Resto-Druid: BfA Mythic Plus

“America’s present need is not heroics but healing; not nostrums but normalcy; not revolution but restoration.”
Warren G. Harding

Resto-Druid: BfA Mythic Plus

I’m excited about Battle for Azeroth. I want to heal both raids and mythic plus dungeons. I look forward to those three-man island scenarios. I’m all about repeatable content; story-be-damned, I’m looking for the nuance in trash mobs.

Today’s date is: June 8th, 2018

And it IS the Beta, today we got one second added to our Tiger Dash! See, we knew things can change for the better.

Tiger Dash Activates Cat Form and increases movement speed by 200%, reducing gradually over (4) 5 sec. Druid – Level 30 Talent. Instant. 45 sec cooldown.

Once again I visited Questionably Epic, super smart guy, and the Battle for Azeroth Beta Changes. Look it over, it is good stuff.

Standing out are three nerfs to our Mythic Plus experience, I’ll cherry pick them from his posting:

Bear Form Stamina increase reduced to +25% (from +55%)
This is almost certainly a Mythic+ nerf. They’ve also increased the armor slightly (200% -> 220%) but we’ll feel this.

Changed: Abundance reduces Regrowth mana cost and increases crit chance by 6% per rejuvenation you have out.
This makes Abundance much more usable in raid while nerfing it in Mythic+.

Stonebark and Germination swapped places.
This is a heavy Mythic+ nerf since it prevents us from taking both Germ and Flourish.

And my thanks to Questionably Epic for the posting and commentary.

I assume that all healers have been nerfed for mythic plus dungeons because that would only be fair.

The three above nerfs are a bit sad because it was … fun … to drop to bear form because of predictable incoming damage. Talents and spells should be answers to questions like how do I deal with this mythic plus problem.




Class Dread in BfA

“All that attention to the perfect lighting, the perfect this, the perfect that, I find terribly annoying.”
Meryl Streep

Class Dread in BfA

It’s hard to complain about Legion. It was a very successful expansion. The patch pace was pretty good. Sadly Argus never was the sandbox that was the Timeless Isle. A ton of players are still on the Timeless Isle today, go visit; it is a really fun little zone.

It is kind of odd that no one that I’ve talked to or read about is excited about his character in BfA. Everyone seems to have a sort of dread that their character will be weak, vulnerable and soft. This isn’t good. If one class felt that way, maybe Affliction Warlocks, it would be typical but for my money it is everyone who plays the raid game or mythic plus game.

This is speculation but I wonder if the players who read up and pay attention to the forums and blue posts, us guys: don’t trust Watcher. We don’t believe it when he says “it is kind of fun to get a titanforged item randomly” when we feel that we will “keep running it over and over until we titanforge”.

Many theaters have a scene shop. Some of them are huge with a metal area, a wood area, tool sheds and a drop frame on the wall that goes up and down to paint back drops. I saw this new guy get hired to run the place and he said, “Oh no, this is not how you set up a shop. We need to re-arrange everything.” At great cost. Three years later, this guy was gone but the new new guy said the exact same thing, “Oh no, this is not how you set up a shop. We need to re-arrange everything.” And he moved all the stuff back to the original set-up. The lesson is that many bosses need to put their own stamp on the job.

My interest began with no flying in WoD. It was a good choice, the designers will tell you that the game looks better on the ground with a limited camera range. But, you don’t tell the director to stage Meryl Streep on a certain spot to make your scenery look good! We, the players, are the stars of this World of Warcraft and no flying ideas can get you fired.

Is “bring the class, not the player” a true design choice and idea or is it to counter Ghostcrawler with his “bring the player, not the class”? “Oh no, this is not how you set up a shop. We need to re-arrange everything”. At great cost.

And the above question will lead to more questions like why is grinding artifact power something in this game — is it a true design choice or something else? Before Legion, my healer would level up to raid power and then never do anything except raid. My healer never was killing mobs in the world yet has to do so now.

