Light & Leafy

Archive for the ‘Help Meh!’ Category

Khi over at Tree Burglar suggested a wonderful topic for this Lunar Festival season: as an Elder of the game, what do you recommend for newbies coming into Azeroth for the first time?

I don’t see myself as an Elder. I’m not eternally calm, nor do I strut around with a moonbeam following my every movement (oh but to dream…). Heck, my main has NO influence over the natural world whatsoever; she’s a priest who was given holy powers by a band of interdimensional geometric shapes. When I entered Azeroth, I was guided by a knowledgeable warrior whose friends lavished me with kittens, moths, and prairie dogs; I leveled my priest as holy at a time healing was a stat on items because I had someone there to beat down the monsters for me.

I’m not really making myself look good here. Moving right along…

As Elder’s Assistant’s Sister’s Baker’s Apprentice Edainne, people usually only flock to me for advice when their cookies come out as flat little discs (hint: use a heaping tablespoon of baking powder!). But today, with Khi’s encouragement, I’m here to give novice players some advice to survive their first few adventures in Azeroth!

1. Never, ever buy white-level gear from a vendor. You don’t need the armor that badly. And while it may look cool, chances are you’re going to replace it the next time you hand in a quest. So save your hard earned silver and copper for things you really need, like training! The only thing that breaks this rule is ammunition, but that’s more of a consumable rather than equipment.

2. Set your hearth early and frequently until you make it to a major city. You might be able to get by if you’re a mage, because then you’ll be able to port yourself anywhere you’d like. But for all of us non-Twisting Nether travelers, setting your hearth is CRUCIAL. Otherwise, you might find yourself teleporting to the little beginning area every time you’re forced to use it. It helps to check for an inn keeper every time you make it to a new friendly outpost.

3. Know your tracking options! On your minimap, there should be a little bubble with some sort of icon in the middle of it. If you click on that bubble, you’ll be able to track everything from herbs and mining nodes to trainers and vendors. If you’re having a hard time finding someone who sells candles, or you don’t know where your bank is in a foreign city, this is the place to start.

4.Choose one talent tree and stick with it in the beginning. I know that the first tier of each tree seems to have so many exciting talents.  But honestly, the talents just get better as you get deeper in each tree! Pick a tree you want to start exploring, and as you’re leveling fill out that tree until there are no longer talents you find interesting or useful. If you spread yourself too much at the beginning, you won’t be able to get the really awesome talents quickly (like the loveable Boomkin form or the ability to tame exotic pets).

5. Be polite in the wilds. Occasionally you’ll come across another adventurer questing in the same area as you. Be considerate of their experience. If they’re of the same faction, send a tell to the player (/w <player’s name>) to see if they would like to quest together so you don’t accidentally kill their targets. If they’re of the opposite faction, acknowledge them, and try not to hit the mobs they’re targeting.

6. Team up with other people from your realm! The looking for dungeon feature is a GREAT way to get groups together, especially in early content. But I recommend asking in your server’s looking for group or trade chat first. Even if you only get one or two responses, you may be able to find a new friend on the server to group with more regularly. Then the two (or three!) of you can comb the dungeon finders together, while also being available to help each other on group quests.

7.  Explore! The World (of Warcraft) is an immense universe filled to the brim with countless experiences to be had. It’s up to you find them yourself. Take some time to run around places you were never sent to quest. You might just find your favorite fishing spot, or contemplation nook.

8.  Experiment! Maybe you first started out with a squishy priest and hated every moment of it. Or the Undead starting zone just didn’t resonate with you. Try again! Play both factions. Try your hand at a melee dps or a caster. Maybe a tank is more your speed. Give roleplaying a whirl. Sign up for a heart-racing player versus player battle. There are so many options to your race and class and realm experience, it would be silly to have one bad experience and completely write off the entire game. Maybe in the end, WoW just isn’t the game for you, but can you honestly know until you’ve tried all it has to offer?

9.  Pick up cooking and first aid. It might seem like a hassle to level it, but it’s always great to have band-aids and roasted meat around. The food has been (mostly) updated so whatever you eat will give you some sort of buff to make your experience a little bit easier, and even classes with heals can benefit from having a bandage in their backpack when their mana is low.

