Tuesday, May 26, 2009

There is hope, we did not lose the bananas

Sorry for the pun in the title Siha, but I'm really happy to read news.
So for everyone, if you don't know yet (shame on you :p), Siha of Banana Shoulders, one of our best fellow paladin bloggers, is back online. Go post her a nice welcome message here.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Healing Ulduar - XT-002 Deconstructor

And the guides/tips for healing Ulduar as a Holy Paladin continue. You can find the first two ones here:
Healing Ulduar - Flame Leviathan & Razorscale
Healing Ulduar - Ignis The Furnace Master
And as a reminder, I also wrote some more general articles about healing in Ulduar before:
Ulduar paladin healing guides
Ulduar Paladin Healing Tips (update)

Today I'll talk about ...

XT-002 Deconstructor

You can find details about the boss on its Wowhead page, I won't detail strategies here and only focus on the healer role in this fight.
There are 2 small groups of trash mobs that were put back into the instance after the first two weeks (they were buggy at first). You can find them on the left and right side of the boss courtyard, take care to not pull the boss before having dealt with them (you will see the boss but not the trash mobs when you approach).

Now about XT, the first thing you should know is that he has been severely nerfed since the first weeks of live. The biggest nerf being his Tympanic Tantrum.The version on wowhead on this day is still the old one, when it was inflicting damage equal to 120% of their life to each raid member. You can easily guess that, if raiders were not healed, they will die. Combine that to the potential simultaneous Searing Lights and Gravity Bombs and you had regular deaths during the Tantrums. Now damage was reduced to 80% total life, which means that, if there is no external damage, none will die from a Tantrum. Light/Dark bombs can still be deadly, but it will be much easier to cope with the amount of damage today, this is why most raiders have found as the biggest nerf to XT. He's the one guarding the entrance to the core of Ulduar, and Blizzard wanted to be sure most guilds could go there.

Now that I've ranted a bit about the nerf of XT, and that I've pointed its biggest threat for healers, let see how the fight goes.
You will have 2 tanks, one main tank on XT, and one off-tank for the biggest adds that will not be dpsed. The stress on the off-tank will grow with time, having only one add is a joke, having 4 starts to be much more healing stress, he should keep his cooldowns for the end of the fight, to help with healing.

The main aspect of the fight is its two phases. Each 25% of his life, XT enters phase 2 when he goes inactive and exposes his heart. Phase 2 is also when adds pop. The main aspect is that this is a relatively low damage phase (compared to boss + Tantrums + light/dark bombs). You will be able to use cooldowns like Divine Plea without any risk during that phase, and you should regain a large amount of mana in 30s (Phase 2 lasts for 30s whatever happens, unless you break XT heart but I won't talk about the hard mode).

The MT will take heavy damage, be ready to toss some big heals from time to time, and don't worry too much about your mana if you're the MT healer. You'll have time to get some mana back during phases 2. As always, keep your Sacred Shield up on the main tank, keep your Judgement on XT (Light or Wisdom).
After a phase 2, take care when XT resumes damage on the MT, as you were probably helping with bombs damage or even dpsing (yes, dpsing :p) during phase 2.

If you are healing the off-tank, don't get lazy during the first or even second add phase, he will only have one or two adds and that could seem easy, phase 3 will be harder, and if you are in 25-Man, you'll even need 2 off-tanks as 2 big robots pop each add-phase.

Now, depending on the other healers of your raid, you could need to help during the tantrums (even if you know it was nerfed hard :p). Then simply put your Beacon on your healing target (MT/OT) and raid heal, the usual. If you're healign the MT pay attention though, damage spikes can happen.

Usually I keep my Beacon of Light on me during that fight, so that I don't have to heal me during tantrums, or on a Light/Dark bomb. I can keep a regular and steady healing stream on the main tank and I'm fealing much more secure on his survival that way.

Have fun, next week Kologarn and the Iron Council (that some people are calling the Assembly of Iron, how weird).

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A simple question for you.

