Monthly Archives: June 2013

Healing LFR

Selecting, or Getting in the Groove
So far, I only have the “basics” in terms of addons updated and refunctioning since the patch.  I haven’t gotten around to installing Vuhdo, partially due to time (I’d have to learn it), but also because I find myself wondering if it would actually speed me up or not – I would still need to move my right hand away from the keys and to the mouse to mouse over someone, and then back again to heal.

No Russian Allowed Either While we're at it, I ban the speaking of French in front of Dark Animus.

No Russian Allowed Either
While we’re at it, I ban the speaking of French in front of Dark Animus.

As a result, I’m debating redoing my keybinds.  All my healing spells align to the right of the keyboard due to leveling via LFD/heroics.  The thing stopping me from doing this, however, is the fact that I keep the same “pattern” across multiple characters.  It helps when I’m reduced to blind button mashing (say, when in a PvP rage), because I’ll generally be hitting the right “type” of hotkey.  Any class that has any sort of healing capabilities will always have those abilities towards the right of the keyboard.  Priest, Death Knight, it doesn’t matter.  The order is typically Damage > Healing > Panic Buttons.  Relearning muscle memory for one character is bad enough, but all of ’em?  Eeeee.

I’m just going to have to keep practicing the motions and hope I get a little smoother at it.

Recount
I always think Recount should be taken with a grain of salt in an LFR setting due to the wide variety of gear that people show up wearing, not to mention the large gap in caring capacity that often exists.  The guy fresh out of heroics just isn’t going to do the same as the guy in ToT LFR/raid gear even if he’s some sort of magic miracle player, you know?

When I am DPS, I primarily use Recount just to keep an eye on whereabouts my DPS is “in general.”  Seeing it in the top 5 (or even in the top 10) is a nice ego boost, but, again, it’s LFR – a lot of that total is either my gear talking or the simple apathy of the team I wound up with.

When it comes to healing, my standards are generally quite simple.  Are we alive?  Then you did good!  Are we dead?  Well, then you did bad.

An Inch from Wiping Does this count as a photo finish?

An Inch from Wiping
Does this count as a photo finish?

But that sort of standard is dependent upon me being the only healer.  I can only attribute the fail 100% to my healing capabilities if I’m the only one in that role, after all.  When there are others, it suddenly becomes harder to determine whether I’m even remotely competent or if I just got lucky and was lumped in with some druid who drastically overgears the instance.  I find it kinda difficult to judge “where I am” in terms of capacity because if we’re alive and if I can probably thank other healers for that, then my only other option is to look at Recount – which is rather meaningless for the reason noted above.

My numbers are low to start off with, and I am making it worse.  As I’ve complained about that whole 300k mana limit before, I’m purposely avoiding Casting All The Damn Time, and I’m trying to choose smaller heals if at all possible.  I want to keep as much mana as I can so that if sheeyit hits the fan near the end, I’m not SOL – I can still pull out the big guns.  If we’re not taking big damage, I’ll toss some spells or a totem at the boss instead of more heals.  This means, however, that my HPS score is, uh … well, let’s just say that I’m generally the second to last healer in the line of numbers.

Dispels?  Close to the top!  General activity?  Practically number one.  Keeping up HOTs like Riptide or even Earth Shield on the main tank?  I’m pro!  Overall?  NO CLUE.

Wipe Paradeeeeeee
And then sometimes it just seems like there’s NOTHING YOU CAN DO TO MAKE THINGS BETTER.

Shut Up Shut Up Shut Up Shut Up If I keep on praying for it, maybe they'll do it.

Shut Up Shut Up Shut Up Shut Up
If I keep on praying for it, maybe they’ll do it.

Even if I healed out the wazoo, I shouldn’t be the top healer – not at 484 gearscore.  Though I’m almost fully gemmed, I’m only partially enchanted at this point in time.  So imagine my surprise when Recount was showing me as #2 for most healing done during my last attempt at Durumu.  I was swamping the tanks and the DPS with all the heals I had, the tanks especially because Oh My God the DAMAGE – one moment they’d be fine, and the next you’d look at ’em to find they’re at 24% HP AND SHEEYIT HEAL CAST FASTER O CRAP!  SOMEBODY BATTLE RES THE TANK, FOR THE LOVE OF GAWD.  Fortunately, I never ran out of mana because we wiped constantly.

