Thursday, 21 January 2010

Healing touch

Ever since I started playing wow as a resto druid, I have found healing touch to be amoung our oddest spells. Now that 3.3 has hit and we have an extra 10% haste bouncing around before you look at our gear I finally looked at a healing touch build. The build I propose would be:


This build assumes that your gear is able to get to over 856 haste to be even remotely viable. I took this into onyxia 25 and I found that I had aproximately 950 haste:
1.6s healing touch without natures grace
1.3s healing touch with natures grace

This build was one of the oddest heailng build i've ever used, bar glyphed healing touch builds. It provides well as you see above 13k heals, 20k crits on a relatively small cast speed. This build surprisingly has some majour short fallings and nice points:

- Healing touch provides a massive throughput, above what nourish can hope to touch, especially on a tank that you haven't had time to hot.
- You can combine phenomenal throughput with hots to provide stable tank healing that few can match.

- Healing touch has a high haste requirement
- Healing touch requries crit or even higher haste
- Healing touch costs a phenomenal amount

The cons I feel need a tiny bit more explaining. On our gear we have 3 stats we can chose 2 from; crit, haste and spirit. A healing touch build requires high crit to maintain naturesgrace to keep your throughput high, or high haste requirements to allow you to talent out of natures grace. I presume something in the region of 1200+ haste and you could ignore natures grace. High mana cost means that you would need an insane amount of regen to maintain a spam equivalent to what a paladin can pump out.

Unsurprisingly this build did not work out as effective for me, but I had alot of fun and noone died in the poor onyxia run I solo healed with this on my first time out of the garage.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Gold DKP

I have always been interested in economics (it largely stems from a family of economists) which means that one aspect of wow I in theory love is the auction house, though to be perfectly honest I have the attention span of a pea when it comes to controlling markets and i'm liable to give up and just offload my supplys at a marginal profit when I get bored, but thats me.

After avidly reading a wide variety blogs I kept coming across GDKP runs, though being an RP server such as Argent Dawn which has, to the best of my knowledge, only had one or two GDKP runs before I started organising them; which have gone to naxx while totc was progression so unsurpisingly I was tentative in organising them.

Before I continue further I will just give a brief description of GDKP:

Gold Dkp is a loot system (I think originally developed in Korea) whereby loot is put out to auction when it drops and the members of the raid bid using gold. The top gold bid trades his gold with the treasurer in exchange for the item. The gold that is spent goes into a pool that at the end of the raid is shared out evenly among the raiders.

Now of course there are variations in the above system with open or closed bidding, minimum bid sizes, entry fees and so on, but in the end they come down to the basic system outlined above.

About a month ago I started organising the raids on my server, initially taking them totc 25. I must confess it was tolerated to a much larger extent than I expected, but as per usual you get the odd nutjob who thinks that its fair to shout at you just because your proposing a loot system they don't even come to. So to start off with we went totc 25, while the guild was on a raiding holiday, taking a raid that was about 1/2 to 3/4 guild mains/alts and the remainder was filled with friends or pugs. We've had a series of relatively successful runs, but I have noticed one main thing, items still are going cheaply relative to prices on other servers. That is just fine (trinkets have gone for 2k to 13k gold), but in the end I would like GDKP run to have prices of items going for AH prices.

The reason why I am posting about this here is that this weekend we're taking the raid to ICC 25, and not only am I little nervous but I have had to think harder about raid composition and so on. The reason why goes as follows; in your normal GDKP run you split the raid aproximately down the middle with "workers" and "buyers". Workers are guild mains who come largely for some fun/that last trinket drop they need from the instance. "Buyers" are people who come in largely undergeared who are designed to supply the demand for the items that drop. In our initial runs we went with a high amount of workers relative to buyers, though we have now shifted more towards reducing the numbers of workers and increasing the numbers of buyers. That is largely because out of our maybe 10 - 20 workers who i could source from 7 have recieved the trinkets they wanted and are now happy to bring alts.

This weekend though we are going to ICC (which is only just being tentatively pugged - though you could argue that the leaders are just leading glorified rep runs as 2 in every 3 don't get past the first boss) and by definition we won't have workers and buyers as nearly all the raid are workers, due to the inability of our gild mains to come as they all go to icc. Unfortunately it does rule out one of the nice ethoses of GDKP which is that you can pull in an alt that has just dinged 80 into pretty much any GDKP run and gear him up without coping with "you are not geared enough to go into this heroic", but that is life.

The main dilema that I am faced with is a raid full of what should be buyers, but we will almost definitely have people coming who just want the gold, but aren't punching above the raid average in contribution. Now in an ideal world I would have a raid full of people who could just clear the instance in one smooth go, but would all really want to bid on gear, as this would result in a large pool of cash at the end being shared out which would comfort those that didn't recieve gear nicely even more. Howerever at some level I most want to raid with my guildys and there is nothing like a vent channel full of people cheering on the bidding in raid!

