But we were prepared.
That's me, faced away from the camera, standing between the moonkin and the levitating priest. No healing gear at all dropped, but we did get one of each token. Good job done by all and the only deaths were from silly things. Can't wait to repeat it!
Monday, June 30, 2008
But we were prepared.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Last night was the first night I got to fulfill my new role as healing lead because the regular healing lead wasn't online. I learned a lot last night and have a better understanding of what I need to do, what to watch for, and when I need to step up to take charge.
I don't have the mental coherency right now to go in-depth, but let me sketch out various events and my thoughts on them.
Inviting healers to a raid: Luckily, not too difficult in our case. We have pretty much the exact number of healers we need online at the start of raid. The unfortunate part is that sometimes those healers are somewhat sub-par. Right now, nothing to be done about it.
Arranging healing assignments: I have Black Temple covered. I can do that. Mount Hyjal on the other hand? Not so much. We one-shot Council tonight with two of our best healers missing and one healer who had never seen the fight before. Then we wiped on Anetheron because there was some terrible issue with the way I assigned healer positioning.
Now I have a better understanding of what needs to be taken into consideration when assigning healers. You have to be willing to take risks (i.e. having an essentially untested priest to solo heal the mage tank) and you have to have some understanding of what your healers can do.
Replacing healers: We had to replace two healers tonight because of disconnecting issues. It's hard to find new healers and it's even harder to step up and tell the other officers what to do (at least for me it is). This is something I will have to work on.
Other things I need to work on:
Paying attention to what the healers are doing during boss fights. I have terrible tunnel vision when I'm healing. I focus on my little green bars, everything else be damned. I need to be more aware of what's going on across the raid to make sure that everyone is doing what needs to be done and that healing is covered if something isn't working right.
Calling out battle rezzes, reincarnates, and bloodlusts. Seriously, I need to be better at this. I really, really need to be better at this. I can't expect anyone else to make those decisions. Unfortunately, I have no idea how to learn those skills.
And I know there are issues that haven't even cropped up yet that I will need to learn to deal with. What happens when I have to ask someone to sit because they are underperforming? There are so many things I need to learn...
Additionally, we seem to have a vacuum of leadership. There are things that need fixing, but I don't feel comfortable enough with my position within the guild to step up and make those suggestions. It's such a difficult place to be in! I learned my lesson about taking on too much responsibility with the Earthwalkers. I don't want to end up as raid leader or de-facto guild leader or any such thing in this guild. I'd rather not have my life revolve around a computer game, despite what my mother seems to think.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
After an unfortunate raid the other night, the healing lead asked me to be his second as soon as I logged on last night. It's a bit daunting, mainly because the only healing class I understand well is shaman. I have an idea of how druids heal, but not the slightest clue how a paladin or priest should be healing. Consequently, I have a lot of research to do now.
Being a leader in a raiding guild is far more difficult than being a leader in a heavy role-playing guild. The people management skills are much more complex and there is so much more you have to take into consideration and pay attention to.
Not only am I responsible for all the shaman, I am now responsible for all the healers. I have to learn to pay attention to things I've never bothered with before. How do I choose whom to battle rez first? How do I arrange healing assignments properly? How do I monitor the activities of all the healers, as well as all the shaman? Right now, we're raiding with 8 to 9 healers and four to five shaman per raid. Three resto shaman usually, so that's roughly ten people I have to be keeping an eye on. I've never done anything like this before and I feel very out of my depth.
There are so many little issues that need to be addressed too. Like the new resto shaman doesn't have his gear gemmed properly, so I need to work with him concerning that. The enhancement shaman is using lightning shield instead of water shield (along with other issues) and I have to figure out how to get him to change. Let's not forget the small personality conflicts I have with one of the other shaman.
Now I have to concern myself with the other healers too. It's just so daunting. I don't know where to start. I need a course on how to be a raid leader.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Since maxing out leatherworking (finally!) and discovering the addictive awesomeness of Bloodlust + Drums of Battle, I've become more interested in adding haste to my healing gear. My healing numbers go through the roof when I use the Bloodlust + Drums of Battle combination, so I know it's extraordinarily useful.
