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Monthly Archives: February 2008

The Game Dame reminds me…

I can has cheezburger.

Not quite about Druids, but really close.  Alamo would approve I think.

 
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Posted by on February 8, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

How do you do Karazhan (through Curator) with one single tank?

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Not with Rouge. 

With Rogues.

My new guild* didn’t have the critical mass it needed to get back into SSC last night.  I needed a few more badges, so did some others.  A Karazhan group was started.  We had one tank join the raid.  One.  I kept waiting, and waiting, for the second to show up.  Anything.  A Druid, or a Paladin, or, heck, another Warrior, at least to off-tank.  Nope.  Three Shamans, two Rogues, 1 Warrior, and everyone else wearing cloth.

I’m thinking as we start pulling Spectral Stallions, this will be tough.  No tougher than usual.  I was thinking that we’d give up on Attumen.  Nope.  Dead like the rest of those before him.  Okay, Moroes would do it.  No, we got Moroes.  We had one shackle, and lots of stunlock.  Maiden?  She’s kind of meant for one tank anyway.  Red Riding Hood Opera event?  That’s kind of a freebie.  And the Curator?  Burning down Flares is what burst DPS does well.

I was impressed.  I’m not used to raiding in Karazhan with a Rogue.  Here we had two.  It was eye opening to see how well locking down a mob can keep it out of the fight.  I’m looking forward to tonight were we clear the rest of Karazhan.  With one tank.  And Saturday back into SSC where we pick up where we left off.  (Hydross and the Lurker down.)  (Things are looking up when your first run with a new guild has you fighting Lady Vashj.  It’s a brand new fight for them too.  First try we got her into her 3rd phase and about 30% or so.  So our Tank in Karazhan has got some gear on him.)

*The new guild is on a new server for us.  We needed to get back on a server in our time zone and find folks raiding at times that would be good for us.  We did.

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

Hybrids.

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“When I was a child I spoke as a child I understood as a child I thought as a child; but when I became a man I put away childish things.” I Cor. xiii. 11.

Remember the Old School? (No, not the movie. Go ahead and ignore that movie scene above.)

Old School was “If you can heal, you heal.” Feral Druids who wanted to tank Ragnaros were mocked. When they celebrated their 10,000 health and armor, pre TBC, they were cheered, then sent to the back to heal. 99% of pre-TBC tanking was done by Warriors. Just look at the Tier 1 (Molten Core), 2 (Blackwing Lair), and 3 (Naxxramas) gear for Shamans, Druids, and Paladins. It allowed to them to heal better, heal more better, and HEAL better still! Three classes relegated to the back row to heal their little healbot hearts out. Oh, cleanse here, purge there, buff and debuff. Very valuable members of the raid. Except never mind that Priests healed better than all of them. You actually didn’t need any of them. Well, the Shaman Fire Resist Totem or the Paladin Fire Resist Aura helped with killing Ragnaros. (That’s how Horde and Alliance did it respectively. And why Alliance guilds got ahead faster: totems are stuck to the ground while auras move with the Paladin. Critical differences that Horde guilds did overcome, before Blizzard ever caved in and everybody can be everything.)

Shamans, Paladins, and Druids. Folks call them Hybrids. Jacks-of-all-Trades, Masters of none. They weren’t the best healers before, but they could heal. And they were necessary. And they all healed. What’s it like now?

Let’s look at active raiding roles today to figure what we’ve got.

Let’s start with Paladins. Let’s start with Retribution Paladins. They’re your melee DPS types, using Seals and Judgements to enhance their basic weapon swings. Heavy hitting two-handers. But do you see a lot of those on raids? Any? I don’t. Because Paladins have two amazing strengths, and they’re mutally exclusive. They can be amazing single target healers, Holy, or they can be amazing AoE, multi-target, Tanks, Protection.

Let’s look next at Druids. Balance Druids. You know, the funny feathered things that dance like Ogres? Horns or antlers? Always seem to be drinking. You see them here and there in raids. Restoration Druids, you know, the old school healer types. You see a few of them too. But, you see a lot more that are Feral, and this time they’re totally adequate to tanking, multiple targets, and DPSing, and very well.

Lastly, Shamans. There’s actually a very equal spread of Shamans, at least Horde side, with regards to talent builds. I’d say there are as many Enhancement Shamans as there are Elemental or Restoration.

As I see it, Paladins are the class least likely to “burn” a target down. Their tanking is a slow thing, gradually reducing their opponents to ash. (Consecrate really should have a bonus against the Undead.) But their tanking can be employed on a lot of targets, and with the Burning Crusade multiple target tanking is required 9 times out of 10. And they’re solid healers for a single target with good mana efficiency. Tanking and Healing.

