QQ of the day: Resto Druids

Hey!

For this QQ, I’m going to tell a horror story from a Ring of Blood arena match.

*puts on a scary face*

Ahem…

My 2v2 partner had been offline for a few weeks recently. I thought he quit. I was wrong, as he logged in while I was in an EotS game.

“Hey!! Man, I haven’t seen you in a while!!”

“Yeah, I was gone but I’m back now! Up for some arena?”

So we started with out 1.1K rating, and entered Dalaran Sewers. We lost (:O) The next game? We lost. Again, and again. On our 7th or so game, which was Ring of Blood, we were up against an Arms warrior and a Restoration druid. It took less than a minute to kill the warrior.

“Congrats” went around when only the druid was left. “No need to worry, just relax and slowly drain his mana” I said. Oh, how wrong I was.

For the next 20 minutes (TWENTY!) we were fighting. If you don’t arena, ring of blood is a round (ring-like, as you might expect) area with a few, large, poles near the edge. These are big enough they cause LoS issues. And, when two casters are chasing a 40% speed increased healer around while he is LoSing, it is very difficult to achieve burst.

If this wasn’t hard enough, druids have a lovely little spell that returns a lot of mana every 3 minutes. It seemed to time itself just right, in that, it would take about 3 minutes for the players mana to reach <10%.

I actually needed to go AFK for a bit DURING THE MATCH. For about 5 or so minutes. unfortunately, when I did return, I found myself back in Stormwind. He managed to kill me and my partner. /rage

I had been videoing the match because it’s not usual for a 30-min fight to happen, at least for me. I checked out the footage.

Damage caused Pathian: 6XX,XXX (600K +)

Damage caused Truefable: 5XX,XXX (500K +)

I actually deleted the video because it took up quite a lot of space, which is why I’m not sure of the exact number.

Thats like, 1.1 million damage.

Has anything similar happened? Any arena horror storeys to share? I (and many others) would love to hear them. Put it in the comments!

Interview with Rooftrellenx – #1 ranked balance PvPer

Hello everyone!

I’ve had the opportunity to talk to Rooftrellenx of Advent Fury on Hyjal (Horde – US) in the Whirlwind battlegroup about his successes in arena, his history, a few tips and even more. At the time of writing he is ranked at #9 overall (there are only 8 players in the world ranked higher than him) Rated 2723 in 2v2, 2886 in 3v3 and 2728 in 5v5, he definitely isn’t your average player and knows a thing or two (and I would vouch for a whole lot more) – Enjoy.

1. What appeals to you about balance?

Balance has always been my favorite druid spec, but only recently have I started playing it in arena. Before this season i mainly only played it in 2v2 (druid mage) and in battlegrounds. When I transferred from Garona to Hyjal, my partners thought playing boomkin would be fun, and it turned out it worked really well. The semi-recent Starfall change is what has made this spec viable, since it is a really good source of damage you can use even when focused. Typhoon is also one of the more fun aspects and why I enjoy playing balance.

2. If you went back and started WoW all over, would you choose a balance druid to PvP with or something else?

I would chose a balance druid. I have a lvl 80 mage, and a lvl 80 ele shaman, but neither seem nearly as fun to me as my druid. My only regret is not trying balance earlier.

3. Please explain your talent setup.

http://www.wowhead.com/talent#0xRbuiIofdhiuRuZf0Izb
This is the talent setup i usually use. I dont spend too many points in mana regen talents because games usually arent super long. I personally do not get brambles, but it can be an amazing talent (mainly if your comp lacks a good snare). Some other balance druids I have seen do not spec into improved moonkin form, but even without spirit gear its 60 spellpower and 3% haste to your entire party, i think it is pretty much required.

4. Who are your teammates?

In 5v5, I play Destro Lock (Wafu), Balance Druid (Myself), Elemental Shaman (Kyma), Holy Paladin (Iso), and Frost Mage (Siphr). In 3v3, I play Affliction Lock (Wafu), Balance Druid (Myself), Resto Shaman (Kyma). In 2v2 I Play Affliction/Destro Lock (depending on how wafu is feeling) Resto Druid (Myself).