While I'm writing my healing guides for Ulduar and raid at the same time, as I don't like to talk about things I don't know and experience first hand, I wonder if there is a specific topic you'd like to see covered here ?

So I leave it to you, readers :)
If there is a specific topic that you'd like me to talk about, please post it in the comments for this post. I won't write about something I don't know, so it will have to be limited to paladin healing or general healing/raiding.

Not really that I lack topics to talk about. It will take me a good bit of time to finish my Ulduar healing guides, and hopefully my raid will advance at the same time, giving me more writing material. I'll perhaps try to steal a week spot in our main 10-Man raid if I can't advance enough in mine, they are on Yogg-Saron 10 now. So no worries.
But I wanted to give you the chance to tell me if you wanted something else discussed here.

It's your opportunity, have fun :)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Healing Ulduar - Ignis The Furnace Master

The sequel of my first Healing Ulduar - Flame Leviathan & Razorscale tips post, today I'll talk about Ignis The Furnace Master.

As always, Holy Paladin point of view on these fights, mostly from a 10-Man raid perspective.
About 10-Man, I don't think they are harder than 25-Man, as they were for Naxx at least at the beginning. Clearly some fights like Kologarn are much easier in 10-Man than 25-Man. But being a paladin, I do feel paladin healing being more and more pushed back to the single MT healing niche (and we are really good at that). Most Ulduar fights are really mobile, and require positioning and movement through the whole fight. You can also combine to that the amount of raid damage that can be pretty high on some bosses (XT, Kologarn, ...). From my point of view that makes a paladin the worst healer class for 10-Man, but that's still the raids I do, so you'll probably have to endure a few rants here and there, 'cause you do know I like to say when I don't like things :P

Anyway, enough with the talk, here is the Ignis guide.

On the way to Ignis, Furnace trash mobs

Your first challenge will be the trash mobs to Ignis. Don't take them lightly or you will wipe a lot on them, even though the flame tornadoes have been strongly nerfed since day one of the live.
The two giants have a stomp/silence unlimited distance aoe. If your healer are silenced, you'll wipe. So position your tanks at the limit of the pillars, and keep 2 tank healers out of line of sight from the giants. It is that simple, but don't do that and you'll never kill them.
Then you have pairs of mobs patrolling.
The constructs are fairly simple, they have a small frontal fire breath attack (turn them away from your raid), and they have a charge (it's more a glide animation which is fairly ridiculous) that will randomly hit someone for about 4-5K.
The fire elementals regularly create flame tornadoes that will target someone and push him back in the air. If you are pushed back, you will take a large amount of fire damage about 5 or 6 hits for 3K, if you were not at full life, or if you're hit by two tornadoes (or the first one send you into the second one) you will die. Only instant casts can be used while in the air, but if you have health stones, or instant heals, use them. The best here is to have as much distance as you can between the 2 elementals (pull them back to the ramp for space) to avoid double tornadoe hits, and when you see a tornado going your way, just run (or blink, or warlock circle teleport ...). As a healer, keep your instant heals for tornado victims (you if needed ;p) and still keep a close look on your tank.

Ignis the Furnace Master

For a description of Ignis abilities, you can check wowhead. I won't comment on the strat, everyone guild has sort of its own views on Ignis positioning. But one thing never change, you'll have one MT (moving Ignis around) and one OT for the adds (running between add pops and waterpools).

If you are healing the main tank, the damage is fairly regular, if you have more and avoidance tank though, when he's moving Ignis (or moving around him) after a scorch is put on the ground damage can spike a little, take care. Keep your cds for the moment several adds are up. If your add team ever miss a shatter, Ignis damage could reach +45% for a short time, which will hurt the tank. Usually when Ignis reach 10% guilds stop killing the adds too to burn him down. As he gains +15% damage for each add up, be ready for pumping out heals on the MT during these last % of Ignis.