What can I say about Shamans. An Enhancement Shaman will burn a target down. A single target. #2 on the damage charts last night (after Hydross and Lurker Below downed) was the Enhancement Shaman. (Go team!) And my damage output in Karazhan was really pretty good as Elemental. I’ll blame my gear for not doing better last night. But if every hit is at least 1400 damage to a target, and you get a hit in every 2.5 seconds, and you see a lot of crits for 3000+, is that weak? And I know Resto Shamans are sought after for the chain healing. Melee and Caster DPS, and Healing.

Druids. I really don’t know how well the Boomkins can do now. We had one with us last night. (Checking the combat log, they rocked.) I know first hand what a force of nature they can be both melee DPS and tanking. And healing. Melee and Caster DPS, Healing, and Tanking. Did I forget to mention they can also Stealth like a Rogue?

It would seem the Druids could do it all. Again, I’m not sure how strong the Balance Moonkin is in end-game. But healing, tanking, and melee, if not caster too, DPS, they’re the real deal.

And Paladins? The least. Very strong with what they can do, granted.

Shamans? They can’t tank like the other two. In fact you’d never want to assign a Shaman a tanking role. But they can take punches better than Hunters and the cloth wearing squishies. Strong DPS, of either sort, and Healing.

Why do I like playing my Shaman, as opposed to a Paladin? The ability to do really good melee DPS, and excellent caster DPS. And you got that whole “Master of the Elements” thing going on.

Why do I like playing my Shaman, as opposed to a Druid? That’s where the Old School comes in, I guess.

Shamans upgrade their armor at level 40, going from leather to chain. That’s really pretty cool. Yes, Druids can get the equivalent of an upgrade of leather to plate, but that’s just Dire Bear and Moonkin forms. At level 10, they get the equivalent of chain, with Bear form. So unless they’re in Bear or Moonkin form, they’re in leather gear. Without a shield. Without feint.

Have I mentioned Windfury? It was overpowered once, but it remains powerful despite the nerfbat strikes. That just provides a visceral, immediate, burst damage feel that Druids only get in Cat form, maybe.

And way back, when I rolled my Shaman, I wanted to be something the Alliance couldn’t be. When I rolled horde I made my break with the Alliance, and chose to do something they couldn’t.

I’m an Old School Shaman. And I’m happy to report: We never have to put away our childish things. Oh, we did for a time. But the axes and lightning bolts are back out. And flying.

 
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Posted by on February 6, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

What I like about playing a … mmmm, a … Druid NO Hunt NO Shaman, NO … .

I have a 70 Tauren Shaman. I love playing him.  I can go on raids with him, see end-game content.  It’s great.

I have a 70 Orc Warrior.  I love playing him.  Axes flying, armor plated and furious looking.  He could raid if it weren’t for the big Tauren Shaman ahead of him.

I have a 69 Night Elf Hunter.  I should love playing him.  He’s very easy to play.  Except there’s this lack of excitement.  This meaningful “coolness” factor.  Maybe I should BG more with him.

I have a 53 Night Elf Druid.  I do love playing him.  Particularly with the wife’s own Druid.  This is good, fun gameplay.  Stealth around, mangle the unsuspecting, run fast, heal, buff….  He’d be further along if it weren’t for the big Tauren Shaman ahead of him.

I’ve got a 53 Night Elf Rogue.  He was my second serious character, after the Hunter above.   He’d be further along… if it weren’t for the big Tauren Shaman ahead of him that was my third serious character.

I’ve got a 44 Human Paladin.  I really wish he wasn’t languishing like he is.  But do you see the crowd ahead of him?  And don’t forget about the crowd behind him.

I’ve got a 43 Forsaken Priest.  She went Shadow at 40, Holy at 43.  I think I like the ability to Heal.  Makes me feel … sanctimonious, but in a good way.

Alts.  I love them.  It’s really rather fun to start a new character and knock around the starter areas again.  And again.  And again.  I don’t know why.  It’s like doing level 1-10 of your favorite game over and over.  And I don’t really roleplay much.  “Getteth thee to thy trainer thou peasanths!  Forsooth, only the nooblike ones would playeth as badlyith as thouith.” Or something like that.  But I do think like a roleplayer a little in my own mind.  While only level 1 at the moment, I look forward to donning the form of Legrim, the Forsaken Rogue, and viewing the world through his angry, hooded, eyes.  I want, need, to strike fear in hearts.  (When I’m not throwing lightning bolts and heals as my Shaman.)

And I really need to recreate my Draenei Shaman.  (Warrior, Mage, and Paladin Draenei aren’t enough.)

What I like about playing (and leave it at that)?  It’s fun.

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2008 in Musings

 
 
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