Random Thoughts…

Well, I took part of my morning and cleaned my account of most of the extra toons.  I kept a few on servers where I have friends [ie the Effers] but other than that I went through and deleted all the extras…  I still had level one toons that have been sitting for two years and never even played.  I deleted total about 20 toons.  The lowbies just got deleted and all the extra death knights picked someone at random and traded them the gold they had.  Someone might as well use it right?  And with the BoAs supposedly becoming bind to BattleNet, I may want to roll some new toons at some point, or develop the ones I have on other servers first :P.

My priest is 3 Tol Barad commendations away from having her spirit trinket.  It’s a little frustrating as we’re sure not to win today again.  The win quest alone would get me what I need.  But alas, I shall get the trinket tomorrow for sure.

Cardboard Tanks
I’ve discovered a new phenomenon.  The “Cardboard” tank.  We all know what a tank is, and what a “dps tank” is.  But what is a “Cardboard tank”?  They are a special breed with decent gear and appropriate tanking specs that are insanely squishy – as in, I have to dump most of my mana bar each pull – on just the tank.  When I run across one of these on my healer, I just bow out of the instance.  To be fair, I always give them to the first boss, then politely bow out.

Now how can someone have the right spec and gear but still be squishy as a tank?  It’s very easy!
1. Don’t use your cooldowns – AT ALL.
2. Stand with your back to half the mobs
3. New tank.  [not a bad thing to be new but new tanks do tend to be more squishy]
4. Don’t take the talent in your tanking tree to be uncrittable
5. On top of any and all of the above – refuse to use CC.

Now your healer is dumping BIG heals on you and draining their mana each pull to keep you alive.  Even worse, Cardboard tanks RARELY watch healer mana.

On an aside, Lost City of Tol’Vir is also the bane of my existence as a disc priest because of the aoe damage, especially on the third boss.

I’ll Wipe to Prove a Point or Why I Probably Shouldn’t Heal

Maybe that’s sad to say.  I usually won’t do that on my main – my tank, but on my healer?  You better believe it.  You run off and pull more mobs while I’m drinking?  I’ll finish drinking and THEN move that direction.  If you die and then I consequently die?  Well, I’m sorta figuring that wiping will mean more to you than it does to me.  And if not, hey, we’re even I suppose.

My healing toon [a disc priest] just hit 85 and is in ur instances healing ur randomz.  She’s technically “geared” for heroics, but I’m sure not going there yet.  I barely survive a lot of the fights on normals.

I suppose this qualifies as my whiny post for Whiny Post Day.  Unless I get something better to whine about.

Every group needs a little Ayeffkay.

I was on my second priest – in the Northrend zones and decided to queue for my daily random to get the few JP I get.  I ended up with a dwarf pally tank named Ayeffkay.  I ended up healing for him for 6-7 instances after that.  He was trying to hit level 77 and I was quite content to do a few Northrend regulars, especially with a tank who seemed to know the pulls, had good situational awareness and was quite hardy.

It was one of the most enjoyable set of pug instances I have ever done.  I actually created a toon to tell his guild so as well.  I mean, I do that with really nasty people so shouldn’t I do it with those that really shine too?

So thank you Ayeffkay!  You made my day!

Alt Update

Askevar is now 2h frost tank to collect souls for shadow’s edge.  Her threat actually seems a bit higher than in the dual wield build… not appreciably, but just a smidge.  I got just over 200 souls last week between a run of the first 4 bosses in ICC [6 of our 10 regulars were out so we snagged other random people and alts to fill] and ICC25 up through fester and rotface with a few shots at Dreamwalker – YAY ADDS!

Askalaphos – My hunter is now decked out in 4 piece t10, thanks to VoA 🙂  She’s a great example of toon in excellent gear doing mediocre dps.  On a stand and burn I can hit 5k…  with anything else I hover in the 3-4k range.  That’s fine for heroics… but yeah… the idea of raiding with her in this shape is not pleasing.  I may need to consider a respec.

Alika – My pallytank is coming along well.  I’m hoping to get her into an ICC run eventually… as either tank or dps.  I’ve snagged a couple failed pugs so far that either couldn’t clear the trash or wouldn’t listen to mechanics and wiped on Marrowgar.  But I’d love to replace her 219 tanking ring… and frankly her 219 shield as well.  Her day will come 🙂  I’ll get a pug that can hit lower spire eventually.  I’m saving up the badges for her tanking pants next.  Her ret set is pretty good, but it’s all crafted/ICC 5 mans drops.  Yes, I’m very aware that the NES isn’t the ideal trinket for her ret offspec.  Unfortunately, most of the ones she needs are in ICC…  not going to happen anytime soon and I darn well don’t need 500 hit… so the hit trinket is out.  And “facerolling” 4-5k in an offspec ain’t bad either in randoms.

Carlyn – is slowly gearing up.  I have several more things she needs via triumphs before she’s “complete” there, but she’s coming along well.  I actually managed to pull 5k on a heroic boss fight [I stink at trash – big shock I know] so maybe I’ve not forgotten too much of warlocking from back in BC.