And, honestly, I’ll be there in Battle for Azeroth. It is a good game and I find it a lot of fun. I’ll go along with the design decisions including constant grinding because I like to raid and run mythic plus dungeons.

Does anyone else feel this way? That Watcher is not transparent but a smooth talker and this leads to the question on every design choice in the game; from grinding to class design to utility to “meaningful” game play? I don’t know, it doesn’t bother too much; just enough to write one blog post on it.

BfA: Pre-Patch 8.0

“In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower

BfA: Pre-Patch 8.0

Today’s date is: June 6th, 2018

Most people are guessing the pre-patch will be on July 10th or the 17th. That would give us one month. All eyes right now are on the announcement of when the PvP season will end.

Unless Blizz throws us a curve, the end of the PvP season will be the same day as the pre-patch drop.

There has been some confusion about what stays and what goes with this pre-patch, like the AotC achievement or the Mage Tower. I’d guess that they both will be doable up until launch but I don’t know; if there was a Blue Post on it, I missed it!

We will have some introductory quests for Battle of Azeroth. It will ramp up our hatred for the other faction supporting the name of the expansion.

The big deal for me will be the stat squish and the spells and talents which have been thrown into a blender with the lid off. Some classes like Balance Druid and Affliction Warlock will see wholesale changes to their playstyle. Last night our tanking Paladins were sounding stressed about the next expansion.

It is important, at least to me, to take my character out on a road test. I’ll want all the confusion and mystery to be resolved before the actual expansion drop. I’ll expect hot fixes and restarts and long reset days.

When will our Artifact Weapon see its transition into Big Stat Stick? Ideally for me it would be on pre-patch day but I think that it will be “an event” designed into the game. Playing with new spells and talents with a fully stacked artifact weapon is not useful but it may mean over-powered — especially with the artifact’s special baked into one of our future talents.

Bring it on, Blizzard.

The Bloated Collector

“Every passion borders on the chaotic, but the collector’s passion borders on the chaos of memories.”
Walter Benjamin

The Bloated Collector

Blizzard has done a good job with the interface to deal with the volume of items in our collections. With mounts, pets, toys and transmog pieces; our collections can grow very big.

The choice to have transmog pieces ordered by style and not alphabetic was a good one. The recolors line up and the holiday ones are buried in the back. The preview interface for the collections are good with previews of the mount or pet but also a tip on where to get it.

It could be better.

With mounts, not only would I like to filter flying vs non-flying mounts but also noisy vs quiet. Maybe size would be nice too, the big ones can be annoying and I’m not that kind of player. I’d really like a shift-click-something that I could use on another player to highlight their mount in my interface (if I have it) so that we could match.

With toys, I like their favorite page. I’d like to be able to filter by cooldowns, meaning that a toy with a four hour cooldown could be first on the listing or last by my choice. Moving all the short cooldown toys to the front would be ideal. Sorting by transformation vs visual effect would be welcome. Maybe even a “apply to others” toy filter for the BFF toy or the football or rainbow. Lets go crazy and make the designers work overtime: instant vs channeled or sorted by zones.

With pets, clearly the Rematch addon has improved the pet interface a lot. Blizzard could and should lift the majority of the fixes from Rematch. Even so, a filter of big vs small or extensive idle animation or interact with pet would be welcome. Few would know that the Pandaren Monk would bow back, maybe some better notes for the pets would be helpful.

With tmog, I’d have Blizzard interview Kamalie Et Alia. But my thought is that it is too expensive. A gold leech is okay, especially when maintaining a set and you get the occasional upgrade. Still, I’d like an in-town set and a hero-in-battle set that toggles and that would be spendy. My solution would be that when you save a set that it is expensive but when you toggle to use it that it would be cheap.

Overall, Blizzard has done a really good job. As a player, I feel buried under my collection; sorting through hundreds of pets, toys, mounts and tmog pieces. With the achievement having the “ridable” qualifier for mounts, we should be able to see that with a how many number to the next achievement: because we are now collecting for volume and less about the individual item.