Haste is one of those stats that has always confused me though. When I was a baby resto shaman, mp5 was the stat I lived for. Once my gear grew up a little, +healing became more important. Now that we're on the verge of Sunwell Plateau, it's time to think about haste.
Most of what I've read suggests that shaman should maintain two sets of gear - one regularly balanced healing set and one haste set. Unfortunately, I don't have an opportunity to do that. Which leaves me with the other suggestion I've come across - put Quick Lionseyes in yellow sockets.
There is one other important consideration though. A haste resto shaman is dependent on having a shadow priest because they sacrifice other mana conserving stats for haste. Our shadow priests are not that consistent so I don't know if we'll have a shadow priest at all for any given raid. Not only that, but there's already fights over who gets the shadow priests when they do show up to raids.
I think I need to discuss this with the other healing officers and see what they think. If I start adding haste to my healing gear, I will need a shadow priest if they're available. I need to make sure that they are willing to allow that before regemming my gear.
Basically, I'm looking at trading 44 +healing and +20 intellect for 40 haste, which will bring my haste rating up to 68 and reduce my chain heal cast time to 2.4 seconds. I think it's a fair trade-off.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Real life took me away from the computer for a week and a lot changed while I was gone. I came back to a new leadership structure (involving some drama I won't go into) and a new resto shaman.
Anyway, I have some blog ideas that I'm working on. I'd like to do one on lessons learned as a new class lead and I'm currently working on a long exposé about totems. Stay tuned for these ground-breaking posts!
Monday, June 9, 2008
Friday, June 6, 2008
Yes, yes. The unlucky streak was finally broken this evening when Anetheron dropped the beautiful Bastion of Light. Even ungemmed, it was an upgrade over my old shield. I am at last content. *happy sigh* With the proper gem and enchant on the new shield, my unbuffed +healing is 2402.
Now I won't feel obligated to apologize for my gear!
After my guild defeated the Illidari Council, we opened the Black Temple up to role-players. Our guild leader lead a quick tour through the temple (ever wonder where Draenic water comes from?) and then we confronted Illidan just for fun. Apparently the brief attempt was captured on fraps and the result is this little video. Giggles ftw.
I'm on a lucky streak. Whilst farming leather the other day, The Green Tower dropped. This morning, while farming Obsidian Warbeads for Consortium rep, Four of Blessings dropped. Then I went to Shattrath to do a transmute for someone and I discovered how to transmute Primal Life to Primal Earth!
I am hoping that this lucky streak continues tonight when we head into Hyjal (or failing that, ZA) and the Bastion of Light drops. I will be the happiest shaman in existence. It's probably too much to hope for, particularly considering my luck. But one can always dream.
It's been a very busy last few days. Switching to leatherworking has been expensive and time-consuming. I'm stalled out at 338 leatherworking until either more leather goes up on the auction house (Moon Guard is a small server with a bad economy) or I'm able to farm more leather with Miothe.
I managed to accomplish two of my reputation goals for Salanthe as well. She's now revered with The Consortium and exalted with the Keepers of Time. Now I only need to hit exalted with Thrallmar and she'll be set. It would be nice to hit exalted with Sporeggar too, but that's a distant dream.
Miothe is nearly level 65 due to all this leather farming, which was what I hoped would happen. With any luck, she will ding this evening, unless I spend all night on Sal.
I also lucked out and picked up a few epic leatherworking patterns from Black Temple last night. Once I reach 375 leatherworking, I will be able to craft Bracers of Renewed Life and Living Earth Bindings. If you've read prior posts, you may recognize that the Living Earth Bindings are the ones I'm hoping to upgrade too. With any luck, enough Hearts of Darkness will drop tonight so that I can have my bracers made!
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
One thing I did not intend upon being promoted to a guild officer was being forced to carefully consider what I put in my blog. I don't want to air the guild's dirty laundry across the Internet for all to see. On the other hand, typing out my situation is the best way for me to think through whatever issue it is that I'm dealing with. I'll have to think carefully about what I type.