10.  Be patient. Relax. It’s only a game. The first few levels might seem difficult, or even boring. But it gets better with time. The spells become more interesting, the game play mechanics begin to make sense. If you’re having trouble with something you can take a break and come back to it when you’re bigger or when your mind is clearer or when you’ve found someone to help. It will be there waiting for you.

And as a bonus, my final piece of advice:

11.  Remember, you’re never alone. Sometimes when you’re playing in a world as massive as Azeroth, it can get a bit lonely. You might feel like you have no one to turn to or that it’s too intimidating to talk to people.  It’s ok. I think we’ve all been there. But that’s what’s important to remember: we’ve all experienced it ourselves. Some of us forget this, and may treat you as disposable, but a great many of us haven’t. 9/10 times if you ask a question in your server’s general or trade chat, someone will answer you. Someone will try to help you. And if you’re reading this blog, or any other blog for that matter, you’re already one step ahead of the game. Blogs are a form of conversation, and most bloggers I know are happy (if not estatic) to help new players who have legitimate questions and concerns. Talk to us. We’re here.

And that’s all advice this apprentice can muster for today. How about you all? What tips would you give a budding WoW Enthusiast taking their first steps into a brand new world?

As a note: if you ever have a question for me, whether its about my preferences, my gaming style, healers in specific, healers in general, or raiding/leading, please feel free to ask away in the comments or to send me an email at lightandleafy@gmail.com

*Clears Throat*

Why did you build me up,

Saurfang, baby, just to kill me more

Face on the floor.

And then worst of all,

You always spam nova

After a blood beast

Can’t get you beat.

I’m confused!

Marking everyone, honey!

You didn’t do tha-at before!

So, help me up, Saurfang,

Don’t wipe me no more!

That was to the tune of “Build Me Up Buttercup” by the Foundations. If you don’t know it (WHAAT?), go here. Nao. I canz wait.

Something interesting came up last night. We’ve killed Saurfang twice in our 25 man group and loads more in our ten mans. And yet, last night, he seemed substantially harder than he has in the past.

At first, I really thought it was only because we pugged a few spaces. Maybe they were just getting hit by the blood beasts as we were killing them. Most of the marks we were receiving were handed out during add phases anyways. It made sense.

And Blizzard fixed the exploit on the gunship allowing marked players to hop into a cannon so they wouldn’t take any damage and risk dying, giving Saurfang 5% of his health. We all knew that was coming, sooner or later. So, we had to step up the healing game to get the marked players through the fight. That really wasn’t so bad. I focused on the marks while allowing the 2 other discipline priests handle bubbling the rest of the raid.

Well, it wasn’t bad until the 6th mark or so. I believe that’s where we started loosing people, even though our pally had one marked baconed, and everyone but him was spamming heals on marked players.  But, with nearly another mark out and Saurfang only sitting at 25% of his health, it was game over.

We wiped a few times over, attributing it to the lack of coordination we were feeling all night. A little after our normal break time, we decided to call the raid and hope that we’d have better luck on Thursday. A quick Patchy kill to end the night on a positive note, then off to our own desires(I wish we had Wintergrasp to try out the new boss, but there’s always tonight).

My 10 man decided that we’d go in, since we still had an hour or so before end time, and clear the front of the house so that when we went back this weekend we’d be able to focus more on the content we haven’t cleared or seen.  Breezing right along (and winning a sexay new belt off of Marrowgar), we got to Saurfang, happy knowing that we could kill him in revenge for all the wipes and headaches he caused earlier.

Now, my favorite dwarven discipline priest waited while I switched into my ohmaigawdbubbles!spec, and we divided up the bubbling assignments.  Our holy pally went ret to smush face, and we were in business.

Or so we thought. We got about to 80% of his health, and realized that his blood power was already at 50%. The last 4 or 5 times Dyrum and I have healed this fight together,  we were able to get through the entire encounter without a single mark. Suddenly, I was wishing our holy pally was still helping out healing.   One mark went out on our top dps.  Then a second.  Then a third.

My fingers eagerly twitched for my guardian spirit button to help keep the marked players alive, only to cast power infusion on a kitty.

This wasn’t the clean, predictable kill I had expected.  It had this messy, scrambling feeling.

What happened to Saurfang? What happened to ez-mode lewtz?