5. What are the pros and cons of your team setups?

Our 5s team has destroyed this battlegroup, we have played serval different comps on the team, but this comp has really dominated. We are at 100% win with this particular comp, about 130-0. As a 4-dps most matches we just blow stuff up, but if the game lasts too long we have a good chance at losing.

Our 3s team is really powerful, it utilizes alot of DoTing from both me and the lock on pretty much everything. Getting cyclones into fears on the healer, and cycloneing targets when their health is low and switching targets, it’s a really effective strategy. Usually when we get a kill in this comp multiple people are pretty low on health. Our main weakness is my mobility, it can be pretty tough trying to do stuff with a rogue on me.

2s is just a standard resto druid/lock team. We do overwhelming damage with insectswarm/lock DoTs, while haveing a ton of CC. It has always been a really powerful comp. Our only weakness is shadow Priest teams.

6. What bracket do you enjoy playing the most?

5v5. There is nothing funner in this game then popping starfall and watching the entire enemy team get to 50%. Everytime I use it the enemy team blows massive cooldowns just to live. with 4 dps casters our damage is just unbelievable.

7. How do you communicate with your teammates?

We use skype to talk. After useing vent for years, the switch to skype made arena easier, mainly because i dont have to hold down a push to talk key. It also has much better voice quality. Our communication in arena differs depending on what bracket we are playing in. In 5s, we selected one person (our destro lock) to call targets/target swaps. We all do alot of yelling for dispells and coordinating our CC, and our holy pally rages if we dont kill stuff fast enough :). In 3s any of us will call a target out if we see them in a bad position. In every bracket we usually call out a few targets we will be ccing before combat begins.

8. When you enter an arena, how do you start? On your mount, in cat form prowling, in moonkin form, or something else?

In 2s or 3s I always start in stealth, and if it turns out to be a rouge team, ill through a blind typhoon to get the rogue out, which surprisingly works a lot of the time. On RoV,  start in moonkin form directly on the center of the platform (in shadowmeld if nightelf), and a typhoon as soon as the elevator gets to the top will get stealth out 99% of the time. In 5s ill start on my mount on blade’s edge ruins and dalaran, and stealth on nagrand and rov.

9. Do you feel that balance druids have underpowered or broken mechanics?

Yes, the largest issue i currently have with balance is, when you switch from moonkin form to travel form, you lose a massive amount of armor. Resto druids have access to Improved Barkskin which gives them armor while in travel form, and balance really needs this. There is no way you can travel form kite with, say a hunter on you because you will take that much more damage. Barkskin also seems pretty broken because, it is our only defensive cooldown, and it has practically no dispel protection – and even still it is only 20% damage reduction. If anything, another defensive cooldown would be nice.

10. What is the most common mistake you see from balance druids in PvP?

Managing damage from DoTs, against any team with an active dispeller, if you are not playing with a UA lock, then DoTing any team with an active dispeller is pointless unless the dispeller is CC’d. Sadly a good amount of the balance druids damage comes from DoT damage, but it is much better just to tunnel burst then have your DoTs be spam dispelled.

11. Are there any class/specs that you have trouble fighting?

The hardest class counter to a balance druid is a shadow priest, and pretty much all priest comps (anything with a shadow priest is really tough, but same with discs) are really difficult, mainly because of dispel. Rogues are also very difficult because they can lock out all your damage while them and their partner(s) wreck you.

12. What class do you find easiest to counter 1v1?

Ret or protret paladins are by far the easiest thing to fight one vs one. HoTs + moonkin form easily outheal their damage, and it takes one full starfall to make them bubble, and they have no interupt for cyclone. Hunters are just as easy in the same way, one starfall + DoTs will kill them (and their pet, lol) from full even through deterrence.

