Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Life As A Healer: Week Four

You know, life is a lot easier with a little expert knowledge.

How happy is the raider, she doesn't give a damn.  I wish I were a raider; Hey!  It seems I am!

Thanks to some advice from readers, I’ve adjusted my spec and cast priority, and as a result I think I’m a better healer for it.  I’m also now officially back on Raider status (I was promoted as I was writing this, thank you healing officer!), so I can start working on my gear without having to rely upon heroic 10-man ToC.

Speaking of heroic 10-man, I participated in it again this week, and it looks like I’m not going to get the last two bosses any time soon (if at all).  There’s only spaces for two healers, and it looks like a disc priest won’t be able to put out enough healing to get through it – they managed to get Anub’arak down, but there was only one player still alive at the end (end it was a shaman who self-ressed).  The fact my off-spec gear is still at Ulduar-level (in combination with my own underperformance as shadow) means I’m not capable of putting out enough dps to be hard-mode-ready.  (They ended up going with a holy pally and resto druid, and I think that’s going to be the pair they take in future)

That’s the problem with 10-man hard modes; in order to take the best group you can (that is, when you don’t grossly out-gear the hard-mode encounters, as we currently do 10-man Ulduar, and are starting to do with 25-man Ulduar), the “Take The Player Not The Class” idea only works where the classes are relatively interchangeable and players equally skilled.  It’d be nice to try heal or dps the final encounters, but I just don’t perform at a high enough level to justify the raidleader taking me instead of a healer or dps who have more reliable (or just more overall) output.

Well, at least I can say I’m increasingly confident of my ability to heal, and I’m beginning to be able to make suggestions of how best I can be utilised in specific encounters (such as with General Vezax: instead of being one of the sequential tank-healers, which I can do quite well, I let the other tank healers do their thing and I just cast PW:S on the tank whenever i can for extra mitigation).

With luck we’ll be seeing 3.3 on the PTR soon; I’m really hoping that’s the case, as the guild is stuck on the gulf between “Farming normal-mode 25-man ToC” and “Wiping on heroic 25-man ToC.”  We gave heroic-25 a try this week, and we were quite comprehensively (to use the vernacular) OMGWTFPWNED.  We were almost able to keep the tanks up long enough, but our dps just wasn’t enough to get to the second part of the Beasts encounter in any controlled manner.  I suspect it’s a combination of undergeared and underperforming raiders, growing dissatisfaction with ToC, and just a growing sense of ennui with WoW itself.

Speaking of dissatisfaction with WoW, I’ve found another game to dabble in while I wait to see what 3.3 is bringing to the raiding table.  The Chronicles of Spellborn is an comparatively young MMO based on the Unreal engine, set in a unique world with a novel combat mechanic that’s starting to grow on me.  While the game is being re-developed as a free-to-play game supported by micro-transactions, the current game has been made completely free-to-play, and it’s proving more appealing to me than the array of speed-bumps that D&D Online becomes after leaving the starting zone.

A random screenshot from the tutorial level.

I doubt I’ll be playing it all that seriously, but as a diversion it’s pretty engrossing.  It does have some nice ideas, such as making gear purely cosmetic (as opposed to being the measure of your progression as in WoW) and the novel combat system (which I don’t quite have time to go into right now – maybe in another post, if anyone’s curious).

I’m kind of semi-impoverished while I’ve put most of my gold into cards for Darkmoon Faire from which I’m hoping to make some small profit; I’d like to get back to my 70k from the end of last faire, but I’ve spent so much on bits and pieces (such as the two ToC tailoring recipes for the chests and 12 Crusader Orbs to make chest and wrist pieces for Mingle) that it might be something of an uphill battle.

Well, it’s getting towards server-goes-down time, so I should make some use of the time remaining.