Regardless of all that, I'm finally being forced to step into my role as guild officer. I'm not sure why I thought things wouldn't change once I had that new rank after my name, but I did. It's disconcerting to find myself taking responsibility for other people again. It's been so long since The Earthwalkers disbanded that I've forgotten what it feels like to be in a leadership position. Here's hoping I still have the ability to do it well.
On an unrelated note, I finally got Miothe's herbalism up to Outland level. She can pick almost every flower Salanthe needs now. Upon reaching that mark, I decided that it's time to drop herbalism on Sal and pick up leatherworking. After buying out all the thick leather on the auction house this morning, Salanthe is stuck at 269. Let me tell you how irritated I was that I couldn't get that last point!
I will have to spend some time farming rugged leather with Miothe so I can continue leveling leatherworking on Salanthe. Hopefully I'll have Outland patterns by the end of the week.
Monday, June 2, 2008
Because it's a little hard to see, the first screenshot is of one of my crit Healing Waves, which landed on a warlock for 9895. Almost 10,000 health in one shot.
The second screenshot is of our last raid where we spent 4 hours wiping 19 times on the Illidari Council. It's total raid healing for the entire night. What you're seeing is that I did 17% of the total raid's healing and that my nearest competition is a full 1.5 million behind me in healing.
The sad part? I thought I was doing a horrible job last night. As a caveat to those numbers, I did have a shadow priest in my group, so mana was not a huge issue. No matter how well I performed, there are plenty of things to work on. Most notably, I have a real issue remembering to blow Bloodlust on my own. I have to learn to do that without being told. Additionally, I still need to work on my positioning. I could be doing a better job of placing myself so that more people are in range of my heals.
I did practice being more reactive in my healing like the new resto shaman, and I think the results paid off. My overheal is surprisingly low on heals that I primarily cast at full rank, like lesser healing wave and healing wave. That shows that I was healing intelligently and reacting quickly. Not quickly enough for my own tastes, but the numbers show that I was doing better than I thought.
On a related note, Nature's Guardian is definitely worth the five talent points and I won't be respeccing from my standard raiding build any time soon. This WWS parse proves its effectiveness, I think.
Sunday, June 1, 2008
While reading about the Illidan encounter, I discovered that during the most healing intensive phase, Phase 2, shaman totems are bugged and cannot be used. My response:
I QQed about it on the Illidan strategy thread on our guild forum. One of my friends posted a reply to me saying, "Shaman tears are delicious." Which makes me think that Blizzard rather enjoys the taste too. Other classes don't have to remove all their buffs.
This makes me so upset that I can't even write about it. It will be an incoherent rant about anything and everything that Blizzard has screwed up about my class and I'd rather not subject you to that. Suffice to say that I'm pretty angry right now.
When I left my old guild and joined the one I'm in now, I was determined to improve Salanthe and prove myself to the new guild. I spent hours researching and ended up with a very long list of goals, including maxing out professions and weapons skills, hitting exalted with various factions, farming primals, and other more mundane things.
Several months later, I've checked off almost everything on that list and am reaping the benefits. Having maxed out cooking and fishing is completely worth the hours I spent power-leveling them from zero to 375. I have both a netherwing drake and a nether ray to choose from. I have every single talbuk (they all look so pretty!). I can buy flasks from the vendor in my bank and I can get my gear repaired just about anywhere without worrying about the extra cost.
Now that I'm redoing Salanthe's professions, I'm secure in knowing that I don't have any reputation grinds to do. Once I max out leatherworking, I can fly to each vendor and pick up all the patterns I could ever desire. It's very freeing.
My advice to folks leveling up a character for the first time: Take your time and do it right. One particularly well-cared for main character can support all your alts with ease. Yes, you may have to do reputation grinds on alts, but you can neglect secondary professions like cooking and fishing. It saves a lot of time and effort in the long run.
My current list for Salanthe (and Sal-related goals for alts):
Do dailies to have at least 2,000 gold on-hand
Max-out herbalism on Miothe
Max-out skinning on Miothe
Get Miothe her flight form (level 64 to 68)
Train leatherworking on Sal and power-level it to 375
Exalted with Thrallmar on Sal
Revered with the Consortium on Sal
Splurge on twinks!