This New Machine

“You are only young once, but you can stay immature indefinitely.”
Ogden Nash

This New Machine

After deliberation, finally the big boxes arrived. A new computer, monitor, keyboard and mouse but no headphone set. Headphones are the most intimate of the online gaming machinery and it will take a lot to find something that delivers the voice well.

To set up in the back bedroom is the plan for the transition phase. Walking back and forth the needed WTF files or a needed bookmark or a folder of old blog posts while still wanting the purge of old parasites so to enjoy a new computer life is the intention.

That table back there needs some cleaning. Taxes and even worse, old taxes, need to be filed and boxed. The table needs a good wipe down, this room isn’t used very much. And, y’know, this room could see a vacuum too.

Time will be spent back here and this over-head ceiling light will never do. Grandma gave me some really nice table lamps that give the room a warmth with its light. One lamp shade even has some tassels!

The packing boxes are huge and should be saved, just in case. That closet needs complete re-ordering. Face it, some of these favorite old clothes will never fit again unless, God forbid, a bad illness strikes like lightning. Making room for packing boxes is not much of a chore, just a sad one.

The room only has one wall outlet. The table needs to be moved which means that everything in the way needs to be moved and dusted and wiped down. Then the vacuum is needed again for the new cleared spaces. And the table lamps need to be shifted around to make a pleasing environment. With the decision to keep the blinds shut leads to finally having clean blinds and a clear window.

After all that it is lunch time and well deserved.

Okay, lets look inside these boxes and at the shiny new toys.

And look at the space around my old computer. It has been sitting there for years! This whole area needs cleaning and maybe the furniture could be re-arranged. Those pictures on the wall have been the same ones since I moved in, I have plenty more in this other closet.

Our Main for Battle of Azeroth

“I think that many things that go on in an art school have a tendency to undermine confidence, and that shouldn’t be part of the ballgame, ever.”
Lewis Black

Our Main in Battle for Azeroth

Over at Blizzard Watch we are asked How will you choose your Battle for Azeroth main?. The opening article compares it to going to college. The early comments look to be that most of them will stick with the class that they’ve had for years. Now would be the time to switch Mains, the character who gets all of the focus but, as the article describes, Blizzard isn’t done with the tuning. So, we have zero idea on who will be strong.

I always worry if I will be good enough to do the job, no matter the role.

I remember the first day of graduate school. Having applied to only one school and having been accepted I showed up in Los Angeles with no idea what was meant by “private art school”. I really was that naïve country boy in the big city. I would be part of a Theater program that emphasized design; set design, lighting design, sound design, stage management, production management and more.

All of the new students for our program had to meet in a theater. As we gathered, I asked those around me, “So, are we all stagehands?”. One girl replied with a haughty sniff, “I’m a designer”. I was thoroughly intimated. It struck me hard then that all of these young adults has been taking drawing classes all of their lives, they were steeped in fashion history, architecture and engineering.

I worried if I would be good enough, if I would be laughed at for not knowing stuff, if I would make it through the semester.

I didn’t have any theory training. What I did have was seven years in a road house running touring shows. A road house that did 250 performances a year. I had stage managed many local shows, designed many more community theater shows, supervised big crews in getting shows up on time. If I had thought of it, but I was too naïve, that was why I had been given a full scholarship, a stipend and a graduate assistantship for my Masters of Fine Arts degree.

And it was soon, within two months, that I realized that all that theory was good stuff but I knew how to do it. I knew what it meant to build flats in volume from pricing to painting to staging. I knew all the solutions and shortcuts because I had done this hundreds of times, while the kid next to me was working on his tenth show; having only done college stuff.

I was good enough. I was hired right out of college and never applied for any job; I got phone calls from people wanting me to work. And so did those other kids in my classes, it seems like everyone worked after they left school.