So for this week I will without a doubt take the broke people with us, as you can't help but pitty those people who have had to raise 50k gold to fund their own bid at shadowmourne. I will have to try not to hold my breath and go farm the ah for money so I can go lead the bidding and nab me some nice shinys (though it still hangs in the air whether I dig my warlock or my dk up).


Sunday, 17 January 2010

My rough ideas for gear in 3.3

Firstly I, with any set I pick, will aim to be over the haste soft cap of 856, as while cf is a perfectly good talent, I like to pvp and in all honesty just have more freedom to move 7 points around in the restoration tree (assuming i drop natures focus) as it is frankly more interesting and allows me to alter my play style more to fit my style of play.

I currently am aiming to pick up 4xT10 which leaves me with the challenge as to chose which pieces to pick up within the set. The legs and gloves are both mandatory as I need the haste, which leaves me with choosing between helm, shoulders and chest. In all honesty I don't know which pieces are better itemized out of the three, but the shoulders have a smaller stat contribution, which in turn means a small loss of haste - but to cut a long debate short i'll take shoulders and helm because in all honesty I do love the looks of our new tier.

This leaves me with options on the rest of my gear. Now there is one thing you should understand about my gearing, I don't like picking up mp5 over spirit and the reason why is not the relative regen merits of the two, it is simply that all things being equal you can reach a higher maximum spell power with spirit on your gear, rather than mp5.

By totaling up my gear (I am working with 264 item levels as though I may be fortunate enough to get heroic kills I am not going to rely on getting 277 items to ensure I reach the haste cap). By looking at the rest of my gear it becomes apparent that you can reach the 856 haste soft cap so long as every piece has haste, bar one slot (not including trinkets).

When looking over my gear there are two particular slots that appear to require the most thinking about. Feet and weapon slot. I traditionally have always aimed for a main hand off hand combo as it has always seemed to have the highest overall spell power.
Sundial of the Eternal Dusk + Trauma
Dying Light
with possibly heroic/normal versions of Mag'hari Chieftan's Staff along the way.

Now feet slot is the slot that most frustrates me, don't ask me why but I always like stacking a bit of regen which means that I really don't like to take items that have crit and haste on them rather than spirit/haste. For feet there really aren't many options, with the only haste/spirit boots being the crafted Blessed Cenarion Boots. This leaves me with the conundrum either shell out a good 12k gold on the boots, or simply live with using a staff.

As always in the end I don't like using BIS sets, but more a priority system and I hope my reasoning above has helped you in some way, as gearing for the 856 haste softcap seems to be achievable, but requires giving up more than I had initially planned for.

ps. one of the main reasons why I am looking at Trauma is due to the relative high benefit druids get from the staff relative to other healers. If you would like further discussion about this feel free to consult the EJ druid itemization forum thread.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

My talents (natures grace)

I feel a decent second post is to talk about how I like to spec. As you may notice I have taken 0/3 in CF and 0/3 natures grace. The reason for this is that by breaking my 4xt9 bonus I can actually get to 851 haste (only 5 short of the soft cap), which is just soo dreamy its insane. At this haste my nourish takes 1 second to cast fully raid buffed and I am loving it, damn new gear coming in why can't I just keep this set. I feel the second choice of talenting out of may be remotely controversial but my reasoning goes as follows:

When we raid I am largely a raid healer, though I have been known to dable in tank healing every now and then. This means that I do use alot of rejuvs/wild growths, though I am not opposed to using nourish (i hate being a 5xrejuv 1xwg person as it just feels dull). This means that while I do use regrowth I rarely spam it, though this may have as much to do with high mana cost as my healing style. Now don't get me wrong I love regrowth I think it is the most underapreciated heal with most restoration druids that I have met in WOW, and I find that it is invaluable in combination with hastened rejuvenation.

Now with my nourish down to a one second cast I find that natures grace would actually hinder me, as I would be clipping the gcd reducing my ability to act like a paladin and spam. This means that as of 850 haste my natures grace talent is only benefiting one of my spells regrowth (I'm not going to get into a debate about whether a heal of under one second is worth it, suffice it to say that while i respected a glyphed healing touch build I never loved it) and as much as I love regrowth I felt that I would much rather pick up natural perfection in the restoration tree for that little bit of pvp I do.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

A brief introduction

Well I feel that the best place to start a blog is to talk a small bit about me. My main is Pidigidy a restoration druid on the Argent Dawn server. I'm currently in the Lunatics Convention guild, which is I suppose a casual if semi serious guild by most standards. We currently raid 3-4 nights a week on 25 man content, and I suppose that it makes most sense to say we're working towards the horde first anub'arak heroic kill, which shows how sleepy horde on argent dawn are.

I have been playing World of Warcraft for over a year now, starting with the release of Wotlk. I have been raiding 25 man for about 90% of my time at 80, largely due to my preference of healing a 25 man run as opposed to 10 man runs, not to say I do not like them, it is just my personal preference.

I currently have 2 significant alts at level 80 a Death Knight tank called Thobas, who is specced blood for now and as long I can keep it, and a level 80 Warlock called Gloraa who is specced destruction. I also take great pride in being able to play my druid as a boomkin (and over a very slow Christmas a bear).