If you are healing the off-tank, try to discuss with him and chose one pool, it will be his shatter pool to which he will bring all adds. Then find your spot so that you can always heal the OT, be out of the scorch flames, and have the least amount of movement to do (especially if you're a paladin ;p). The OT won't take too much damage at first, but he will when the add is melting (fire aoe) and if our "add buster" dps even shatter the add too soon, the OT will take the 15K explosion damage. To avoid a wipe on that losy move, always have your OT life capped when he brings the add to the water pool. Healing the OT on Ignis means switching to him at the right time to have him life capped when it can be necessary. You will be helping with slag-pot heal and potential raid damage the rest of the time.

Whole raid damage is low during this fight. But there will be slag-pot victims. Ignis will regularly take one character from the raid, never the MT, and not the OT (*if* he is hit by a non stunned or cced add at this moment). This character will be put into Ignis slag-pot and will endure 5K fire damage per second for 10s. Obviously they will require healing, quick and fast healing. A paladin is perfect for healing slag-pot targets. You also should know that you can cast spells when into the pot, you just can't target Ignis. Any class that can cast heals should heal themselves when in the slag-pot.

As a paladin, I usually use Beacon of Light on myself during this fight, I'm most of the time healing the OT & the slag-pot victim. If I ever end into the slag-pot I can just OT/MT/raid heal and that will heal myself too. I'm also always at full life in case I get add aggro when they pop, or have to move through a scorch to reach my target (the OT has to move a lot in this fight). I try to keep Sacred Shield up at all times (as always). And keep Judgement of Wisdom/Light on Ignis (not on the adds ;p) as much as I can.

XT is next in line for these small guides. I wish you fun in Ulduar, even though nerfs have really toned down everything up to the watchers, it's still much more enjoyable than Naxx.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Healing Ulduar - Flame Leviathan & Razorscale

I had this idea for some time now, but needed more raid experience to really start it. First of all, most of my experience comes from 10-Man. Guild stability is an issue lately, with the "post Naxxramass apathy" that fell upon the game, and we're having difficulties to get a regular 25-Man roster.

The idea here is to give a few tips for each boss (and the trash before sometimes). Tips will be for healers, and from my point of view, hence a healing paladin view of them. I hope they can be useful for other healers, but obviously paladins will probably find more info here :)

Most of these guides won't detail the fight themselves, and they'll be easier to read if you've already experienced the fights. But comments are here to collect any question.

So enough with the talk and here start the guides with the 2 first bosses of Ulduar.

Flame Leviathan

This is a semi-joke as most players won't have anything to do in this fight that is linked to their characters. Most of us stay in vehicles and don't even push a heal or dps button for the whole fight.
This is a sure fact for tanks, though 2 (4 in 25-Man) players will be sent on FL to shut down the towers and stun it for a little bit about 2 times during the fight. In 10-Man you'll most of the time send 2 dpsers, in 25-Man you often send 1 healer with 3 dpsers (and the healer can be you).
You have to clearly know who's going to be sent on the Leviathan, and they should be fully buffed (BoK is mandatory !). They could have to endure heavy damage is they stand on the ground a little too long after the Leviathan global shut-down, and before they are picked-up by motorcycles (motorcycle pilots can heal their passenger before giving it back to the Demolishers). Hence, the more health they have, the best chance they have to survive, and you don't want to lose them.

To sum it up, buff the people being sent on the Leviathan, heal if you are part of them.


From a healer point of view there are 3 different "phases" in this fight.
Phase 1 is when Razorscale is flighing.
There will be adds that your tanks will pick-up. Keep your tanks up, and watch the raid that will take heavy damage with whirlwinds and chain lightnings. You also have to watch for Razorscale Fireball and Devouring Flame. I hope for you that people won't stay too much in the blue devouring flame patches on the ground or keeping them alive could start to be difficult.
In this phase depending on raid healers I often keep my Beacon of Light on myself and heals the MT in charge of the Sentinels (one of our tanks take both Sentinels to avoid them whirlwinding the raid). That way I don't really have to watch my health and can keep my MT targeted at all times, and sometimes send Holy Shock here and there in the raid.
Flash of Light and Holy Shock should be your main tools in this phase.
Phase 2 is when Razorscale is on the ground for 30s.