What Got Me This Time My combat log was helpful.  It said, "You died."  Thanks, but what did it?

What Got Me This Time
My combat log was helpful. It said, “You died.” Thanks, but what did it?

If it wasn’t one tank or the other suddenly kicking the bucket, it was the first maze phase wiping out over half the LFR.  I personally know that I AM going to die each and every time on the maze phase, because I Just Don’t Get It.  I get dodging bugs with tornadoes now, even if I have iron feet (and I actually made it to the end in Ghost Wolf form last time I tried woooo for progress), but I Just Don’t Get the “maze” of death that Durumu has.  I see the little jumpy purple electric lines on the floor, but somehow, those don’t ever tell my brain where it’s safe to stand.  It’s like in a different language.  I see the lines themselves for themselves, if that makes sense, but I don’t see the shape they’re meant to outline – once my brain DOES see them as outlines, it’s of a different shape, and I invariably wind up standing on the wrong side of things.  My plan (or at least, what WAS my plan) was to die as expected, and then use Reincarnation when the Purple Badness of Gawdawful Painful Death disappeared to pop up and keep on healing.

Except … what’s the point when half the raid or more went down on the same phase?

The third wipe was spectacular, as somebody pulled before the raid was actually ready to go.  We lost like a third of the group and we hadn’t even gotten to the color wheel phase yet!  After that, I just left.  Wiping is one thing, but wiping plus sarcastic better-player-than-thou type commentary is just more than I want to deal with.

Clearly, We're Going to Go Far Together Communication contributes to a cohesive group!

Clearly, We’re Going to Go Far Together
Communication contributes to a cohesive group!

Better-Player-Than-Thou Incoming
Warning!  Danger, Will Robinson, danger Will Robinson!  There’s a priest with a 509 item level who thinks that you suck and you should learn your class!  (484 item level and first time trying to heal Pinnacle of Storms not withstanding.  Actually, it was my second attempt vs. Lei Shen EVER, since he still terrifies me and Therm’s only gone in there once.)

Good Thing You Corrected Yourself Would never have guessed who you meant otherwise.

Good Thing You Corrected Yourself
Would never have guessed who you meant otherwise.

I don’t know what it was last night, but it was like somebody put industrially contaminated mud in the world’s chocolate cake or something – LFR was just filled to the BRIM with self-satisfied, superior players who were all too ready with a snappy retort to put down all the sucky, crappy, incompetent morons like the Rest Of Us.

Lord Forbid We Trouble the Mighty Raider This type of player is just a real big pisser.

Lord Forbid We Trouble the Mighty Raider
This type of player is just a real big pisser.

It’s the first time I’ve ever been a target for this type of behavior in LFR.  As a huntard, nobody really cares what I do as long as I don’t pull the boss or otherwise troll people.  I’ve certainly Said Things Back to this type of player before, but it’s always been in defense of other players, LFR in general or the perceived reason for this wipe or that one – not myself.

I wish I could report that I handled it with both sass and class, but after the second wipe on Lei Shen, I said “#%$& it” and left.   Worse, I started to tear up even though I know – I KNOW – that this kind of sour grape is full of certified bullshit.  It’s just that I been having actual fun in LFR up until this point.  I’d flown under the radar and hadn’t gotten called out by an asshole up until the last damn boss.  I thought I was doing ok – not great, certainly, but getting better – and I was honest to Gawd trying.  And then suddenly here’s this prick with his/her panties in a twist and a bad attitude the size of Jupiter, and the reality of LFR (hey yeah, there are asshole strangers!) intruded again.  @%$# you for raining on my parade.

So then I switched to Therm, thinking well, let me try to get a bow from Tortos or something.  Nobody gives a crap about Therm, right?

Urge to Burn Sheeyit Rising Maybe I should level my warlock next.

Urge to Burn Sheeyit Rising
Maybe I should level my warlock next.

She zoned into a group that had, apparently, wiped on trash.  Ok, whatever – this is current content, so yes, trash CAN still kill you if you aren’t careful.  But this group was also full of the same kind of person that I HATE, all ragging on the new tank for not quite getting sheeyit right (like grabbing the bats but not standing close enough to Tortos), beeyitching at DPS for not attacking this or that and/or sucking in general, DPS making snide comments about healers not healing, such as, “oh, you were?  Guess I didn’t notice,” etc. etc. etc.