I think that I might want to Main a bear tank. I worry a lot if I’ll be good enough. I worry about the responsibility of leading players, about having skills with buttons and mostly about understanding what the hell is going on in all of the different fights. Oddly, I have “put myself out there” with designs for hundreds to see on opening night, with writings published in magazines, in front of classrooms to teach my trade and craft and theory; but I hesitate to bear tank.

Like anyone else, I blog about it to try to figure it out. It would be very easy to stay healer and I might do that. Honestly, I don’t fear the dungeons and raids as much as I fear Blizzard’s tuning and hitting a Class Wall that can only go so far.

So; are you sticking with your long time main or changing up for a new experience?

BfA: Healing Mythic Plus

“I’m not much of a crier but it is mildly soul-destroying and exposing to do something physical that you are terrible at in front of other people.”
Emily Blunt

BfA: Healing Mythic Plus

Today’s date is: May 28, 2018

I know, I’m obsessing on it. Why? Because I want to be invited to the dance.

TL;DR: Roll like a Goren and be a Holy Paladin.

The Mary Poppins Analogy
Let’s say you want to choose a favorite to play Mary Poppins. Julie Andrews and Emily Blunt are both beautiful. They both have great charisma. They can do comedy. No problem with the acting chops, they are wonderful.

You are starting to think that Emily Blunt is looking pretty good for a Mary Poppins.

But, what if I told you that Julie Andrews had a Mastery of a four octave vocal range and could do a two octave slide? Well, that is that; the mastery is too strong. Sorry Emily.

Sure, you are thinking, “I’m a Mistweaver, I want a shot at it”. And, you can probably do well. But, you’d have to play over your head, have perfect timing and get lucky to equal an average Holy Paladin.

Let’s look at the Mastery of the healers and you’ll see that the Paladin only has to show up. Everyone else has to work at it.

Mastery: Lightbringer
Requires Paladin (Holy)
Requires level 78
Proximity to your target causes your spells to heal for up to 12% more.

Mastery: Absolution
Requires Priest (Discipline)
Requires level 78
Increases the healing transferred through Atonement by 13.0%.

Mastery: Echo of Light
Requires Priest (Holy)
Requires level 78
Your direct healing spells heal for an additional 10% over 6 sec.

Mastery: Deep Healing
Requires Shaman (Restoration)
Requires level 78
Increases healing from your spells by up to 24%, based on the current health of your target. Lower health targets are healed for more.

Mastery: Harmony
Requires Druid (Restoration)
Requires level 78
Your healing is increased by 5% for each of your Restoration heal over time effects on the target.

Mastery: Gust of Mists
Requires Monk (Mistweaver)
Requires level 78
Effuse, Renewing Mist, Enveloping Mist, and Vivify also cause a gust of healing mists, instantly healing the primary target for (0.01% of Spell power).

About a year ago, I forget when, I was watching a Q&A with Watcher and Lore. One question was on Mythic Plus. They didn’t just smile, they beamed! Why? The Invitational had just happened and it made the designers look great. These top players did speed runs that were awesome. There were surprises and clever solutions. They danced, they tapped, they boogied, they did the electric glide. Full of new zeal, the designers began thinking about how could they make it better! Watcher began talking about bringing back Utility to some classes. After all, it makes him look great.

I’ve been waiting in the Alpha and now the Beta for the Great Reveal, when we’d see all of the terrific utility that would be given to the healers. Utility makes for great Mythic Plus solutions. And, it isn’t going to happen. The Invitational featured the elite players and the designers looked really good; but what about the other 99% of the players?

When I look back at when I was dating a lot, I remember the ones who said “yes” to my invitation. I really don’t remember being turned down but it happened. This game by Blizzard is not real life. The designers can make me desirable and I think that they should do just that. I don’t want to be turned down over and over all night because I’m an icky sticky Druid. I want to go to the dance and not be left alone at home as a someone not worth taking to the prom. It makes me sad.

I understand that real life isn’t fair. I expect better from the game designers.