13. What are your strategies for healing?

Depends on what you are fighting, if you are fighting something with a ms you will want to prehot yourself with a rejuv and 2 blooms, then go moonkin and do some damage and refresh the blooms right before they go off. If you are fighting a caster you can do the same thing, just keep distance and typhoon them and travel form back and rehot yourself up when your hots fall off. Against a rogue that has all his cooldowns, your best not leaving moonkin form to heal (unless you can cc him – not really possible if he has all his Cooldowns.) Against anything LoS if possible while healing.

14. What classes do you feel are overpowered at the moment?

I personally feel that warlocks and shadow priests are highly overpowered right now, because of how well they scale with haste. Now days with the current PvE gear available, it is not uncommon to find these casters with 25-30% haste, and if they get Bloodlust, their damage is unhealable. I also feel hunters are doing way too much damage at the moment, they are very overpowered against alot of, mainly cloth setups.

15. What relatively unknown tip would you share with us?

Well, the one tip i would share would be to play 2v2 with a mage, start playing as Insect Swarm/resto spec(21/0/50), then switch to full balance as this is how I learned myself. You learn how to coordinate your CC’s together, and how to heal/kite when you need to. Knowing when to heal or not is very vital to being a good balance druid.

16. Fighting 2 opponents at the same time seems to be very difficult for a balance druid because of the lack of reliable CC. Do you have any tips on how to do this? If they trinket Cyclone you have very little you can do.

I’m guessing you are asking this as a 1v2 setup in say a battleground or world PvP. If you are fighting 2 people and you know they have trinkets up, don’t even cyclone. Try to fully HoT yourself before you engage if possible. Go moonkin, put dots up and Starfall/Treants, then typhoon and travel form away and try to heal yourself up, then keep dots up and try to travel form kite. If there is a healer you will want to try to cyclone it, and quickly burn all cooldowns on the DPS although 1v2 against a healer probably wont go very well.
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17. What would you like to improve at?

I dont think i use entangling Roots enough. And I have recently started using it more. Combined with unstable affliction, Roots is a really powerful CC. Its really situation when to use it for best affect however, and im trying to get better at that.
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18. What is your favorite thing to do in PvP?

My favorite thing to do in pvp is grab a few friends and just destroy battlegrounds. If anything I just try to get myself a healbot. Me and my mage friend Siphr like to compete on the damage/kill meter.
19. Do you have any major goals you are heading towards in arenas, such as #1 spot for overall ranking?
Currently, I am just trying to get rank 1 in all 3 brackets on my battlegroup (only 2v2 remains). I would really like to get #1 overall ranking, but the idea of trying to grind a 2s team up to 2900 isnt very appealing.
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20. What do you think of the future of PvP in Cataclysm from what you know?

From what I hear its going to be less balanced around arena, and more around rated battlegrounds. I think playing as a balance druid in rated battlegrounds is going to be a really fun experience. Im guessing we will be really good at defending bases with the new mushroom skill we are getting cataclysm, paired with typhooning people off cliffs.
_
There you have it. The first of many interviews to come. Thank you Rooftrellenx for your time, glad to write this :)

DISCQVERY: DK Starting Area Drops

Sup everyone? DISCQVERY is where I write stuff… Bah! No more long intros for meh! Let’s get to it.

First up, it’s DK starting zone drops.

The scarlet mobs in the 55-58 DK area have a chance to drop quite a few pointless yet fun and interesting items. Some of them include:

These all have no value and are purely for fun and item hoarders like me. A nice addition to farming these is occasionally you will get a green or maybe even a blue drop that could potentially sell for hundreds of gold. If you’re feeling lucky, you could try selling the Haute cards for 10-15 gold a piece on the auction house.

Remember, if you’ve already done the DK starting area the only way to get every one of these items is to; A) Delete your DK and start again. Or B) Buy them off other players.

There you have it – Make sure you check back next Friday for the second addition of DISCQVERY! (EDIT: might have to wait slightly longer than expected…)

Anyone know any free and useful mac image editing software? I’d like to make some graphics for these posts but can’t seem to find the right program… Thanks.