What the ever living frick is wrong with people?  I hate this type of player so goddamn much it almost hurts.  If things aren’t good enough by their standards, they ruin every damn thing with their corrosive acid spit and then they feel good about it.  If I could reach through the internet and punch them in the mother trucking face with a jackhammer, I would.  Just what the mother trucking truck do you think are you accomplishing by being a %@#$, jackass?  Do you feel better now that you’ve pointed out how everybody else has effed up except for you?  Do you feel good now that you’ve magically proved your point and superiority with sarcasm?  Go shove a stick up yo…. wait, this is supposed to be a comedy blog.

I just don’t want to listen to their sheeyit.  So I dropped that party too and went to play Animal Crossing, because at least in Animal Crossing, things are mother trucking happy.

All A Matter of Perspective Gotta keep it in mind.

All A Matter of Perspective
Gotta keep it in mind.

There’s No Bard Here

Illidan Did It Better

Ok, So Illidan Did It Better

To tank, or not to tank, that is the question:
Whether ’tis Saner in the mind to suffer
The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Dailies,
Or to lead Arms Warriors against some raid,

And by fighting end it: to die, to wipe
Still more; and by a wipe, to say we leave
The killer snails, and the thousand silly insults
That Flesh is heir to? ‘Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To die, to AFK,

To AFK, perchance to bio; Aye, there’s the prob,
For in that AFK of death, some wipes may come,
Others falling through the quick vanishing floor,
Must give us pause. There’s the chance
That a Druid might cast a battle res:

For who would bear the Rolls and Scorns of RNG,
The eyeball’s maze, the queue’s very long wait,
The pulls of despised trolls, the healers’ delay,
The insolence of DPS, and the stacks
of Determination that the unworthy take,
When he himself might his end make
by running in Fire? Who would soldier on,
To grunt and sweat behind a weary shield,
But that the dread of some repetitious quest,
The rediscovered Objective, from whose reward
No good returns, troubles the soul,
And makes us rather bear those LFRs we have,
Than fly to tedium that we want none of.

Thus Hope for gear does make Raiders of us all,
And thus the Mechanics of the whole dang thing
Are glossed o’er, with the damage healed away,
And enterprises of great skill and effort,
In this regard their Coolness goes awry,
And loses the cachet of Raiding. Queue popped,
Does that guy have a tank spec? You, with thy threat
generation can take over.

———-

Healing LFR = OK!  Tanking LFR?  Still chickening out bad.

And yeah, no, I didn’t care that much about preserving syllable count.  I mean, I’m butchering this to heck and back already, so what does structure matter?  So far, I’ve destroyed Edgar Allen Poe and Shakespeare.  What poet or playwright is next!?

 

“Crown of the Five Thunders” Set

"Crown of the Five Thunders" Set

“Crown of the Five Thunders” Set

Class: Shaman

H: Crown of Destruction | S: Cataclysm Shoulderguards | Cl: Royal Cloak of Arathi Kings
Ch: Replica Vest of the Five Thunders | Wa: Engraved Girdle | L: Replica Kilt of the Five Thunders
G:
Cataclysm Handgrips | Wr: Not shown | B: Greaves of Withering Despair

1h mace: Stormcaller’s Warclub
Offhand: Flameproof Orb (nice and cheap off the AH!)

Thoughts: So if Electrika is wearing two pieces of Five Thunders, does that make for Ten Thunders total?

Back when Electrika was level 70 or so, the Crown of Destruction dropped off Ragnaros.  Any self-respecting mogger would have to make an outfit for it because it’s amazing!  I usually see hunters who combine this piece with the Sparkleshell or the Battleforge/Blood Knight sets.  Much as I like the red/gold/black color scheme of the latter, I didn’t want to do the same thing – it felt too easy.  Besides, it has a very Silvermoon-esque feel.  No thanks, I got my goblin/shaman pride!

So it isn’t exactly RED, persay, but I hope it works.  Real shamans wear kilts!  I do wish you could see more of the fire of the Crown of Destruction in these shots, but for some reason it never wants to screencap very well.  Actually, the whole thing doesn’t look very good here.  It looks better in game, I swear.