If there are still adds, let them live, and heal the tanks. The whole raid should concentrate on Razorscale. When she will take flight again, she will do two things. She will flamebreath in front of her, probably killing the remaining adds and doing heavy damage to your tanks. And she will Wing Buffet, aoe knock-back interrupting your heals. The wing buffet happens a few seconds after the breath, be ready to have your tank fully healed in these few seconds. There should be very little raid damage during this part. If you have two tanks, put your Beacon on one, heal the other.
Flash of Light and Holy Shock should be your main tools in this phase, with an occasional Holy Light on a tank if too many adds were left alive.
Phase 3 is from 50% life of Razorscale to its death, when she's definitely on the ground.
Two tanks switching on Razorscale regularly, heavy damage on the tank, a bit of raid damage mostly avoidable (the Fireballs and Devouring Flames or phase 1 are back). These are the characteristics of this phase, mostly a burn-her-down and hope you make the timer (which shouldn't be too hard now ^^).
It's probably not very usefull to heal "both tanks" at the same time as only one will take damage at some time. Once again, chose how you use your beacon depending on your raid (if you're helping with raid healing or purely tank healing mostly). I often use it on myself if I'm confident in our healing, just to ensure I don't die stupidly on a double fireball while I'm casting Holy Lights on the tank. If there is need of me on raid healing, then Beacon on my tank is the way to go.
You'll most probably use Holy Light much more in this phase than the two first ones. Use your Divin Plea whenever you can during the fight to try being full mana when you start this phase. Having a Light's Grace buff stacked during this phase can help you a lot to react quickly to Razorscale tank changes.

For all fights
As always, keep Sacred Shield up at all times on your tank, and Judge often (Wisdom, or Light if you're the only paladin) to keep your Judgements of the Pure up at least (each 20s should eb your aim when you can to maintain the debuff up).

That's it for today. Ignis soon, and you can expect at least up to Freya next week. I'll keep all the posts linked in the upcoming ones.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Is Val'anyr, Hammer of Ancient Kings, good for you?

GK on Gesundlight asked me for my views on the healer epic weapon that you can get in Ulduar (well if you're in an awesome raiding guild and are raiding like crazy ;p).
This topic has already been covered extensively on MMO Champion or World of Raids when the blues gave us details on it. And I wasn't really going to talk about it but well, if it can be useful, here is my share on it.

First, how do you get Val'anyr ?
You have to collect 30 Shattered Fragments of Val'nyr. Then you'll get a quest, and you have to beat Yogg-saron in heroic difficulty with at least one of the watchers not assisting you (that is not an easy task).

Now, beside its amazing stats, we'll discuss here about its equiped effect.
Your healing spells have a chance to cause Blessing of Ancient Kings for 15 seconds allowing your heals to shield the target absorbing damage equal to 15% of the amount healed.
I will add information from blues.
The proc is 10% on any direct heal or hot tic (it is not clear yet if a Judgement of the Light proc will make it proc or not and I think it probably doesn't proc on a glyph of Holy Light splash heal)
that does not result in 100% overheal (it has to heal at least 1 hp).
If the proc happens, you get a buff for 15s. During these 15s, each healing spell you cast will proc a 8 seconds duration shield on the target which will absorb up to 15% of the full value of the heal you just cast. If you cast other heals on the same target, they will renew the duration of the shield and stack up to 20000 damage absorbed.

Now that we have identified the shield effect and how it works, the big question asked is: which class would benefit the most of this effect?

We have to consider two aspects: the chance of activating the effect, the power of the shields given.

Blessing activation chance
It's a flat 10% on any direct heal or hot tick. Let us see what is means for a paladin.
A paladin roughly cast a spell each 2s, considering Holy Lights, Flash of Light and Holy Shock and movement. That's about 30 direct heals a minute, about 3 procs a minute, the blessing lasts 15s. It shows that we would be mostly 75% of the time under it's effect if we could have it proc as soon as it's down, which will not happen. We have to consider that healing while under the blessing will not proc it again.
So it's mostly the time need to proc it between each of the blessings. 10% proc chance means you need about 10 heals or hot ticks to proc it. That's 20s for a paladin, that will be nearly instant for a healing druid with hots already ticking all around.
I am assuming here that the blessing proc can't happen on Judgement of Light, or that, as a good holy paladin, you're judging wisdom if there is a protection or retribution paladin in your raid.

