Posted by: Smee | August 21, 2008

Checking in…

It’s been a few days since my last wafflings… ok ok, more like 2 weeks. I apologise.

But then, I haven’t actually taken the effort (been brave enough) to spread my link out there yet, so theoretically I have no readers to disappoint.

I’ve not been completely unproductive though. A key part of such blogs will be linking to fellow bloggers posts where relevant, and I can’t do that until I read them. As Matticus discusses in a recent entry establishing a reputation as a new blogger requires some careful work not to piss off the community. Especially one as tight knit as this wow healers group appears to be.

It’s unlikely that I’ll go posting irrelevant links to here on every blog I see in the next few days, so I’m happy I’ll sidestep that little danger.

Anyway, enough. Lets get to something a little more juicy. Most bloggers, portals and forums have recently been swamped by opinions and thoughts about the changes to downranking spells in Lich King that will basically make it a thing of the past.

I’m not a big pvp’er, but even so, I do use rank 1 earthshock on many mobs and bosses. It came as pleasant news to see a blue post recently that some kind of equivilent spell is being worked on to take it’s place. I have to laugh at the hopes of some druids that believe this will lead to them getting a rank 1 moonfire equivilent. No, no you foul beasts, no longer will you be able to destroy my 1000 mana’s worth of totems for 80 mana automatically with a macro that targets them all except stoneclaw. Bastards (but I love you of course).

Ahem – I really don’t pvp much. But I still reserve the right to get a little indignant about it on behalf of my fellow shammies who do like to kill some horde (or alliance). It’s not like you see Pallies aura’s vanishing, or blessings being dispelled anywhere near as easily as our poor totems do, and our totems don’t even move with us.

There’s talk about stoneclaw offering protection for our totems, and/or talents that increase the health of the totems to a % of our health. It’s probably best not to bother pointing out flaws with such ideas yet, when we continue to get promises of polish passes etc. I’ll bide my time.

We got Bloodboil down again this week which was nice. But it was hairy. We survived 18 secs of enrage with some rogue evasion tanking to get him down. Nature’s Switftness + chainlightning + frostshock was my contribution. I’m amazed I had the mana left after 10 minutes 18 secs of near constant healing. Damn that fight is tricky.

Still it was quite the victory for the guild. Our first kill had 4 CoH priests, and 2 shammies for raid healing. This second kill had only 2 CoH and just 1 shammy. The rest being pallies (they’re like buses, there’s none for ages, then loads turn up at once. We had 5 pallies in last nights raid!).

With this victory came opportunity the next evening for our first look at Relen…relinq… thingy of souls. Our first attempt at the trash ghost gauntlet bought my fps down to 2, so I had to lower all my graphic settings, reload wow, and then make creative use of wall staring to allow it to get steady at 11fps and sufficent for me to keep chain heal going. The raid setup was weird, we were very short on DPS and had something like 9 healers. We didn’t expect to get very far, but wanted the practice on the trash run and to see the encounter. Despite this, we still got to within 8% of finishing phase 2, so we were quite happy.

It didn’t seem anywhere near as complicated a fight as the tactics would make you feel. Sadly I think we’ll still have people failing to kill their constructs on Teron long after ROS is on farm. In a recent thread on PlusHeal, I made my feelings about construct killing very clear, but I guess I do have to bow down and accept that there must be some difficulty there, given the universal problems for so many people.

Then again – on the basis of that argument – cube clicking is a hard task too. As is, running away from fire. At what point do we begin to accept that something isn’t hard because a lot of people fail at it, but that there is simply a lot of bad players out there!

Oh well, /ranting does nothing to help. Perhaps I’ll drag some people from the guild who struggle on constructs to that house on the hilltop in duskwood, where everything goes dark and gloomy and have them wand 4 skeletons in order for practice. Or better still, send them to Scholo and they can practice kiting the exact same model mobs round and round.

That enough from me for now – lunch calls.

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Posted by: Smee | August 5, 2008

Back after the weekend…

Busy weekend away from Azeroth, with a family member’s birthday.

Last night was a fun raid though… we went back in to see Kael, and hit phase 5 on the first attempt. Couple of little hiccups on the next two attempts and then he was down. Very nice evening.

For me personally, it meant the 3 badges I needed to get the 60 badge ring, along with the Scale of Sands ring too (with my rep already at exalted). Double upgrade, very nice.

It really is a great fight for the sheer variety.