I was having a problem picking a shield, but then I did LFR and got an offhand fan.  Now I don’t have a problem picking a shield!   No, I have a new problem: my back feels really naked.  The semi-matching cape (should’ve gone for darker trim, but liked the orangey color) is an attempt to compensate for my total lack of shield.

Hozen fling poo, I fling lava. I win.

This Healer's SO Helpful

This Healer’s SO Helpful

I finally got Electrika to 90 over the weekend (leveling is why I haven’t posted since last week), and somewhere in Pandaland, I suddenly had a “whoa …” moment of appreciation for the elemental spec that I had never experienced before.  (I admit that I last spent a lot of time in elemental was prior to patch 5.0 and shaman deletion #1.)  Oh, there was joy when Lava Lash procced like, three or four times and I had the magic instant casts.  Oh, there was glee when I could mash Chain Lightning over and over and it actually cast every time.  Oh, there was euphoria when I could use Ascendance and throw lava around like a madman (and look like one!).  Also, the fancy upgraded elementals (thanks to the level 90 talent) are snazzy lookin’.  I like looking good.

I actually like being a shaman now, to the point where I think I may make Electrika my main.  I can be ranged DPS, which means I can compensate for my internal derp mechanisms by staying away from things that hurt.  I’m tougher than a mage, and I can actually keep up something that resembles a generally accepted rotation.  (Running around in circles casting Arcane Explosion is not considered by most to be a true rotation, which makes mage-ing suck for me because that’s totally the best part.)  I’m more inclined to be elemental-y than I am to be warlock-y.  And unlike hunter, I can switch to a healing spec, which means I can be useful in group situations or help my mostly DPS friends.

My conclusion about the shaman class in general is:

Shaman 1 to 20?  Sucks.  Sucks bad.  Needs Earth Shield SOONER OMFG.
Shaman 21 to 60?  Meh.
Shaman 61 to 80?  Ok, you know, I can live with this.
Shaman 81 to 90?  WHEE CHAIN LIGHTNING YOU @%#^&*!s!  I FLING LAVA AT YOU!  EARTHQUAAAAAKE!*  THUNDERSTORM!  ZING!  ZAP!

There is ONE THING that gets me down, though, and that is the limit of 300k mana.  It’s old news to most folks, but Electrika is really my first Serious Encounter with it.  Ailabeth is my only other real mana user, so when she hit 90 and I had 300k mana, I didn’t think a thing of it.  Besides, it’s not like it mattered for her.  Dispersion!  Mindsquid!  If she runs out of mana, the party chugs on.

But for Electrika, there have been a number of instances where fights have dragged out and/or people have taken a crapton of avoidable (why is this tank in DPS plate) damage, and I’ve just gotten so low on mana, I can’t cast crap other than my dinkiest spells.  I mentioned wanting more mana in guild, which is when a guildmate said hey, that’s unfortunate, ’cause 300k is all you’ll get.

Wat.

So lemme get this straight – everybody ever can pretty much increase their health out the wazoo with gear, enchants, gems and whatnot – but I’m stuck at 300k mana FOREVER?  Tanks can show up with 700k+ HP for cripe’s sake!  Why, exactly, am I stuck with 300k mana, especially when casting IS MY LIFE?  (Or, if I’m resto, when casting IS EVERYONE’S LIFE?)  WHAT IS THIS MADNESS!?

Okay, so, three options.  Better mana management, forget healing people to full because lawl, increase potency of heals somehow.  I can’t ever tell if the third is happening with improved gear, because as I get improved gear, I get into “improved” situations in which more people show up in similarly improved (and HP increasing!) gear – from 90 normals to 90 heroics, and from heroics to LFR.

It was the queue timer more than anything that made me switch specs.

It was the queue timer more than anything that made me switch specs.

I AM trying to get better at mana management (sadly, my Passive Aggressive Mana Management technique won’t work in LFD parties, since I can’t ride on the backs of other healers … I AM THE ONLY ONE OGOD).  But I confess I still like casting the costly heals for two reasons.  One, multiple people are taking damage (example: everybody jumps down to fight Gekkan and chaos ensues), and two, the more costly heals actually heal a “worthwhile”-feeling chunk of my tank’s 700+ freaking thousand HP.  My dinky heals are just that – dinky.  Good to toss on a DPS or something, but when that tank is pulling lots of mobs, I need the big guns!

