So, that’s it, goodbye

To my treeform, I heal therefore I shapeshift!  Dammit Blizz, give me back my treeform, I’ve not logged into warcrack since 4.0.1 dropped (I’m not sure the realms are up yet) but I’m missing my proper healing form already.

The only plus is that MMO Champ have datamined some new TOL forms from the current beta build, so finally Blizz give us a new model and then tell us that we can only have it for 30 seconds at a time.

Gee, thanks.

Now that’s done let’s have a look, on the plus side we’re seeing the new shiny, more polygons, more detail, generally better in that regard.  It’s not a friendly free, hell it looks even grumpier than the previous form.  It’s falling in with the Ancient model so there’s some consistency across the land of druids but I’m not entirely convinced.  For starters it looks like it’s a hunchback, while I can see some logic to a top heavy design (have a look at an oak or any similar tree, all of the ‘size’ is at the top) this seems a little ‘odd’ in the balance of the form.  It’s too solidly top heavy for my tastes.

However we know that the first model mined out of a build isn’t always the final version, so we can only hope this is a first (if somewhat complete) stab at a new form and that they’re planning on a minor glyph for those who wish to retain tree form while healing.

[Edit: Larísa over at the Pink Pigtail Inn has a good point I hadn’t thought of, this is a change in the mechanics for PvP, though I have to admit that I rarely used ToL in battlegrounds anyway as it’s enough of a “Oi! Kill Me!” flag to be standing at the back waving your hands without being a tree, but for some people this will be a good mechanic change]

A night of instance mashing

Let’s see, first there was the run with the Paladin wrecking ball of doom, take H:HoL, a good healer, good dps and a tank rocking in his raiding gear and let’s see just what can be pulled without pausing.  Just for reference for any poor dps/healer partied up with a silly level gear paladin, they will chain pull because of the 14 second window between the last melee hit and Divine Plea dropping off.

Things were a complete breeze, even when we pulled several packs in the room of spinny death and managed to aggro a further pack (one dps ended up inspecting the floor).

Moving on a quick H:UK with the bear, I’m definitely getting the hang of how he works, mostly I lost aggro on a mob just as they were about to drop due to focus fire from the ranged dps.  So that’s cool.  I still need to get my head around the extras (bash, roars and so on) and the “oh shit” health button needs to get moved to somewhere decent on a hotkey not requiring me to get the mouse moved.

Big furry and annoying

Unferth had his first heroic last night leading from the front kicking mobs and generally trying to keep ahead of the ICC10 geared dps from the guild.  On the whole it wasn’t too bad, doubly so when it’s considered he’s not gemmed, enchanted and is still running with chicken glyphs.

I need to do more work on where the keymappings are and get the threat moves settled into my brain a little more solidly than they are at the moment.  Including getting the AoE taunt into the space place as RD is on my tankadin (keep the tanking keys mapped to “similar” abilities, that’s the trick).

In general for single target threat I had no problem keeping it off the dps, ok the warlock in the guild got close more than a few times but he can do that to ‘wolf if I’m not paying attention.

Spreading the threat love around is going to be the trick to work on, I spent a fair amount of the time picking mobs back up off the DKs because they were walloping on my off-targets which I hadn’t built huge amounts of threat on.

However all said, a good start to his tanking career.

So.. isn’t one tank enough for you?

Actually no.  Ok to a certain level I enjoy DK dps but melee dps has to be my least enjoyable form of the game because of the sheer amount of faff in keeping within the hit box when the tank is moving the mob all over the damm place (guys, trust me on this, where you can keep the mobs parked).

So we currently have Korenwolf, the raid geared wrecking ball who has always been and remains the “main”, he’s the class I understand the best and where the muscle memory is setup the best.  I know what to do when things go to hell on trash packs (like last night where we ended up with two large packs of adds, a couple of casters and a big skeleton in PoS at the start thanks to a face pull by the dps).  Everything got picked up and brought under control, including the casters sat at range (thank you shield for your caster stun effect).

There is the dead gnomish girl, I’ve got the hang of how to pick up and hold aggro on her (nothing like seeing a gnome tanking a toenail) it’s not as instinctive as ‘wolf but she’s getting there.

Now, as part of team pirate we have a bear tank, he’s solid he knows his stuff but we’re seeing threat generation issues which I need to understand properly so we can either fix or work around.  So to that end the boomkin spec is parked and tree boy goes bear for a while.  Now to get my head around rage and all that sort of thing.

Random links for reference

ICC25 – Putricide

So, another week of raiding is done. I missed out on Wednesday (most of the farm content) due to being ganked by RL, it happens. RL > WoW, always. Anyway Fri was largely a washout, Princes down but no attempts on Putri as we were bodies short. Saturday was better but was a 200g wipe night.

The team was sub-optimal, but we had multiple 1-4% wipes.  So where can things be better?

