observation while I drink my coffee.

When I heal, I feel very connected to my party.  I’m talkative (“your standing in shit!”), I’m very aware and plugged in (“Uhhh that players too far away for Lightwell…”), and I feel this weird kinship with my party.

But when I tank I don’t give a shit.

Maybe it’s because my Warrior is like the unwanted dog who gets passed around to multiple owners via LFG.  But I’ve got a strange disconnect with the rest of my party and I’ve always secretly believed that tanks, not only tanks mobs and bosses, but they also tank against the rest of the party.

Why do I get this huge chip on my shoulder when I tank?  I actually find healing to be more stressful (and I enjoy it), then I do the act of tanking.

Going further down that road, the only part of tanking I find stressful at times is the fact that I am a tank.  Tanking mobs is easy, but sometimes it’s a pain being a tank because people don’t want your Hunter to come DPS, they don’t want you to switch to a DPS spec, they want to lock you in as the tank.

And I’m not whining.  The level of stress I feel isn’t comparable to any real life stress, but it’s more of an annoyance.  I mean I like that I have a class that can be useful, but man sometimes I just wanna do something else besides stand there and get face smashed by a boss.  (It can be quite un-engaging at times.)

On my tank I go from pack to pack as fast as my healer’s mana and DPS capabilities will allow.  I don’t “see” the rest of the party.  I spin my camera and pull any mobs headed their way, but they are just a lump of pixels that follow me around the instance.

Is it just because on my Warrior I constantly feel this urge to “gogogogogo”?  I mean Warbringer is freaking awesome.  I find myself constantly pulling on my warrior to keep my rage up, get ahead of the locks and hunters who like to shoot before I even touch a mob, and get my rend/thunderstomp in on the pack before my party catches up.

On my Paladin I was very measured and paced.  I liked to chain pull, but everything was smooth, orchestrated, and “safe” in my “969” rotation (haven’t tanked on it in Cata).  I was the elite badass guy striding across the battlefield destroying my enemies with ease as they came at me in measured, even paces like you see in the movies.  If I need too I can draw on the strength of the Light and heal myself and protect myself from damage.  After the fight I am unscathed and pure.

On my Warrior it’s more like a rolling street fight, where everything blurs.  I Charge in ahead of everyone else, put a Bleed on em, slam the ground, and start tabbing through targets, dropping Cleaves, Sunders, Shield Slams, and Shield Bashes.  This red haze settles over me and I become a swirling machine of death.  If a mob tries to run away I Shield Bash it in the head.  The only escape is death.  As I kill mobs via Cleaves, then boom Victory Rush starts proccing and I want to cackle as a mad man because the more stuff I kill the more life I gain.  I am the berserker on the battlefield with all the arrows sticking out of me, covered in my own blood and the blood of my enemies.

To me the two classes have two very distinct feels when it comes to tanking on them.  Yet the Warrior pushes me even further away from my group then my Paladin did.  With my Paladin it was more “Let’s go together.” while on my Warrior it’s just “Follow me.”.

Chargechargechargecharge.  “Thanks for the group.”  Leave.

And I’m not a dick about it.  I always make sure my healer is around and try to keep the stress off them.  I turn my targets and try to go a bit slower if I’ve got melee DPS (so they don’t have to chase shit all over).

When I’m tired from the day it’s far easier for me to log in and tank something then it is for me to log in and heal something.  Healing just seems to bring out more of an investment in me and sometimes I just want to get in, get out, and get it done.  When I’m tanking, I can just shut off and be “alone”.

Dunno.

Half A Heroic: LCT

Posted in General Me, Half A Heroic, Instances, Preizt, Walk-Throughs, WoW by mrfenris on January 24, 2011

Below:  My Holy Priest colored glasses look at the Lost City of Tol’vir.

Now:  Random riffs.

Re:  MMO Champion.  How long is all that paladin pink going to stay at the top of the recount meters?  Dunno, but 85% of us aren’t pro enough that we should care.

Journalism, social responsibility, and WoW.  Man talk about three topics that I never want to even think about in the same sentence.  It really is a slow week when this shit is getting kicked around.

