Tuesday, October 26, 2010

More Than 2 or 3?

One of the things that I'm finding, now that I've reached my goal on leveling my alts, is that it is very difficult to play more than a few of my level 80 characters in a meaningful way. Right now, my druid is generally the toon that I will raid with when the opportunity arises. I use the warlock for PvP and am in the process of amassing a nice wrathful set for him.

For all of my other toons, I've been debating what to do. When I finish completing my Wrathful set on the warlock, it probably makes sense to go ahead and do that on another toon. I've frankly been debating between the Paladin and the Death Knight (I know - very Season 6 of me, right?)

I enjoy playing both characters in battlegrounds a great deal, so we'll have to see how the mood strikes me.

So that leaves me with a whole stable of other toons without much to do with them - Rogue, nah, for some reason, no interest there, Mage - sort of, but if I already have a warlock, do I really need another caster? Priest - I was actually seriously thinking about gearing this toon up next, but then the new talent specs came out, and I just don't get the whole Smite / Evangelism / Archangel thing. Bubble everyone and spam Penance - that I understood, but Smite? Shaman - I've tried resto on this guy as I've mentioned here before and for some reason it just doesn't click with me. Elemental seems good, but again - already have a caster. So maybe I'll try Enhancement. Hunter - I still can't figure out what happened to all my mana and ammunition, so that's out. Honestly, I do really enjoy both PvP and PvE on the hunter, so that might be one that I pick up next. Hard to tell.

I've also toyed with the idea of starting some alts on the alliance side. My gnome death knight is at level 61 and working through Hellfire Peninsula, so I've thought quite a bit about taking him all the way to 80 before Cataclysm. After all, the blog is called Wow Alt Addiction.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Warlocks In Battlegrounds

So, I've been spending the last several days primarily playing in Battlegrounds. I've been mostly playing on my warlock, although I've been toying with the specs a bit. I've traditionally played battlegrounds on Joar as affliction, but I've quickly discovered that relative to the other specs, the nerf bat seems to have hit affliction pretty hard. All the various dots seems to be much more easily dispelled by enemy healers and they seem to be ticking for a lot less than the used to. Drain Soul was working pretty well for a little while, but Blizzard fixed that but cutting its damage in half.

I then tried demonology, and that was a lot of fun. Having a felguard out running around brought back feeling of the good ole days. Of course, it wasn't MY felguard. It was some imposter that I pulled out of the twisted nether, but supposedly my guy was taking a brief vacation to Jamaica and should be back later today. So, I've been rolling with replacement demons for a week, while my normal guys got a bit of a rest. Hand of Guldan is pretty fun to pull a ball of fire out of the sky, but I've found that when I need some burst to get someone the rest of the way down, it's not quite there with demo. So, I've been rocking destruction most of the rest of the time. Good old light them on fire and blow them up destruction.

I've also done a little bit of healing. Both the druid and the paladin continue to be very strong in battlegrounds. With a lot more weapons in his arsenal, if anything, the paladin seems stronger than before. I seem to be running into a lot of battlegrounds that either involve people that don't know what's going on just fighting in the middle, or people that are just interested in farming kills that way. That's the only frustrating part about doing battlegrounds as a healer, is the outcome of the actual battleground is somewhat outside of your control. If you have a good group that is focused on the appropriate goals, you can really help turn the tide. If you're group is completely clueless...well....you're stuck healing the clueless.

In any case, I'm likely going to work on getting a good set of Wrathful gear on the warlock, druid and paladin, and then if I still have time, might work on getting some PvP gear for the hunter.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Battleground Healers - Druids and Paladins

So, I've always found myself to be a big fan of battleground healing. So I'm looking forward with interest to the changes that the incoming patch are going to bring. With my shaman and my priest both being recent level 80's, they have the fewest HK's and the least PvP gear of any of my level 80 healers at this point, so I have a lot more experience when it comes to druid or paladin healing.

