Thursday, February 10, 2011

Long time, no haiku

Time is the enemy of all bloggers. Time's demands have kept me from this blog for too long. Unfortunately time has kept me away from Cataclysm as well. I have been playing some Starcraft though, and I'd like to get back into blogging.

Therefore, I've started a new blog where I can post brief bits on Starcraft and Warcraft. It's Rhymecraft, at There I will post about the 'crafts in haiku, limerick, and who knows what else. Hey, it's a weird idea, but we play the hands we're dealt!

To celebrate, here are two pieces of poetry:
In Cata our talents have doubled
And we got our big Barrier bubble
And we got Leap of Faith
So when danger is grave
We can yank our raidmates out of trouble!
I was so excited to see Power Word: Barrier added to the game. And I wasn't expecting Leap of Faith, but it was a really clever idea and I think a potent tool.
Chakra healing state:
Better healing on command?
Holyform at last!
Oh Blizzard, you finally added Holyform. You shouldn't have! It only took 6 years! Oh well, we can forgive you, we are priests after all. Now, let's talk about Discform...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Leap of Faith, aka Life Grip, aka Liquid Awesome

Okay, we need to talk about Leap of Faith. Seriously. From the Cataclysm Priest preview:
Leap of Faith (level 85): Pull a party or raid member to your location. Leap of Faith (or "Life Grip") is intended to give priests a tool to help rescue fellow players who have pulled aggro, are being focused on in PvP, or just can't seem to get out of the fire in time. Instant. 30-yard range. 45-second cooldown.

Now, we don't need to talk about the spell itself. It's clearly a clever little cantrip, a creative and useful addition to our arsenal. It even has a hilarious nickname.

What we need to talk about is peoples' reactions to this spell. I know reactions will always be across the board for any new spell announced. I know Blizzard could announce a new spell called Holyform that increased healing by 25%, and someone would complain that they can't cast SW:Pain while healing.

But I am just shocked reading opinions on the Priest Preview when it comes to Leap of Faith. Most of peoples' opinions seem logical: Heal? Yay for more healing granularity. Inner Will? Yay for choice of armor spell, and for a movement buff. Mind Spike? Yay for ummm... damage? I guess? But then people single out Leap of Faith and say things like:

  • DPS should not be pulling agro and if they do, it's their own darn problem
  • If they DO pull agro, why do I want them (and the Big Bad Mob) closer to me?
  • DPS should get out of the fire themselves, by engaging their brains and then their legs
  • Why pull someone to me when I can just heal them at 30 yards?
  • Great, now when someone dies I'm going to be blamed for not Lifegripping them!

Now, I can see the train of thought here (i.e., some DPS are drooling facerollers and I don't want them anywhere near me, after all, stupid might be contagious), and I don't really disagree with it. But that's besides the point! We're not getting this spell for their benefit, we're getting it for OUR benefit! (And I guess for the benefit of the competent tanks and raid leaders we like)

Leap of Faith is an absolutely unique spell. With it, we'll be able to do things no one else can. And with style! Sure we'll be able to yank DPS into out of the fire and towards away from rampaging mobs, but we'll also be able to help reposition tanks! Pull people onto platforms if they mis-time a jump! Help people with Frogger! Help tanks who are kiting fast mobs! Save people being focused in PvP or arena-style fights! Help people with poor connections to avoid explosions! Make sure we're always covered when a fight requires people to group up! Pull DPS who pull agro TO the tank so the tank can pick up the mob! Help the poor clueless hunter who was supposed to carry debuff X to location Z! The list goes on and on.

I mean, seriously, this is one of the coolest spells we could have: we will now be literally able to move people around on our screen, like we are playing Tetris with their tiny pixelated backsides! How many times have each of us wanted to yoink that idiot warlock out of a void zone, or a firewall, or a meteor impact, or grab the over-eager fury warrior away from the Demon Of Doom? Or, alternately, reach through your monitor, wrap your hands around that rogue's neck, and squeeze? NOW WE CAN!!

And all this is just based on the mechanics of the spell. There will also be the aesthetic side: think of the graphics and sounds they could associate with Leap of Faith! Personally I'm hoping a magical shepherd's crook will appear, snake around the target, and give them a big yank. I suppose a *HURCKK** sound effect would be a bit much but you never know. And just think of the macros you can write to whisper someone when you Lifegrip them!

In all seriousness, Leap of Faith will be an awesome addition for Priests. We priests have some of the most unique heals in the game, from a shield that absorbs more damage than many heals can restore, to an autonomous healing prayer, to a hymn that can keep a whole raid up, to the ability to heal after death. Now in Cataclysm, we'll be adding in an armor spell that offers us greater mobility, a smaller heal for greater finesse, and Leap of Faith, the new ultimate micromanaging spell. Made of liquid awesome.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Disc tips: Festergut

Time for more tips! We are skipping right to the Plagueworks for today's tips, because I haven't been rotated in to see Deathbringer Saurfang since his buff-and-nerf cycle, so I can't comment on the recent changes and how they affect us Disc priests. Besides, what is a lone orc against the might of the Alliance?! Amiright?

Sooo... Festergut!