WoW is dead.  Or at least its old player base is.  Yes that’s 95% of you.  No I’m not mad at you.  I can’t expect you to get married, get real jobs, have kids, and play the same game for five years.  Notice the lack of passion in the Cataclysm fan provided content?  Look at the Wowhead comments or lack there of.  Look at the once rabid class sites.  Look at your own blogs.

It’s alright.  Nobody blames you.  Everything has an end.  You’ve moved on.

Re:  Curious-  Would a gangbang count as AOE damage?

Coming up this week:  Half A Heroic: Grim Batol, we (lol “we”) finish SFK, and I giggle like a little chubby girl as my Spirit almost hits 4k when my trinkets and staff proc and Heal becomes “free to cast”.

Half A Heroic:  Lost City of Cat Dude- style- (are there no female Cat “Dudes”?  And if there were, would they have multiple furry juggs?  I’d hope so.  When I was a kid we had a Chihuahua with nine nipples.  Not 10, not 8.)

The Trash-

It’s all boring.  But you can handle all of it in Chakra: Serenity.  I tend to automagically go into Chakra: Sanctuary as a default mode but Serenity can handle more than I think we give it credit for.  Your party will rarely take AOE damage to death except on bosses so just keep your deeps stable and you can just direct heal your tank.

Oh but watch out for the Tol-Vir Merchants.  They try to hit your face with a kumquat.  Seriously.  They throw fruit.  15 feet tall and they throw fruit…

General Husam

K.  This boss is simple in theory.  It’s not much different then it is on reg.  HOWEVER, this boss was the hardest I had to heal on the entire instance.  I would recommend healing this encounter in Sanctuary due to the large amounts of AOE damage that end up flying around, especially if your group is all melee like mine was.  In hindsight the tank damage on this encounter is very light.

Bombs baby.  Bombs.  Supposedly they are easy to avoid.  They were not.  We had players (myself included) running into them, getting tossed into them, blowing up other people with them, etc.  It hurts.  Eventually we ended up having our tank kite the General around the two pillars in a circle (which borks Holy Word: Sanctuary, but don’t worry).  This kept our happy little feet away from the bombs and made the encounter 10x easier to heal.  Toss Lightwell in the middle between the pillars and demand that people click it when they go by.  The other damage is not really worth mentioning.  Yeah someone will get randomly pounded via Bad Intentions.  Yeah Shockwave hurts move out of it, yadda yadda.  Handle it.  This is Half A Heroic we only talk about half the stuff, so deal.

Two things.  1.  I should have been moving ahead of the tank along his kite path instead of being in Chakra: Noob and lingering behind with the bombs.  2.  You can Lifegrip a player down who bugs and gets stuck on an object after they get bounced via Bad Intentions.

Lockmaw & Augh-

I have no idea why people have problems with this fight.  Drop a Lightwell as appropriate near Lockmaw for your deeps.  You can stand on the Croc statues and not take damage and avoid the Croc adds supposedly, but seriously it’s not all that hard to hit Fade.  Our tank just picks them up and DPS burns then down.

Not really much to mention here.  Yeah the little Pygmy Augh comes in and whirlwinds.  It damages people.  It’s your job to heal damaged people, blah.

The Croc does have an Enrage at 30% but I never even noticed if our Rogue Shived it off (remind Rogues they can Shiv off Enrages now pleasethankyou).  All in all a simple fight except when you screw the pooch, forget to heal yourself because you’re trying to get your Shadowfiend to target the boss, and you Fail Angel.  WTF is with Shadowfiend lately?!?!?!

Augh jumps in at this point (you still have time to res and regen before he is pulled) and he does some more Whirlwind type stuff.  Kite him when he’s WW (and he is tauntable during this), hope someone else cleanses Paralytic Blowgun Dart (you can Cleanse it off yourself if your specced for it), and wait for Augh’s Enrage (+60% damage).  Wowhead doesn’t seem to think you can remove this Enrage, so just act accordingly and Guardian Spirit it or have your tank blow some CD’s.