For me personally, I spend phase one lightning bolting my socks off, utilising the constantly proc’ing watershield every time a gaze is switched. Phase two and suddenly I’m chainhealing like crazy as the conjured staff starts aoe frostbolting all the squishies whilst the tanks are ripped into by the other weapons. Phase three I’m suddenly single target healing two tanks. The one remaining on the shield, and the other on the newly rezzed Telonicus. Occassionaly chain heal if the melee get too close to a bomb. Phase 4 and I’m HW, LHW and CH’ing as and when opportunity arises, along with earthshocks on Kael’s fireballs.

For a resto-shaman, rarely (if at all) will you get to use such a wide variety of your abilities in one fight. I only wish it had been the guild’s first kill rather than the officer’s sympathy kill for those wanting titles and rings. It was more a sigh of relief, than a cheer of success when he died (we’d spent three nights on him). Oh well. I loved it atleast.

WotLK talents keep getting updated and changed. I’m still not convinced we’re looking solid yet, but I’ll hold off on waffling about it until we actually have our promised extra ranks of chainheal/watershield implemented and spirit link has been tested. I did attempt some ‘analysis’ of the first set of talents to be released, two pages or so, only for it all to be voided when half of them changed the following day. Not being caught by that again.

Until next time.

Posted by: Smee | July 31, 2008

A busy night

Weird circumstances left us with only 2 tanks for last night’s raiding. It was a Wednesday night, so it was a reset night on European servers. Everything was alive, awaiting us to visit.

We headed to Black Temple.

I do enjoy the Naj’entus fight. It’s one of the first boss fights where Chain heal really, really (and I mean, really) shines. Depending on how your raidleader arranges the groups, then it also can be a fight that shows the power of CoH (Circle of Healing) priests as well, although they really become noticeable later on with Bloodboil.

For those that don’t know, the Naj’entus fight is pretty healing intensive. There’s consistently hard damage on the tanks, on most of the melee, and random burst damage on the raid in the form of frosty bolts, and giant spines. Chain heal can beam about the melee and the tanks pretty much non-stop, such is the damage quantity. To add to that, once per minute a shield burst ‘thing’ happens that will cause everyone in the raid to take over 8k damage. Man you just can’t spam those golden beams of joy fast enough.

Now those of you who have been in Black Temple will know that the first trash pack after Naj’entus can be a little tricky. It involves about a dozen little slimers, that spit out aoe poison, and shift about pretty damn quick. You get them in pairs in the trash leading to Naj’entus, but this pack is huge.

We usually have 4 tanks, and even then we tend to get a few of the blighters coming out of the pack due to healer aggro on the tanks, and then all hell breaks loose as the poisons start firing off every which way. I’ve even seen raid wipes to these blighters.

So I had this idea last night – only 2 tanks, we were destined for a wipe – let me stick my Earth Elemental in the door way, it has a pretty good aoe taunt thing, and is completely immune to nature damage. Give him 30 secs to build aggro, and then you’ll have 90 secs before he despawns to get em down. A couple of misdirects would help even more.

I get the impression the raid thought I was joking, and regardless our normal tanks go in first. To hell with them, I drop my elemental anyway, and he grabs half the blighers. No misdirects though, sadly. The tanks start taking a lot of poison damage, the heals go out, and suddenly two or three are in the main raid, and the chaos ensues. But stoically, loyally and wonderfully, there is my little elemental, stood up front, still with half the pack around him. Bless.

We lost half the raid in the end, but we got them down. I’m determined that next time we let the elemental get ‘initial’ aggro, rather than the tanks, so no healing is needed. And that he gets a couple of misdirects to help. I will see him tank that pack and we aoe them down with no deaths, I WILL!

The trash to Supremus was as boring as usual, although perhaps a little more fun as we had mages/warlocks/hunters tanking the dragons in the air so there was a little more healing to be done. We’re still pretty convinced in the healer channel that it could certainly be duo healed and maybe even solo healed.

Supremus isn’t a great fight for a shammy. There’s far too much movement, so trying to duck volcano’s, fires, staying in range not to get charged if gazed, and standing still to get a heal off is just a pain. Everyone is well spread, so chain heal is all but useless too. Druid’s obviously do well here. NS+Ghostwolf is quite amusing though if you do get gazed. Currently water shield seems to tick off lots and lots during this fight, so keep it spammed and mana won’t be a problem at all. I’ve gone from 50% mana to full between two tanking phases. So don’t be scared to whip off LHW’s on clothies that have got caught in a fire or volcano. You can get the mana back easily enough. Same goes for a cheeky lightning bolt or 20. First time I killed him I got the healing mail haste belt, which is currently my first and only part of a one-day haste set. Looking forward to seeing what 2.05 sec chainheals will be like.