Wait, there are three reasons.  People get tunnel vision (I call this DPS Goggles) and don’t see their HP decreasing and/or don’t use self-healing skills, which would help ease my heavy mana use.  So I think the DPS can use that healthstone they got earlier while they think I’m going to heal them, IF they’re even thinking about something other than skill cooldowns and rotation.  Communication issue much?

And I LIKE to keep people as close to topped off as possible, because it feels safer.  You never know when sheeyit will hit the fan, and the more HP they have, the more time there is to respond to a drop.  Sure sure, leave that DPS at three quarters health, it’s ok – except then the DPS stands in something, or gets aggro somehow, or gets hit by something big.  If you are working on keeping the tank/yourself up and the DPS had the DPS Goggles on and didn’t see their overall health going dooooooown, then that’s that for the poor DPS!  THEN of course mobs take longer to kill and THEN of course I’m going to run out of mana eventually because I only have 300k of the stuff, even with the Mana Tide totem (which of course has a huge cooldown).

Fel tells me I need to get the Riptide glyph and actually expect the other LFR healers to do something instead of trying to do it all myself.  BUT BUT, WHAT IF THEY DON’T OMG.

Suddenly, Muscle Memory is Useless

Suddenly, Muscle Memory is Useless

Here’s another thing, though it isn’t related to the shallow end of the mana pool: how the heck do you select raid members that are not in your party?  Thanks to running LFD constantly, I’ve trained myself to use F1 through F5 to select myself or my party members.  This allows me to select others quickly, in turn enabling me to move my left hand back to the keyboard to move my character out of crap when necessary.  My right hand is using my healing/totem hotkeys all the time – and they’re all oriented to the right hand side of the keyboard.

But when I’m in a party with more than five people, my method suddenly goes to hell.  Well, the first five people in my party are fine – the rest are (possibly) screwed.  I inevitably try selecting them with F6 and on, but that of course does nothing, so then I have to move my right hand away from my keys and up to the mouse, select them, then move back again – sounds like it’s not much, but for me, just because I’ve gotten my right hand back to the keyboard does not mean it’s in the right place, which means I may not be casting the right spells.  Since I order my heal hotkeys based on the increasing amount healed, I may be healing too much or too little until I figure out that my hand has shifted a key or two over.

In other news, I lost a roll, pretty badly.

I'm just going to try to keep my dignified composure. ... OH MY GAWD I ROLLED A 9 WHY GAWD WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

I’m just going to try to keep my dignified composure.
… OH MY GAWD I ROLLED A 9 WHY GAWD WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

But it’s cool ’cause he’s my friend, right?

* While in the midst of an elemental high, please remember to heal yourself periodically.  Dying causes extreme and immediate painful withdrawal effects.

WTB Combustostunulator Totem

BEHOLD THE ELEMENTAL PROWESS OF THE PANDA SHAMAN:

The Original Pandaren Shaman Representing, yo.  Or something.

The Original Pandaren Shaman
Representing, yo. Or something.

Then I got smacked by something and I wasn’t a panda anymore.  But I’m ok with that.

A couple weeks back, Cal, Goa and I were attempting heroic scenarios for the first time.  Somewhere in between getting killed by lightning (NO I CAN’T MOVE, I HAVE TO FINISH PUTTING THIS BARREL OUT.  IT’S IMPORTANT!) and getting swamped by sailors in “Battle on the High Seas,” I decided we really needed an effing healer because OMFG, THEY KILLED ROFFLES THE GOAT!  Okay, so maybe I could’ve moved away from the lightning circle thingie, but my point still stands – with one warrior, one DK and one huntard with a goat, heroic scenarios kinda hurt.

Plus, you know, expanding your horizons and all that jazz is good for you.  Makes you well rounded.  Accordingly, I put Electrika on the fast track.

I think I like shaman healing.  I qualify that because I haven’t yet gotten to “the end game” nor LFR (only level 86), but so far, so good.  I think this is due in no small part to the fact that as a goblin shaman, I feel an element of comedy that other, more ENLIGHTENED and charitable orders (such as Holy Priests) rather lack.  If I’m not tossing buckets of water on people or making it rain on their heads to heal them, I’m totally throwing dirt on the tank for good luck.  If I’m going to heal with something other than laser beams or arrows to the face, this is my kinda thing.