High Prophet Barim

Wipe city till we did one simple thing.  More on that later.  So yeah High Pro can be a bitch.  First off let me mention that if you Fail Angel in the Shadow Phase it pops you out into the “Sun” Phase and you can’t heal anyone.  At best you can hope for a Kumquat on your face from a Tol’vir merchant.

Secondly.  Your Lightwell WILL transfer over to the Shadow phase nicely.  However I don’t recommend placing it near the boss.  Instead place it in the middle of the path that you’ll be kiting the Dark Phoenix during the Shadow phase.  This way your deeps and tank can heal up as they move around.

This fight is extremely mana intensive.  Get used to your deeps hovering around 30% during the Shadow phase.  Do not panic like me and PoH them back up constantly.  Your HW:  Sanctuary works great in the Sun Phase but in the Shadow phase it’s kinda wasted.  I still stayed in Sanctuary for some extra umph on the AOE heals.

Pro tip.  Don’t be a noob like me and go stand in his Hallowed Ground.  It looks just like your HW: Sanctuary graphic.

K we could talk about what everyone is SUPPOSED to do during this fight but we don’t care about them.  We only care about Holy Priests and to a lesser extent other healers.  Don’t be afraid to pop Divine Hymn during the Shadow phase at all.  The boss himself doesn’t hit that hard once you figure out how to keep your tank from taking a metric ton of damage via Fifty Lashes.

The problem we ran into was that I can heal through the Fifty Lashes, no problem.  It just it caused me to burn through my mana (especially with people standing in the sun beam of doom) and for me to be bone dry by the time we dropped out of the Shadow phase.  You can probably do Chakra:  Serenity during the Sun phase no problem, then switch to Sanctuary during the Shadow phase.

Fiddy Lashes and how to beat it.  Disarm.  The end.  Our tank went from taking big gobs of damage to a small amount that Renew/Heal could keep up with.  If you don’t have disarm I’ve also heard that kiting him can cut down on your fiddy lashes.  Or maybe you’re a baller and can heal through it and have enough mana left for the rest of the encounter.  I cannot yet.

This like many fights is one where the more DPS you have the easier it’s going to be for you.  If there’s one thing in this encounter I can’t stress enough, it’s to PACE yourself.  This fight is all about proper spell selection and the “rippin’ and the tearin'”.

Siamat-

And in the grand design of our Half a Heroic reviews we come to the point in the instance where I basically only run half the heroic.  However no big legged baby could pull me away this night as usual, instead the endless march of time would be my nemesis.  We put in one attempt on the boss and decided “screw it, we’re tired” and two healed it.  So off logs his DK and in logs his Resto Druid and we had a blast laughing and giggling as we two-healed the final boss.

So I have never actually finished the final boss by myself but it seems entirely doable.  One thing to mention is Lightwell can be a pain in the ass to place in this fight as it seems some of the floor blocks line of sight.    However I did notice a few things that gave me pause on the first attempt.

Obviously this fight lends itself quite easily to Chakra: Sanctuary and you can drop HW: Sanc right on the group that’s killing the large Servant of Siamat add.  These adds cast a Thunder Crash as they die which stacks a nasty/good debuff on your players, Lightning Charge.  This not only causes your party to take more damage it also allows them to deal more damage.  The bad part is that it stacks and can get out of hand if your handling Chain Lightnings from the other adds, spells from Siamat, and players standing in the green swirls.  Remember to keep moving your feet during this encounter because this area is large enough that players can get out of range as they chase down the adds.

Don’t be ashamed to ask a Hunter or Shammy to toss-up Nature Resist as theirs a TON of nature damage being flung around.

We could have done this encounter without us switching to two heals but it was far easier to just half-ass it.  My old healing partner and I completely trivialized it by two healing it.

During the second phase Siamat will toss players around and into nasty stuff on the ground.  This part feels like a burn phase to me.  Hit your CD’s like Guardian Spirit and Divine Hymn to power through it.  You’ll want to keep your party high on health since there’s so much AOE damage going around.  I don’t think you’d ever need to get out of Chakra: Sanctuary for this encounter.

Lost City of Tol’Vir, Half A Heroic style.