The trash past Supremus gets a bit nasty with just two tanks, so we called the raid early. Against better judgement (with an early start for work the next day) I got involved with an impromptu ZA Bear run group.

ZA Bear runs… I’ll cover them more another time. But they sure are mad. Duo healed with a pally last night, which I have to admit wasn’t a great pairing. We came to the bear boss (second boss by the way we do it, less travel time for the timed event) and with only my Earthshield to keep the tank alive during the silence, we had two swift wipes. Very annoying, as when I’ve been paired with a druid, this boss barely registered in my memory. We were about to give up, but we went for a third go just to get the second chest if we could, typical third time I resist the stun and we heal through without a problem. Get some bonus time, and rush off to down the Dragon hawk for the third chest too.

With only 4 mins left though, sadly its another failed bear run attempt. Give me the druid healer, and that group last night was going all the way. Oh well.

Had a bit of fun on the penultimate boss. The pally disconnected towards the end, so I was solo healing through tanks damage, spiritbolts on the whole raid, and bloody rain of fires. I have never been more oom and never been more glad when a mana pot came off cooldown! Also broke my record, and hit 1750 hps, without even Heroism (didn’t have the mana to use it!). Left me sweatin’ a bit that did.

3 mana potions used in that fight. Potion sickness after one potion! Don’t make me laugh… bitterly.

Posted by: Smee | July 30, 2008

Ahoy!

Hmmmm… the whole ‘blogging’ concept isn’t a new one. And chances are I’ll have nothing original to say. But who can say I won’t discover a natural flair for dramatic understatement and attract a bizarre crowd of enthusiastic mutant hamsters hanging on my every word!

Oh, erm… hi. I should probably introduce myself. I’m Smee. A mid-20’s English guy floating about in that ‘temp’ job after University before supposedly heading off and starting a proper career. Ahem, anyway…

I’ve tried to avoid joining the blogging bandwagon. I didn’t want a blog that was a ‘dear diary’ type of my day-to-day activities from washing up a plate (ha, like that happens whilst I still have tin foil I can fold into a disposable plate and save on the effort), to trying to find matching socks before being late for work. Meh, not interesting.

But, I do have a hobby that a good few million people share, and I do find myself with a spare thirty minutes each day that I can likely devote to some semi-literate writing.

So here it is. The beginning. The start.

/fanfare

“Smee’s Resto Shammy Blog”

…What do you mean that sucks for a title! Ok – so it’s not as catchy as Too Many Annas or as witty as Hoof n’ Healz. But I’ve got to start somewhere and my title tells it how it is! If ya have a better idea – send it in on a postcard.

Lets get to it then: an introduction. The brief history of Smeester the Shammy. I’ll even do it in bullet form so it’s quick for those whose eyes are already drooping.

  • He’s a spacegoat (Draenei) but no face tentacles.
  • He came into existance round about May 2007.
  • He’s only ever been resto. From L10 – 70.

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My original character was a mage. I wanted to learn how to heal, so I healed my way through every instance Azeroth had to offer – endless pugs with all the stories and heartbreak that entails. But I did learn how to heal. And there’s something satisfying about having such fools providing you the XP required to level. Plus as a healer, you can always let them die if they get too annoying. Mwahahahaha.

Anyhoo, so what’s my plan? Why start a blog now? Why should you even finish reading this sentence, let alone the whole entry or come back and read subsequent entries?

Tough questions! The plan is to blog my way through the Lich King expansion due out in 3-18months depending on who you ask. I figured it would be nice to have 2 or 1 loyal reader(s) by then, so I’m starting early and I’ll be attempting to entertain you with a mixture of mildly interesting information cunningly couched in a lot of waffle with the occassional big word whenever I get enthusiastic enough to open a thesaurus. Oh the mendacity!

Ha, I can see you reaching for that bookmark button already. You were too easy. It was no challenge to capture you, I knew the brilliance of my writing… what! No wait, come back…

Awww shucks. 

Ok – being serious for a while. I am in a raiding guild, progressing through Black Temple. Bloodboil died last week (although he spent 2 hours farming us last night) and we will be attempting The big box of Souls sometime soon. I will be talking about my experiences of these new bosses, and all the old bosses as and when we go through them each week.

Before I go, and call and end to this travesty of an opening entry, I will mention that whilst I’m a relatively optimistic guy, not prone to screaming ‘DOOOM’ at the first hint of potion sickness or lack of new chainheal ranks, I will occassionally get riled and be forced to climb on to a spacebox and /rant.

Apologies in advance.

Now to go find somewhere that’ll host this tripe…

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