On my battlegroup at least, Horde-side, healers are in very short supply, so having one or two good healers in a group seem to be able to turn the tide of the battleground overall. For some reason, I find that a lot more satisfying than whatever HK's I can accumulate on my warlock.

From the standpoint of druid and paladin, there are aspects to both that I've always enjoyed in battlegrounds. For the druid, particularly in those large scale battlegrounds like Wintergrasp or Alterac Valley, the ability to heal large numbers of people at once and keep Rejuv's up on a ton of different people can make an enormous difference. The other advantage to the druid is with a few more instant cast heals, their healing mobility can often make a big difference. If you think about a pocket healer for a flag carrier in Warsong Gulch, Eye of the Storm or the capture the flag style battleground coming in Catalcysm, being able to heal while on the run with a flag carrier can make a huge difference.

As I look to the talent changes coming for druids in Patch 4.0.1, there is quite a mix in there from a PvP healing standpoint. First, the talent tree seems to have shifted a bit towards main tank healing, with more things, like Replenishment, proc'ing off of Lifebloom. Nourish will also refresh the duration of Lifebloom. On the other hand, not being stuck in tree form and having the flexibility to cast Wrath, Starfire, Entangling Roots or Cyclone without having to switch in and out of form will provide us with some interesting variety.

I'd be interested in pairing myself with a couple of warriors, death knights or ret paladins and seeing how many folks I could keep stacks of Lifebloom going on while refreshing them regularly with Nourish. Could be a complete wrecking ball to run into.

From a paladin standpoint, the huge attraction for me on battlegrounds has always been the big heal. Being able to bring someone that is almost dead almost completely back with the press of one button has to be a huge demoralizer for any enemies in the area. Paired with beacon of light, so that you're doing that twice, it's really a huge difference maker.

Where the paladin has sometimes fallen short in battlegrounds has been on AoE heals and on mobility. From a mobility standpoint, we've always been reliant on Holy Shock, and hoping that sometimes generates an instance Flash of Light. Now, our Holy Shock, in addition to being a big, cheap, instant heal, will also generate holy power for us. At three stacks of holy power, we can kick off Word of Glory, another big cheap instant heal. And, as a bonus, Holy Shock also has the chance to generate a free instant exorcism.

Later this week, I'll talk a little bit about Shaman and Priests.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

OMG! Joar is Gearing?

Well, with a complete lack of anything left to do, I've actually been running heroics on my toons and working on gearing them up. Everyone in my guild is shocked. Joar - gearing his toons? Along with the Kansas City Chiefs being the only undefeated team in the NFL, I believe Joar gearing is also one of the signs of impending apocalypse (or Cataclysm?).

After a quick poll on my guild website, I originally started working gearing the shammy. The original thought was that it would be pretty similar to my druid in terms of play style in 5 mans, and so would be pretty natural for me. Boy was I wrong. I quickly abandoned the shammy, getting frustrated by what appeared to me to be the lovely combination of either weak or slow main tank heals paired with an uninspiring AoE heal.

Now, I could certainly go out and buy a whole bunch of better gear for this guy to make it easier, but that seems pretty pointless with Cataclysm so close now.

So, I switched to the pally. I've always enjoyed the paladin and the healing style that goes along with it, so gearing him up has really been fun. I also managed to get the shield out of regular Pit of Saron on my first try which helped immensely. I'm also really looking forward to the changes coming with Cataclysm for the paladin, particularly having more AoE healing options.

I was debating working on the disc priest for a bit, but this whole Smite thing scared me off a bit.

I also started working on the mage a little bit. Looks like fire is going to be a pretty excellent spec once the next patch drops, but for now, I'm sticking with Arcane. I still might switch just to start getting the feel for Fire beforehand, but I can't seem to give up the joys of Missile Barrage right away.

I've also been running good old Coren Direbrew on just about everyone just for the 2-a-day frost emblems and the nice trinkets for my undergeared toons.