Shield Effectiveness
Now, how much shield can be generated in 15s ? With a full Light's Grace active and haste buffs, I'll count 1.5s casts for Holy Lights. On my wss parses, they are around 12K medium (counting crits). That will result in 120K healing with the buff, giving us a total 18K shield. Still not the 20K limit but definitely something good. Add to that the shields will have "proced" on anyone not being full life and hit by a glyph of Holy Light splash heal.
If we consider what most other healers will do in 15s it's probably less than 120K healing. Or at least not without some serious mana issues. Without cooldowns, these 10 Holy Lights cost 12740 mana. With the Libram of Renewal, it's 1130 less mana. With 50% crit and Illumination it's 3822 less mana for 7788 mana total. (I'm not taking into account things like Glpyh of Seal of Wisdom, which reduces these costs by 5% more). With a 15s duration and 20s between blessings, that's about two times this "crazy heals" by minute, hence a little more than 15K mana a minute, which is a lot even for a Holy Paladin. Using Divine Plea will be necessary for about 6K mana each minute, reducing the cost to 9K mana (though you have to continue outputing Flash heals during the off-blessing time). With our other coold down abilities, we should be able to go crazy on Val'anyr shield for 3 to 4 minutes, resulting in 6 to 8 full shields of 18K strength. I think all people on Mimiron right now can see the use of such crazy healing periods.

To resume things
A hot class or aoe healing class will have the blessing up nearly all the time, while a direct single target healing class like a paladin won't (unless Judgement of Light counts, but that would be bad style as a Holy Paladin Judgement of Light is weaker than the one of other paladins).
But a paladin will most probably outputs much bigger shields and can go crazy if needed for a few minutes resulting in nearly capping the shield potential during that time. From my rough calculations, we can expect 18K shields two times a minute for 3 to 4 minutes from a Holy Paladin. That being for a moderately itemized Holy Paladin (like myself in tier 7 raid 25 gear), and without special mana regen abilites used but the regular talent ones.
Similar analysis for druids and priests (both disc & holy) would be necessary to compare the numbers, but I feel confident in saying that Val'anyr will be more effective in the hands of a Holy Paladin.
Now, for your raid, I say: give it to your most reliable healer, the one that is in your guild for years and is always here when you need him/her :P

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Ulduar Raid Healing, part 3

I have already discussed healing in Ulduar and what we need to change from our Naxx routines in two previous articles:
Ulduar Paladin Healing Guides
Ulduar Paladin Healing Tips

After a few raiding nights, and advancing a little more in Ulduar myself (up to Thorim), I'll try to update my views. You can probably expect a "trash healing guide" I'll write during the weekend, as I find sometimes trash more surprising than bosses :P

I've said earlier to use Beacon of Light on yourself. That's still very valid for most bosses I've seen. On Ignis, Razorscale, XT, Kologarn surely, on other bosses (Iron Council, Auriaya) that is more of a discussion and that can depend on your assignment.
Now I've really seen trashs where Beacon should be on you or not, these are the trash mobs before Kologarn (antechamber) and before Auriaya.

When you pass XT, you'll be in front of packs of 3 sorts of mobs, sheep and ban can really help you a lot but expect to take some damage spikes on you (there are chain lightnings), while if your raid does good cc, and if your tank for the giants don't stand on charged punches, there should be only one tank (2 in heroic) tanks taking damage. This is a perfect time to use Beacon on you to ensure your survavibility while keeping a constant focus on your tank for reactivity on damage spikes.