I gotta say though, there was a moment when the notion of progressing any further scared the everliving crap outta me – and that was the first time I healed Grim Batol.  I had a beartank as my meatshield du jour, and this particular beartank was one of those aggressive pullers.  Trash mobs there can (and did) do knock back to interrupt my casting (I so don’t remember this happening to me before, what’s going on, where are we), which of course was problem enough.  But worse was the tank’s propensity for pulling ALL THE THINGS.  She would pull lots of trash, or trash and bosses.  Oh.  My.  GAWD!  The DAMAGE!  DAMAGE EVERYWHERE!  WE’RE ALL DYING!  HEAL FASTER!  THE DAMAGE JUST WON’T STOP!  OH JEEBUS!  There were several moments where if I hadn’t been preemptively casting, if you will, the heal wouldn’t have gone off in time and beartank would’ve been smeared on the floor.  (Which is why, by the way, I like the resurrection thing shamans can do once every thirty minutes.  I can wait for the sheeyit to clear, resurrect, and then do a Mass res.)

As it turned out, however, I didn’t really need to worry about heroic Grim Batol ever being in my future, because Cataclysm dungeons via LFD (and especially Cataclysm heroics) are in a weird little spot.  Right now, they kinda sorta exist as the only option for a very little while, but they’re REALLY darn close to Pandaland stuff.  So everybody just says “screw that,” buys vendor gear and goes into the Temple of the Jade Serpent.

I think Cal and I queued  for Cata dungeons less than ten times, and while I did queue for a Cata heroic, I never actually got in one.  (I am not counting the one where I zoned in to find everybody dead, since everybody dropped the party after I mass ressed them.)  I never even LOOKED at End Time.  Once I had a gearscore sufficient for End Time, it just so happened I had more than enough to get into Pandaland dungeons, so … I didn’t get turned into a night elf.

I bet you Archbishop Benedictus is feeling kinda lonely there at Wyrmrest Temple, since there’s no one to escort Thrall down to the basement or anyone for him to talk about THERE IS ONLY POWER to.  Whoa, I’m actually feeling kinda nostalgic now.  I kinda WANNA go back and punch Echo of Tyrande just for fun …

Anyhoo.

One of These Things is Not Like the Other

One of These Things is Not Like the Other

Once I hit 85, I noticed that my solid single target heals no longer heal the same proportion that they used to.  It’s like the health pools went WAY UP at that point, but chunks of healing I do didn’t undergo the same increase.  Maybe it’s gear I need?  I dunno.  For awhile, there was a corner of my mind engaged in fruitlessly screaming things like, “DO YOU SEE THAT GAP IN PARTY MEMBER A’S HP THERE!?  I NEED SOMETHING BIGGER THAN WHAT YOU’RE CASTING!!  NO, BIGGER THAN THAT.  BIGGER THAN THAT ONE TOO!”

I think I’ve gotten used to it now though.  I compensate by casting lots of things lots.  This approach isn’t always great, since I did almost go OOM fighting against Peril and Strife in the Temple of the Jade Serpent.  This was just about as terrifying as watching the beartank pull all the things ever.  Other than that, though, post 85 dungeoning in Pandaland has been OK so far.  I’ve gotten the Blackout Brew alementals in Stormstout Brewery, but somehow have managed to keep everybody alive despite having to hold still (and possibly black out) to cast.  The only time I just Flat Out Failed was when we had a huntard in the party who somehow (probably by standing RIGHT THERE) pulled Hoptallus when the tank wasn’t on the platform.  The tank got locked out, Cal went “…,” and I went “OH MY GOD THE EXPLODING VIRMEN HELP!”  We died, because I just … no.  I can’t, sorry, have a good day.

So here’s where I start to laugh about questing as a healer.

When I queue on Electrika, I queue as heals.  I don’t bother queueing as DPS because I don’t know WTF I’m doing.  The thing is, I’ve been hesitant to change to my secondary (Elemental) spec for questing purposes, because some tanks will charge on the moment they think everybody’s zoned in, regardless of whether everybody’s ready or not.  I’d have to change back, which means losing all my mana and having to sit and drink something, while simultaneously realizing “OGOD THE TANK IS PULLING CRAP.”  This is generally followed by the inevitable “heals?” comment, with the associated “WHERE THE @#$% ARE YOU AND WTF ARE YOU DOING STOP BEING SO LAZY/INCOMPETENT GAWD” unspoken but definitely present.