Half a Heroic: SFK

Posted in General Me, Half A Heroic, Instances, Preizt, Walk-Throughs, WoW by mrfenris on January 18, 2011

See we here (and by “we” I mean just me) at The Gray Place (I linked myself LOFL) don’t believe in being the best you can be.  We don’t want you squeezing out an extra .1337 DPS by changing all your gems to the new epic hotness for your ilvl 300 gear.  Instead we advocate using Wrath gems because their cheaper and ALMOST as good.  We want you to save your money to pimp out your pre-raid gear.

We don’t want you to slave over forums, elitist jerks, wowhead, and youtube to find the hidden Theory of Everything for WoW so you can be a true Kung Fu Master (in a video game *snort*).  Instead we want you to do simple things to make you a better player like key binding, understanding the encounter, and making smart choices during said encounter.

Simply put, we (and by “we” I still mean, just me) want you to put in the minimal amount of your real life’s time into this game and get the maximum output into the game itself.  Your real life is far to precious and should be spent eating pie, petting puppies, fucking billy goats, and other things you enjoy.

So all that being said.  In the grand tradition of being a “casual” WoW player I bring you…

Half a Heroic:  Shadowfang Keep style. (Largely written for Holy Priests btw, since that’s all I really give a shake about atm.)

First.  Why start with SFK?  Because as a priest you wear the equivalent to gauze bandages.  No srs.  Your job is to stand there in presence of freaking dragons and wear something completely flammable.  Cloth!  Cloth brings you to SFK.  There are 5 cloth drops alone in SFK.  Sure some don’t have spirit on them but if you whine enough to can steal them from a Warlock (psst, they aren’t real people anyway) and reforge them.  Get it into your heads.  Cloth = SFK.

Second.  It’s the only heroic I’ve run.  Hey some of us have real lives…

Honestly if your worried about being ready for Heroic SFK I can’t give you a magic number of “OK GO!”.  But myself I went in there with an equipped 227 ilvl, 1600kish spirit, and Potions of Concentration.  Forget everything else.  Take a handful of PoC with you.  It makes your life 10x easier and their dirt cheap.

Trash-

The trash is largely boring in the front half of SFK.  However I would like to mention that Mindless Horrors have a Fear and can drop some damage on melee party members.  They hit pretty hard and can be easily pulled as a single mob (which I’d recommend for now).

Baron Ashberry

First time I went to SFK I didn’t understand this boss and laid there dead on the floor as I watched our Rogue tank and kill him.  After the lightbulb went on the next time I went through I kept everyone alive.

Forget what you’ve heard about this fight.  It’s actually easy due to two facts.  1.  The Stay of Execution he casts does your job for you.  2.  The hard parts of the fight are other people’s problems.

This fight calls for going into Chakra:  Sanctuary as it’s all AOE healing and you’ll tank him right where he’s standing.  As always pre-pull you’ll want to drop your Lightwell (which won’t aggro bosses remember) off to his side so your pesky Rogue doesn’t stand on top of it.  This Lightwell is extremely important in this fight because he will at one point lift everyone up in the air and “stun” them so you won’t be able to heal and reduce their health to like 1%.  HOWEVER Lightwell is still clickable during this so make sure you party knows to click it when they are up in the air.

So you’ve got your LW down, your PoM on the tank, you’re in Chakra: Sexual Healing mode, and you start the encounter.  Everyone is going to be clumped up pretty tight together so toss down your Holy Word: Sanctuary and then do nothing.  No seriously because eventually the good Baron is going to Asphyxiate the entire party down to 1% health so don’t bother wasting your mana.  Click the Lightwell while your unable to cast, Circle of Healing as soon as you land, then I toss out a Prayer of Healing and then I stop healing by and large.  Don’t invest your mana in party health that your just going to lose again next phase.

In fact about the only thing you’ll be doing for the rest of the party is dispelling the Wracking Pain dot off your party.  This MUST be dispelled because it does stack and will wreck your day in a hurry with all the AOE damage in this fight.  Otherwise just sit back, keep your tank around 60% and your golden until the last phase of the fight.  (FYI I like to drink a Potion of Con right after I heal up the party after Asphyxiate.)