  • Healing
    Trees and Priests rock but they’re not really designed as heavy tank healers, so 4xTree and 2xPriest is possibly not an ideal setup for the group.
  • Green mutations (Phase 1)
    Ranged need to be further back from the green one when is spawns, melee need to be camped right on top of the spawn point.  If it’s going to reach the ranged target we need to have as many as possible stacking on that player.
  • Green mutations (Phase 2)
    Spread, spread, spread.  Please ranged camp spread out.  The issue here is Malleable Goo (aka ‘flubber’), we’re seeing regularly enough to be a problem a double whammy of the green ooze target getting walloped by flubber which was targeted on a player in close proximity.  So stay spread, stay back until it looks like the green will reach the target then get into close range for the explosion.
  • Gas clouds
    The kite path is the key here and don’t get caught, the raid damage is usually enough to take out 3-4 players in one hit with others possibly following as other damage lands before the healers can catch up.
  • Flubber (phase 2)
    Dodge it, please dodge it.  If only because getting hit is usually death and if not the casting debuff is a pain and hurts HPS & DPS
  • Phase 3
    Avoid the bottle bombs, avoid the flubber, blow cooldowns, pop potions, hit trinkets, nuke and heal for all your worth.  Damage avoidance appears to be the key we’re missing at the moment.

Putri, if we can get that close with a non-optimal raid… you’re going down boyo.

Change.. sort of

Thanks to a combination of events (taxi service for the short one to have his head checked on Wednesday[1]) and being short on heads, particularly team heal for Friday & Saturday I’m going to be raiding on Unferth this week.  So Team Heal, you’ve got the epic tree with you for another week, maybe a Putri kill will be his swan song.

So… Guys… (and girls)

Learn to dodge the bloody flubber.

[1] We should hear soon if there is a brain inside the head, I’m betting on “no”

ICC25 update

Wednesday night is raiding night since some shuffling happened a few months ago, it’s been working out better than Sunday raids.  Last night was particularly good.

Marrowgar, one shot
Deathwhisper, two shot
Boat, one shot (still the best encounter by far on the ‘fun’ scale)
Deathbringer, four attempts I think.

With enough time left to get in the weekly raid (Razorscale) and still finish early enough to get in a guild daily random run done (Hall of Stone..) with one of the guild who’s only recently started playing regularly again.

I promised some thoughts on healing the Deathbringer on normal.  It’s not a trivial fight but now we have a strat it’s coming together.  We’re using the “let people die” approach, the logic behind this is that the more marks which are up the greater the rate of gaining blood on the boss resulting in a shorter time between new marks.  At 30% he hits a frenzy which increases the damage rate.  Typically trying to keep all marked players up resulted in having 6-8 marks during frenzy, which is brutal to heal through and trying to get a decent triage failed.  Normally seeing two go down together (10% health back on the boss), and from there it’s all downhill.

Now the first two marks are left to die, unless it’s someone we cannot afford to lose (the current swapped tank for example).  Providing dps are on the ball nuking the blood beasts this results in 1-2 marks on hitting frenzy and I think 4-5 marks by the time we can get the kill.  On the kill I think we actually lost two after the frenzy but managed to pull it back.

One problem which caused the first few wipes was our healing make up (tree heavy), which resulted in the first two marks taking a long time to go down due to the size of the ticks the HoTs were delivering.  So the toon marked for death must clear all healing buffs and the healers need to be on the ball and ideally avoid AoE heals (Wild Growth for example) until the mark is dead.

Towards the end of the fight the healing (from a tree perspective) turns into “make sure there’s a hot up and nourish the hell out of the marks” with the occasional WG for the rest of the raid as necessary.

So… Icecrown…

Second week of mashing has started, last night’s raid saw us get the first two bosses down with the minimum of fuss, though a few wipes.  Mostly due to some of the dps who missed last week working out the target switching needed for Deathwhisper.

The ship went down as a one shot, this is going to be the “geif lootz” fight of the instance, it’s fun, it’s easy, and it breaks the stress ready for the Deathbringer.

He’s harder, we tried out some new strats on him none of which quite fitted, though there’s progress happening and we know it’s all about minimising the number of marks.  One possibility which will be tried out on Friday will be to let the first two Marks die thus controlling what we hit the 30% level with.  Healing the marks is rather brutal.

So roll on the weekend for our first kill of old orc face.

Icecrown

Ok it’s nice. The raid has a proper feel to it, we have trash. We have trash which caused the dps to complain “yeah just AoE them down, I hope this isn’t going to be the norm” followed by a single mob which caused some serious pain and deaths. Nice one blizz, keep throwing those unexpected curve balls at us.

The five-man content is pretty, and given that the healing on Unferth wasn’t a cakewalk I’m expecting it to be a proper challenge with Tincan. The attunement side of things is nice, we have to work through the three wings. The last one hurt like hell, though it didn’t help that we were four-manning at that point and just couldn’t nuke down the adds fast enough on the gauntlet section.

I like the content, the bosses are throwing some curveballs, the end boss in the Pit is going to be a swine to heal at a more normal level of kit, there’s some interesting stuff there. I think we’re going to be spending some time fighting our way though it for kit and the iLevel of the kit on normal version is 219.

Loot! Epix! Achievments!