That means that questing goes somewhat like this:

  1. Put down totems (usually Searing with the stun* one if it’s not on cooldown)
  2. Cast Flame Shock
  3. Start casting Lava Lash
  4. Wait for Lava Lash to cast
  5. Lava Lash finally casts
  6. Start casting Lightning Bolt
  7. Wait for Lightning Bolt to cast
  8. Recast totem if necessary because stupid turtle ate it
  9. Watch as totem does most of the work because I’m slowass at casting offensive spells
  10. Lightning Bolt finally casts
  11. Heal self because OMFG why is this turtle kicking my ass like this
  12. Repeat steps 3 through 11 until mob is dead

It.  Took.  FOREVER.  I hadn’t even finished the quests at Grookin Hill before I decided I’d take the heat from dumb tanks with premature pullation problems.  I actually dug out the Elemental spec that I hadn’t touched since, uh … maybe level 32.  Ish.  I still don’t know what I’m doing, but the cast times seem to be greatly lessened.  Hooray!  Unfortunately, while I SEEM to be doing better, OSHEEYIT THE TURTLE IS STILL KICKING MY ASS and I need to heal me!  So I look for Riptide, only to remember that, oh yeah, wait a minute – I DID actually change my spec.

OH, THE CHALLENGES FACED BY HYBRID CLASSES.

* I swear this totem has a name, but I keep on wanting to call it the Combustostunulator, which isn’t it.

Maybe NORMAL Raiding Should Die

Because we’re people, and most people like to complain, we’re often bemoaning the demise of one thing or another.  Right now, our most troubled children include rogues, 10-man normal raiding, LFR in general and sometimes life itself.   The decline of 10-man normal raiding is the end of guilds as we know ’em!  It’s the end of the community which sucked since Vanilla anyway!  It’s the end of anyone ever having ambitions!   It’s the end of skilled players and everyone will suck terribad in the future!  It’s the end of our collective dignity!  We might as well just go crawl in a hole and die, like the game’s VERY SOUL.

Well, I’m just going to throw this out there: maybe normal raiding SHOULD die.  Maybe this whole new “Flex Raiding” thing will edge normal out INSTEAD of making LFR obsolete.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: While my general point stands, I am often sarcastic in presentation.  Most of my backup is anecdata and the rest exaggeration.

TL:DR VERSION: Normal’s a good idea whose time has come and gone, LFR is not to blame, and also, you’re doing it wrong.

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“Dream Lord” Set, or the “Parachute” Set

"Dream Lord" Set, or the "Parachute" Set

“Dream Lord” Set, or the “Parachute” Set

Class: Mage

H: Time Lord’s Hood | S: Furious Gladiator’s Silk Amice | Cl: Imbued Infantry Cloak
Ch: Vicious Embersilk Robe | Wa: Dreamer’s Belt | L: Not shown
G: Vicious Embersilk Gloves | Wr: Not shown | B: Riptide Shoes

Wand: Wand of Prismatic Focus
Offhand: Talisman of Nightbane

Thoughts: So I love the Time Lord’s Hood.  Love.  If I could, I’d go back in time and do Dragonsoul LFR to get that color variant, but alas!  Such a thing is no longer possible for Esplodine.  So, you do what you can, and what Esplodine CAN do is tag along and try not to die on regular 10 man runs.  The token for the helm dropped on the last Dragonsoul run she was on, but the druid healer we pugged needed on it as well and won.  Esplodine almost had a heart attack followed by an uncontrollable urge to rise from the dead, turn said tree into paper and (of course) grab the hat, but fortunately all she had to do was grovel a lot.  The druid decided the tier didn’t look good and traded the token to Esplodine.  VICTORY.

For better or worse, the moment I finally got her all nice and mogged up, I thought “parachute.”  And now I can’t unsee.

I’ve had the Talisman of Nightbane in the bank forever and always wanted to use it (IT’S A MAGICAL BLOWTORCH, YESSSSSSS), so I did.  Unfortunately, I then thought “Hindenburg,” and now I can’t unsee.

But I love the Time Lord’s Hood.

Now what?