At 20% the boss will start to drop large amounts of damage on everyone due to his Calamity ability.  As long as you just didn’t come out of Asphyxiate you’ll push through this just fine dropping Divine Hymn and rounding out with a few spammed Prayers of Healing.  Obviously you’ll want mana during this stage and you should have plenty since you’ve been under healing this whole fight.

This fight is made for Holy Priests.

Baron Silverlaine-

Almost a complete tank and spank.  I tend to do this one in Chakra: Sanctuary but I don’t suppose it really matters.  The only thing that you really need to look out for in this encounter is a massive healing debuff he puts on the entire party, Cursed Veil.  Don’t click the link I’ll save you some time.  CV not only deals party wide damage, it also puts a debuff on the target that negates 75% of your healing.    That can hurt once he starts summoning adds, your tanks being pounded on, and you find yourself in a “heal hole”.  (That’s where your behind on your healing and trying to pull life bars out of the “hole”.)  It seems like CV could be interrupted since it has a cast time but your deeps are probably going to be busy burning adds.

The half-hearted info I’ve found on the adds all show they don’t do anything major and therefore “aint yo problem”.  Heal around it.  At any rate, that CV debuff hurts and once I tried dropping a Mass Dispel and I nearly cried as my entire mana bar went away since it was about an 8k mana cost.  Bleh.  It’s up to you on what you want to do with the debuff, but I tried just keeping everyone topped up once it hit and just healed as normal through it.  There’s a decent delay between his casts of CV so just get everyone back up around 80% and you should be fine before the next one hits.  If I take it off anyone I take it off the tank.

Commander Springvale-

K this is the one EVERYONE and their mother says to be afraid of.  But you’re not gonna be because your no punk ass wanksta.  This is like many other encounters in WoW.  If you do it wrong it’ll seem impossible.  If you do it right, you’ll be all “no big deal”.

The most important part of this fight are the adds.  Both adds have an ability that gives Commander Rick Springvale an Unholy Power buff.  Once he has three stacks he will cast some nastiness on your tank and party.  The first is a cone affect and while it hits hard it’s “meh just damage” and you’re a Holy Priest and Blizzard says it’s your job to heal damage.  The second ability is downright bugfuck nasty… Word of Shame.  Yes it’s the same word your mom used when she found you in the bathroom with a copy of Chunky Asses.  This acts as a soft enrage effect and eventually you will be out of mana and unable to heal through it.

So while adds are generally not your responsibility, these adds are Undead.  Being a Priest you have some of the best Undead crowd control around in Shackle.  If needed you should Shackle one of the adds while the party burns down and interrupts the other from buffing Rick Springvale.  Then burn down the Shackle and the boss is basically a tank and spank.

We ended up pulling the boss all the way out to the courtyard and CCing the adds as soon as they ran out the kitchen, but your mileage may vary.  In addition to the adds Springvale drops a DnD on the ground so your tank should move him out of it.  Our tank just slaps his back to a wall (cutting the DnD in half) and moves him up and down the wall as needed.  If you do get a second set of adds, just CC and rinse, lather, repeat.  Now I’ll be honest the second time we did this boss he evade bugged, but he reset on his own sans adds and it was a yawn fest.

You MUST control/burn the adds at this stage in the game.  If your party can’t do it, then their being stupid and it’s not your job to heal through stupid.  Opps forgot.  One of the adds has a Mortal Strike debuff too.  Blah, fucking handle it.

Bang dead boss.

And now you’re at the point that I’m at.  Where your happily healing along, chatting in vent, and drinking your coffee and your big legged infant decides he’s going to wake up screaming (single dad duty that night and to be fair I did prewarn the party) or your previously mentioned big legged son wakes up and decides to wet through his diaper and get his jammies and his sheets, so you apologize real quick and log off to go change sheets and help out your wife.  Same spot.  Both times.

The deadliest boss in all of Shadowfang Keep… my son.  For the record I’ve sworn off Heroics until he starts sleeping through the night.  I don’t mind ditching WoW for real life, but I don’t want to waste four other people’s time.