Once you've down Kologarn, you're going to face the iron giants duos on Auriaya ring. These guys can output huge damage spikes on your tanks, while the rest of the raid should take very minor damage. That's the perfect set to have your beacon on the tank that you're not healing (they require a tank on heal infusion on each of them). That will allow you to heal both of the tanks at the same time, and help a lot with these bad and dealy damage spikes while your raid takes care of the lightning orbs and giants.

Clearly, these two settings are very different, and that's what I like the most in Ulduar. Bosses, but even trash mobs have very different strategies, require cc, require different healer assignments ...etc
Adaptability is a real raiding strength and knowledge, something you don't just get with loot. That is what I like in raids that push you to play a little better than just heal/damage spams.

I surely wish to see more of Ulduar soon, the deeper I go, the better it becomes. Please don't nerf the third part of it too soon, Blizzard :P

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Is Divinity good for you ?

I'll talk here about the new protection talent: Divinity.
In a comment to my last Holy spec post, Celton was saying that for him, if you have to chose between Divinity and the ret talent Sanctity of Battle, you should chose the crit bonus.

The argument will be: take 5 points into Divinity or 2 points into Divinity and 3 into Sanctity of Battle. Giving you a spec like 51/2/15 +3.

Divinity for a Holy Paladin is just healing bonus, you'll perhaps be saved by the increased heals on you once in your life, but it's not going to make a large difference. Before 3.1.1, we were gaining back mana when healed, and that would have been valuable then. Sadly you need to be deep protection for that now, so nothing good considering mana regen.

Sanctity of Battle gives you 3% crit, which means more big heals (1.5% increase in hps), more mana return with Illumination (1.8% more mana) and more procs of all our crit related talents/gear.

Now from a pure item points, considering around 2000 spell power, a 3% increase in your heals will be around 60 spell power. On the other hand 3% crit is around 90 crit rating. So going for Sanctity is around 50% more valuable in theory.

Now, I went with 5 Divinity, and I'm going to stick to it for some time. The reason is that I chose gear for int & crit over spell power on the tier 7 raiding arc. Looking at Ulduar paladin gear, it is clear that our crit rating will suffer while our spell power should go up. So I plan on keeping 5 Divinity until I start replacing some tier 7 gear by ulduar gear, and once my crit goes under 45% raid buffed, I'll change to 2 Divinity + 3 Sanctity.

The same choice can be made between Divinity and Pursuit of Justice:
Divinity 2pts + Tuskar Vitality (boots enchant)
total of +2% to healing, 150hps, +8% move speed
Pursuit of Justice 2pts + Icewalker (boots enchant)
total of 0.37% hit, 0.26% crit, +15% speed
I think 2pts Divinity / Tuskar Vitality is better on total, but moving fast is never bad and if you have issues with survavibility in Ulduar Pursuit of Justice can help (Kologarn lazer beams anyone?).
I am a great fan of move speed bonuses as a paladin, we have nearly no heal ability while moving so for me positioning and moving is a really important issue to improve your hps in raids. So no Divinity + Icewalker for me, though it's obviously the best if you don't need the speed.

In the end look at your toon stats, chose what you think is best for you. At least we have choice here, which is never a bad thing :)

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Holy Paladin Raiding Spec 3.1+

This post is for raiding paladins, my experience in arenas in season 6 is too light for me to post about a spec here, the changes for holy paladins were massive and I still have to adjust for them.
As for raiding, I'm more confident in my point, and wanted to share my views when I read Matticus post on his blog: Speccing your holy paladin.

As a first reading, for those that are not very familiar with paladin, especially holy paladin talents (if you're dual specing into holy that's for you ;p), I advise you to read Ferraro guide about Holy Talents on her blog, and Celton guide on HolyPaladin.net.

Matticus is a raider, so I give credit to his views, he obviously has tested them in raiding and as backup to his claims. Now I don't really agree with all of his views.
Matticus sepc is here : 53/0/18
My spec is here : 51/5/15

Before analyzing the differences, I'll comment what I changed from 3.1 to 3.1.1. I ditched 2 points in Pursuit of Justice (15% movement speed) and Sanctity of Battle (3% crit) for 5 points in the new prot talent Divinity (5% healing). And changed my glyph of Seal of Wisdom (5% mana reduction) to Seal of Light (5% more healing). And that's all, even though I'm still wondering about trying to find a space for the new Glyph of Holy Shock.
So global changes for me are slower movement (changed my boots enchant to Tuskar Vitality for that), slightly lower crit (ok from 50% raid buffed to 47%), slightly lower mana efficiency (do you get oom ?) but 10% more global healing.