30, 20 & 10 man dungeons – A completely different way of raiding

This idea came to me while I was watching one of my friends play WoW. As the noob he (lets call him Bob) is, he’d ask a ton of questions (‘whats the hardest raid’, ‘where do I get addons’, etc), including “Are 25 man raids easier than 10 man raids?” Now, Bob had this idea that the 25 man raids should be on a completely different level due to the fact that you had 25 players instead of 10, believing the bosses and trash didn’t increase in health, damage and ability’s. Of course I explained that they were similar in difficulty…

But what if they weren’t?

Imagine this. A new raid comes out that everyone is excited to go and try it out. The raiders with the top-tier gear from the previous raids were the only players able to go into this new dungeon (lets call it Uldaness) while all the undergeared players had to repeat the old content to get into Uldaness.

Now, imagine what would happen if there were 3 modes to each raid. 10 man, 20 man and 30 man. The bosses had exactly the same health, damage and abilitys on each mode. If you had a pretty average group of players, you could head into Uldaness 30 and have a slight challenge defeating the bosses. The bosses dropped iLevel 310 gear and that’s it, no special fun toys, rare pets, etc.

If you have a group of semi-competent to good players, head into Uldaness 20 and challenge yourself with difficult bosses. After a while of wiping, putting in a bit of effort, they eventually fall and you collect iLevel 320 loot and if your lucky some rare items.

Now, if your in one of the most hardcore ‘epic’ guilds, get a group of your best 10 players and try out Uldaness 10. You wipe a ton, you spend heaps on repair bill, but the satisfaction and loot you get when you down a boss makes it all up.

THIS WAY EVERY PLAYERS GETS TO EXPERIENCE RAIDING THE LATEST CONTENT

If you aren’t very good at playing in an instance for whatever reason, but you like the idea of raiding, you would be able to do it this way. The poor-playing players will get to experience new content, and the best and most dedicated raiders don’t feel like their being cheated, because they will get better gear and rare loot.

How Much & What Loot Would Drop?

I would say, each time you go to loot a boss, 50% of the raids size should be how much gear there is. There would be 5 gear drops in 10 man. 10 gear drops in 20 man and 15 gear drops in 30 man.

As for rare items… One thing a large amount of players enjoy doing is collecting various ‘goods’ in WoW. Achievements, pets, mounts, etc. If there was say, 100 special drops in Uldaness, in 10 man a 1%-5% drop chance per item sounds about right in my opinion. If every boss had a chance to drop any one of these 100 items, then I would say up to 5 items per boss are able to drop (if you get ridiculously lucky and get 50+ drops that’s sure going to suck the fun out of collecting them)

My ideas for possible rare drops are listed below.

  • In-game pets
  • Mounts (lower drop chance than pets)
  • Lore-related gear (with no stats, purely for collecting)
  • Quest starter drops (for fun and unique quests)
  • RP armor sets

This would not only drive people on to continue playing, but also give more reasons for the more casual players to play more regularly, trying to get into 10 mans. Also, if you just have no chance of getting in a 10 man, you can surely improve up to the point where you can raid 2o mans.

What About Boss Mechanics? Like In Some 25 Man Raids You Need To Deal With 3 Of “X” While In 10 Man You Only Deal With 2 Of “X”

There will be no difference in the mechanics. If, like in the example, you need to deal with 3 of whatever in 20 or 30 man, 10 man will also require to deal with 3. This increases the amount of work you must do, making it more difficult. And like I said before, if it’s too difficult you can just go back to doing 20 or 30 man.

If, for example, there were 5 adds/whatever to CC in a raid, 10 man players would really have their work cut out for them and will need to be on the ball at all times. The 20 and 30 raids will have many more players to deal with the adds, making it easier.

What About PuGs – Wouldn’t It Take Longer To Set Them Up Because They Might Only Do 30 Mans?

This is possibly a problem, but there is a fix. The fact that 30 mans will be very easy will invite more players to join the PuG, if the number of players attempting to join the raid is 3 or more times as much as, say, the amount of people who join a 10 man ICC, then it will actually be an increase in speed for groups to form.