The first tip is on how to tell Festergut apart from Rotface. They use the same (hideous) model and their rooms are the same, and both of them cast spells like Gaseous Pungent Stinky Gastric Blight Bloat, so it can be hard to distinguish them! What I did is realize the Plagueworks bosses are in alphabetical order from left to right: Festergut, Putricide, Rotface. And in my opinion it's best to start with #1 alphabetically, since although Festergut has steep requirements for DPS and survivability, it's technically the easiest fight by far.

So Festergut is a cyclical fight. It wobbles between one extreme, Raid Damage to Make a Tree Druid Flail for Joy, and the other extreme, Tank-Crushing Damage to Make a Paladin Cry. When there is a lot of orange blight on the ground, there is raid damage going around, and everyone needs heals. Shamans and Trees will be going nuts here, but you can help out with shields, PoM's, maybe a Divine Hymn if it gets ugly.

Periodically Festergut inhales some blight, which reduces the raid damage, but supersizes the damage he (it?) does to the main tank. When Festergut inhales three times (you can tell because the floor will be blue again instead of orange (also your main tank may start whimpering)), the damage is particularly insane. At this juncture, you should be in full-tank-spam-heal mode. Shield-Penance-Gheal cycles are recommended. Even if you are assigned as a raid healer, there is no raid damage during this time, so you should help on the tank. Divine Aegis and Inspiration insurance for the win!

The other main mechanic is the gas spores. Ranged players need to spread out overall, to avoid Vile Gas. But when Festergut launches gas spores, they need to collapse to share the debuff. Luckily for me, our guild has all the healers stack on the MT so we can heal uninterrupted, but your guild may have you at range, moving around to coordinate the debuff. Follow their lead; trust me that this is one strain of cooties that you DO want. Unless you enjoy eating the AOE he does after inhaling three times!

The fight repeats from there, with Festergut starting his inhale-cycle over each time. It's not a hard fight to heal, it just has sort of a "minutes of boredom followed by seconds of sheer terror" vibe. The only other mechanic is a tank swap (ICC is basically the Land of Required Tank Swap Mechanics. Blizzard could save developer time by just calling all these spells Yes You Need To Swap Tanks Again). But because of the nature of this one, offtank agro may be high, so you may want to be careful with Pain Suppression.


Festergut has a very short enrage timer, necessitating strong DPS as well as strong tank survivability. It's sort of Patchwerk meets the Hokey Pokey for DPS players. All this means for us is, PI early and often, except for when Heroism is up.


Festergut's strong, sure,
but what role can this guy play
in the Lich King's plan?

I mean seriously, is this pile of flesh and rejected abomination brains really part of the master "Take Over Azeroth" plan? Or is it just Putricide's side project/spare parts repository? And if so, why are we bothering to dispatch it?? Oh, right, the epixxx. Silly me!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Disc tips: Gunship Battle

Time for a third installment of Disc Tips for Icecrown Citadel, this time for the exciting Gunship Battle!


Step 1: Insert players

Step 2: Receive loot

Monday, January 25, 2010

Disc tips: Lady Deathwhisper

With Marrowgar down, next up on any raider's dance card is the somewhat chatty boss, Lady Deathwhisper! So here is #2 in what I hope to make a series on ICC bosses, featuring tips for Disc priests.


Deathwhisper is a two-phase boss, of the front-loaded variety (This means phase 2 is easy, so that it may still be completed if your DPS die to completely avoidable damage, and/or your healers have a coronary trying to heal DPS who are dying to completely avoidable damage).

Getting past phase 1 relies upon the tanks being able to pick up the adds, while the DPS burn down adds in the right order. Unfortunately you can't help with that, but you can make sure your assigned tank(s) stay vertical. I recommend keeping your tank in sight: make sure you stay in range and in LoS (note the stairs in the room). If your guild brings all the adds together by the boss, this is easier, but there are still steps and pillars to watch out for.

Also try to be aware if a Deformed Fanatic is activated. If one is, it may be worth it to use Pain Suppression, or at least a Shield-Penance-GHeal cycle or two. Deformed Fanatics are usually kited but if they get too close, your shields could save the day.

As for the DPS, you can help them too. Configure your UI to display people standing in the Death and Decay, and those who have agro. Shielding both can add a nice safety margin to DPS who are already watching add spawns. You can further help by dropping a few DoTs on Deathwhisper in between trash waves if you like.

Finally, watch out for mind controlled players, as they may get healer agro. If targetted, use Fade instead of Psychic Scream: the radius on the fear may also send adds fleeing, and this tends to make tanks cranky. Alternatively you can DPS down the mind controlled players; this tends to result in hilarity, but not generally success.

Once phase 2 hits, it's more of the same: heal tanks, don't stand in the fire. However, be sure to watch where you're standing. Vengeful Spirits will spawn from the dead adds, and if they reach you they can hit for 20k!


The time to cast PI is early and often. Cast it on the players assigned to burn down the boss's shield: since they won't switch targets, they'll get the most use out of it. If your guild burns Heroism early, cast it right after, otherwise cast it on the top boss-killer DPS on cooldown.


Heal tanks, shield raiders
And if you get mind controlled
Try to kill a mage

Deathwhisper is not a hard fight to heal... most of the learning curve is dealing with the adds. But some good ol' Disc-elbow-grease can make it easier on everyone to handle!