Tada.  You can now heal Half a Heroic:  SFK-style.

Snow

Posted in Gaming, General Me, Preizt, WoW by mrfenris on January 12, 2011

k back.

Patch 4.0.6 PTR notes sayith…

“Binding Heal and Holy Word: Serenity now refresh the duration of Renew on the target, in addition to the other direct heals.”

And let me me tell you why I LOVE this more then the CoH buff.  HW: Serenity is an instant cast spell.

Forget everything else.  Focus on the fact that it’s an instant.

Keeping Renew refreshed on the tank is no big deal.  It’s easy.  But lately I’ve been poking about putting Renew on a DPS player and seeing how often I can keep it refreshed in order to try and get a maximum return on my Renew initial cast.

However, often I’d find myself unable to keep that Renew rolling on the DPS due to everything else I’m doing.  I’d look down and notice I’d only have less then three seconds left on the Renew before it ticked off and I couldn’t get a Heal off in time to refresh it.

Enter HW: Serenity.  Now you can.  I am not declaring uberness due to this change.  I am however declaring that if it goes through it might just become feasable to keep that Renew rolling on a DPS in certain situations.

And I can cast Binding heal to refresh it too!?!?!  Wicked.

Meh.  State of Mind.  Personally I’m not specced into it as of right now anyway, but a talent that low in your tree should be useful.  Lets hope they change that too, if Chakra is going to last longer then some of you in the bedroom.

And if this math is correct in this thread, then even the Prayer of Healing nerf wasn’t that big of a nerf for Holy priests as it seems to be on the surface.

Mind Sear still weak if the buff goes through?  Hmm.  Maybe they could work in an increased percentage of Shadowy Apparition proccing.  This way you still have to dot up your targets before you start lolsearing and you can’t move while channeling Sear to tweak your SA proc rate even further.

“Sometimes we’ll listen to others
And I can be wrong…
Put a little love in bit of candy
We gonna climb high, higher than a mountain
”  -Mathematics

I think I got to play WoW three times the whole 10 days I was on vacation.  Silly me.  Here I thought to myself, “man I’ll get my ilevel up for Heroics, starting grinding through some, get my face mashed in, but have a blast because it’s a challenge, FORTHAHORDE!, etc”.

But no.  I didn’t even get past ilevel 327.

I did go out for dinner (an average Ribeye) and drinks (weak Gin and Tonics) alone with my wife.  It was so nice, not hearing the roar of my spawn in the background.  We spent the whole dinner talking about them and of course then we went shopping at Toys “R” Us for them after dinner.

I did nothing but cart kids around to various assorted schools, doctors, and play Xbox all vacation.

Is Resident Evil Five racist?  That was the knee jerk reaction back when it was released.  I honestly don’t care.  I’ve been killing stereotypical ethnicities my entire gaming career and this time it’s supposedly different?  All I know is Chris Redfield is nowhere near as pimp as Leon Motherfucking Scott Kennedy is.  Poser.

Five kinda is missing the Resident Evil Foh mark, IMO.

“She looks like the real thing
She tastes like the real thing
My fake plastic love”  -Radiohead

I know some healers get annoyed with Warrior tanks who pull quickly and charge ahead without the rest of the party.  After tanking on my lowbie warrior I’ve figured out two reasons why.

1.  To get rage, in order to ACTUALLY USE YOUR FUCKING ABILITIES!

2.  To use said abilities before THE FUCKING DPS STARTS SPAMMING SHIT BEFORE YOU EVEN TOUCH THE MOB.  HELLO FUCKFACE DONT AOE BEFORE I GET OFF MY REND SO I CAN THUNDERSTOMPY THE PACK AND SPREAD REND AROUND LIKE AN STD AT A FRAT HOUSE.

Srs.  I’m not a pally that starts with a full mana bar.  I work backwards.  I have to actually hit people or get hit by them to… you know… like tank.

And quit fucking killing critters.  I use them to generate rage pre-pull.

Jackwagons.

I realized I really missed tanking.