Guilds will be able to get members faster if they will be attempting 10 mans. Think of 10 man Uldaness (or whatever 10 man raid there would be) being as difficult for 10 level 85s to take down as it is for 25 level 80′s to take down heroic mode ICC.

PuG forming speed would remain the same speed as it is today and guilds will fill up faster if they are attempting 10 mans instead of 25 man heroics.

This is all just my opinion and not based on anything I’ve read/heard about. Whats your opinion on this? Do you have anything you would add?

How much health will we have in Cataclysm?

“You’re looking at 180,960 health”

So I was browsing MMO-Champion for recent news and I stumbled on this post which is a preview to some profession changes coming in Cataclysm. I skimmed through most of it but the following quote from the bandages section caught my eye…

“Dense Embersilk Bandage” Heals for 34,800 over 8 seconds. Requires 3 Embersilk to create” (source)

34,800 health over 8 seconds. Thats 4,350 healing per second (HPS) from a bandage.

By comparison, the current best bandage (Heavy Frostweave Bandage) heals 5,800 over 8 seconds, which equals 725 HPS. The Dense Embersilk Bandage is 6 times as powerful as the one we have now.

So the jump from WoTLK to Cataclysm with bandages increases healing by 6x, while the jump from BC to WoTLK didn’t even double the health from bandages (3,800 health bandages in BC compared to the 5,800 health ones now shows a 59% increase) – In BC, a well-geared tank might have about 18K health unbuffed. If you have 50K health unbuffed as a tank in WoTLK, 59% of that is 29,500. No BC tank had 29K health so the bandages were not scaled to a similar health percentage healing in both expansions for end-game gear.

Now, if you’re a new 80 tank with a few BoE blues, maybe an epic and 77+ quest blues/greens, you would be somewhere around 30K health. That is 5.2x as much as Heavy Frostweave will heal.

Lets take that number, and apply it to a new level 85 tank in Cataclysm with quest greens/blues level 83+, some BoE blues and epics. If said tank had 5.2x as much health as the Dense Embersilk would heal… You’re looking at 180,960 health. 5.2 is quite close to 6.0 and to quote myself “the jump from WoTLK to Cataclysm with bandages increases healing by 6x”

Healers aren’t real PvPers

So, today I feel like trying out resto healing in PvP (I went Insect Swarm / Resto – 24/0/47) because I hadn’t tried healing in a battleground since I started getting actual PvP gear. I heard all the “OMG RESTO R LEET NEVAR DIE” complaints before I hit 80, so when I hit 80 I jumped right into a BG with my 13K health quest gear and… Died.

A lot.

I was wondering why I was dying so much. Maybe it was because I spammed Nourish and almost nothing else. Maybe it was my health. Maybe it was my resil, which was at 0. In fact, I didn’t even know what “resil” was.

So I tried out moonkin PvP 5K HK’s later and it was /win

Anyway… Like I said, today I tried out healing with 860-something resil and 24K health. I still died a lot but I finished with 4th spot on healing (this was AB) and maybe 6-8 deaths.

Lesson learnt: Healing in PvP is boring, and not actually PvP.

Why is healing not “actually PvP”? The answer is because you’re not actually versing other players. Your healing your teammates, occasionally CC’ing the other faction. Maybe for about half a minute every game Insect Swarming / Starfire or Wrathing.

Yes, I get that maybe you’re “versing” them by undoing the damage they have caused. But there is something lacking. It’s probably a personal thing, but when I’m filling up the little green boxes, there is no excitement. No magnificent spell effects. It’s pressing keys and moving my mouse hoping the green boxes stay as full as possible.

It can also RUIN a BG. If by luck, one side is 20%-40% heals, it slows the other side so much you might as well go off on your own to gank.

I’m sure to get some readers with completely different opinions to me. I know very little about resto “PvP” and I would bet someone will tell me that I’m doing it wrong and you do more than spam heals and Cyclone. If you have your own perspective of it, feel free to flame tell me in the comments.

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