Well, as far as I know, there were only 2 theories:

  1. (Provided by a lock guildie in the 25 man version) Saurfang had bugged after the patch. He was stuck on heroic mode, gaining blood power at a much higher rate and doing more overall damage to the raid. I haven’t found any sources pointing to this as of yet, but I was eager to believe that over believing our group was just incapable of fighting the fight as intended.
  2. Saurfang had been fixed to work the way he was always intended to. This was the theory that Osyras and I were tossing back and forth.  Maybe discipline priests were never meant to be completely win for that fight. Instead of preventing Saurfang from receiving blood power on a target whose damage is absorbed by a bubble or divine aegis, maybe bubbles were only ever meant to absorb the damage while allowing Saurfang to continue to build blood power.  It made sense the more we considered it. It would make the achievement to kill him without Marks of the Fallen Champion more difficult to get. And it wouldn’t put one healing class so above and beyond any of the others. The only question I have is, if this was the way the fight was intended to work, why didn’t Blizzard fix it sooner, rather then lulling guilds (like mine) into a sense of accomplishment and farm status?

I’m not really sure I know what happened last night, though I’m sure I’ll find out in the coming weeks.  I do wish that Blizzard would mention something, either by saying that yes, they fixed Saurfang to be the fight they always intended him to be, or by confirming that he was glitching out on heroic mode after the patch yesterday.  Stealth patching is…stealthy.  I like knowing what I’m up against. I don’t really care if the encounter had to be tweaked,  I just want to know if I need to fix my healing strategies or not.

Saurfang will either return to being the easy peasy lemon squeezy fight that he was, or we’ll have to adapt and succeed. Maybe that’ll make the rewards ever so sweeter.

Did any of you have problems with your ICC attempts this week?

Also….

Having a cold is teh sux. Having a cold, and having to go to work, is worse. Having a cold, having to go to work, and having to deal with snow is the worst.

I can haz hot cocoa?

I am not the best healer.

That little sentence doesn’t bother me. It never has. used to. But not anymore (and I think I’m a better friend for it =D)

I am not the best healer I could be.

Oh, now that sentence? Hmm. Well, it’s honest. But gosh how I wish it weren’t.

When I started raiding, back in Karazhan, I was pretty confident in myself. I also hated taking advice, and assumed I knew what my character was capable of better than anyone else.  To add to the steaming pile of ego, I was (at the time) the only female healer I knew, and constantly felt as though my healing “buddies” held that against me. So I played my priest my way, and was happy with my output.

Flash forward to Wrath.  Through a series of fortunate events (both in game and out), I no longer feel femi-rage every time I log onto the game. I have a safe environment, filled with healers of every gender and species that I feel confident and comfortable discussing the mechanics of this whack-a-mole we’ve immersed ourselves in. I finally brought myself to the point where I can take advice without feeling anxiety or pain over not realizing it myself.  And I have team mates I can rely on to play just as hard as I have.

All of this is wonderful…except for the part where my own skills seem to have diminished over time.  Honestly, I don’t know what caused it. Maybe it’s flipping through each of the different healing classes at least once a day, making myself a jack of all trades without a specialty. Maybe it’s from always assigning myself a floating position in raids, always looking at the big picture. Maybe I’ve ALWAYS been this way and in true Trini fashion I only realized it years after the fact.

So what’s a priest/druid/shaman/pally to do?

Why, re-learn my skill sets, of course!

In the next few days/weeks/months, I’m going to make changes to my play style. I’ll probably redo my UI multiple times, set up new ways of testing my abilities, go through and REALLY focus on each of my healers one at a time. And everything will be documented here.

And hope, that some where along the way, my friends out in cyberspace will come to me with new ideas, or stories about relearning something they thought was second nature (it’s kind of like a healing support group).  Maybe out of this purely selfish venture someone else will find something they can tweak for their own uses.

Afterall, we’re all trying to make the little green bars stay green!

So, as my main, and as the healer I’m most surprised that I don’t perform better with, Edainne will be getting the loving treatment first and foremost.

Things that will be involved:

  • Reworking her UI (which will likely be used as the backbone for everyone else’s)
  • Giving myself healing assignments out of the norm (Tanks, particular group assignments, etc).
  • Working to increase my response time
  • Making sure all indicators for various buffs are in place, meaningful, and accurate
  • Taking a good, hard look at her talent points to ensure they are properly allocated.

Here’s to making ourselves better! Think of it as a WoW New Year’s Resolution (albeit late).