Now about our different choices. Matticus chose to ignore Divinity, keep Sanctity of Battle and invest into Improved concentration aura. If Divinity against Sanctity can be seen as a relatively fair tradeoff, seeing the amount of damage in Ulduar and the level of crit we already achieve, I prefer the 5+5(Seal of Light glygh)% increase of my heals.
He also exchanges 1 pt in Enlightened Judgements for Aura Mastery. As he's saying I also see Aura Mastery as mostly PvP oriented now, and I think it's too situational in PvE to be worth the point. Beside, Enlightened Judgements not only give us reach, it also gives us % to hit, so that our Judgements don't miss and we can keep up Judegements of the Pure more easily.
Now 2 points in Improved Concentration Aura ... I think I'd prefer the Pursuit of Justice speed buff. That allows you to keep the hit/crit enchant on your boots, as movement is an absolute necessity in Ulduar, the faster you get out of the aoe the more chances you have to: 1. be alive, 2. resume healing.

As you can see, even if we have a few different views, we agree on most of the invested points, and glyphs. I'm also a big fan of mana return via Lay on Hands, add that to my jeweller trinket and I get nearly 2 free mana pots by boss fights.
I'd be happy to have your views on raiding spec, fell free to comment.
Happy raiding to you all.

editor note:
This post has since been expanded due to interesting comments, you can see the additional post there: Is Divinity good for you ?

Monday, May 04, 2009

Ulduar is going down, it's nerf time.

For all of you that raid regularly since Ulduar opening, last week and even more this weekend made it clear. Ulduar nerf has started.

Two waves of nerfs have already hit Ulduar, detailed on MMO Champion on the 29th and 30th of April. First ones seamed to be more fixes, balance nerfs, there are detailed here. But the second wave, linked to patch 3.1.2, is a clear downgrade of Ulduar difficulty. I first thought they were only lowering a bit 10-Man difficulty, which was a bit too high compared to 25-Man for me. But now the nerfs hit everything, 10-Man and 25-Man alike, from the first bosses up to Vezax (last boss before Yogg-Saron).

I'm a bit sad to see a difficult raid instance that was promising weeks of fun to master and finish being nerfed to a Naxxramas plus. I'm expecting more nerfs to come in the next weeks or at most months. If they start so soon, they won't stop, finally nerfing Ulduar down so that anyone can go there, without need of guearing or anything.

Let's have fun as long as it lasts. Soon only hard modes will promise any sort of challenge (at least these ones are not nerfed).

New Ulduar Poll, Is Ulduar too Hard ?

My last poll on the site (right side bar) indicated that, over the 15 persons that answered it 13 were ready to rush into Ulduar, 2 were not yet completely sure of it but none was expecting to delay it for long.
Though 15 people isn't a lot, I'm pretty sure most of the raiders were really awaiting Ulduar, tired of this long boring time with only Naxxramas.

Now that we've have Ulduar for nearly 3 weeks, what do you think about it ? According to recent changes (read nerfs) by Blizzard, Ulduar is too hard for most guilds. I must accept the fact that only one of our 10 men groups was really able to advance up to Mimiron before last week nerfs. But I think that most of our raiders were "not preapared"(©). The end of BC, with the patch 3.0, the new talents and the general raid nerf, followed by 6 months of "free loot easy raiding" really made raiders dull.

From my point of view, we are not as good as we were. But perhaps for the top guilds, most probably suffered these months from the apathy that easy raiding is pushing on us.
What do you think of that ? Do you need these nerfs ? Were you happy of Ulduar difficulty, hoping as I was that it would shake your raid back to skill ?
Feel free to comment here and answer the poll.