Aulao – My mage is doing alright.  I’ve cannibalized most of her frost for saronite for Shadow’s Edge [and my poor shaman’s as well] so they’re both behind on gear, but still doing okay.  She’s been arcane for a while but I’ve been experimenting with fire – with mixed results.

Tsali – Enhancement/resto – but spends more time in healing gear than in dps gear ironically.  I heal so that I can buy her better enhancement gear…  Still having issues with resto shaman healing in some of the simplest places.  If the group is good, it all goes smoothly.  If I have jerks and people pulling for the tank… well.. we’re probably going to wipe.  I don’t have the instincts yet or the skill to do any amazing saves.

Arica – My kitty is about 20 badges from 4 piece t10 and she’s doing awesomely…  probably the best of all my dps toons.  I’m  pulling 6-7k dps on boss fights and typically end up with an overall of 4-6k.  I’m impressed and the “rotation” really clicks well with my playing style.  She’s my primary dps alt

Kintara – My primary alt and I love her so!  If I could walk away from tanking and Askevar I would be playing her as my main.  However, I still adore tanking and Askevar too much to give up.  Disc priesting is wacky bubbly fun :D.  Save for a drop in VoA25, I may never see, she’s as geared as she can be short of ICC10/25 gear.

Kalliana – Um… she’s there.  She does the weekly and is done with gearing from triumphs… just need a better ring [curse you HPOS!!]

Odyyn – He just got his first piece of t10.  I seem to fall in and out of love with warrior tanking… some weeks I like it and run his dailies… some weeks I don’t.  Of course, jerks in ICC 25 gear can test many a tank’s patience.

Now, how do I keep it straight?  I honestly don’t know…  I just do.  They are separate toons, with separate personalities… they’re individuals, so it seems easy enough.  I also have a list on rememberthemilk dot com of things I need/want/would like to do.  I mark them off when I get them done.

“But you’re making WoW into a chore!”

No, I’m not…  I have no deadlines set on the list… no requirement to get everything or anything done.  But hey, if I get in a mood to explore or grind rep, I can easily look and see who needs what, pick what I want and go.  It’s about efficiency.  Altoholic helps with that too.  But I try to make anything I do go quickly and easily.  Since I’m cutting back on my WoW time, that’s even more important.  And if I don’t touch the list for a week?  Who cares?!

Discipline Mentality

Back not so long ago, I got fussed at by a guild member for not having a healing toon.  We were short on healers and I was very good at leveling toons quickly.  A friend of the guild had a disc priest that I was super impressed with and we needed more priests for Razuvius25, so I opted to pick up my little level 28 priest and have hubby drag her through instance after instance as I quested on her what I could.  I figured it would serve a dual purpose.

Leveling a priest in a healing spec sucks.  I had tried holy back when I first created her and that failed miserably.  I hated shadow because I had to drink after every single kill and I could often barely down the mobs.  So at level 30, I went disc.  Discipline, I had been explained to, was about avoiding and preventing as much damage as possible.  As a tank, I understood mitigation and know how much of the damage done to me falls.  Perhaps that’s why disc priesting worked for me…  I most often heal tanks on my priest and with my main being a tank, I know where the damage hits me and where it is likely to hit other tanks.

I see many many former holy priests/healers of other classes trying out disc and being disappointed or disillusioned with how it worked.  It’s a different mentality from everything I’ve seen and am told.  I will admit that I have not and do not have any desire to try out holy spec – at least with my current priest.  She’s DiscPVE/DiscPVP.  In addition to the mindset difference, it also looks like crap on the healing meters and in our LFD “meter maid” world that’s all that matters to some people is how they and everyone else looks on the meter.  Trust me, if a holy priest, druid, shaman or pally are below my disc priest on the meters – THEY are the one with the problem, not me.  Discipline should be the bottom of the healers on the meter.  I recommend taking a gander at skada that at least attempts to track absorbs and will give you a little better image of what you’re doing for the raid though it is not 100% accurate.  But yeah, if you’re tied to being on top of the meter, disc priesting probably isn’t for you.

If Tanks are the stars and dps the other players in a movie, with healers being the cameraman making everything going smoothly, disc priests are your writers – even more invisible to the general population and adding plenty when properly played.  We set the scene with our 3% damage reduction and our powerful bubbles but we don’t need the limelight – we sparkle regardless 😀

Some Discipline Basics:
Discipline priests are a raid wall against damage.  We are mostly single target/tank healers but we can function as raid healers with practice and such.  Ambrosine has a great guide over at I Like Bubbles on how to raid heal as disc.  Raid healing has never been my forte, but eh it’s been made to work.  Our shields are our greatest strength – we absorb the damage and prevent as much as we can.  We use our Penance and Flash Heals to repair damage done and provide even more mitigation.  We have Prayer of Mending [the bouncy heal] to help with some of the raid damage – use it!  Probably the biggest rule you can ever follow on a discipline priest is Always Be Casting.  Not only will it provide maximum raid coverage and damage reduction but it can also boost your spot a bit on those accursed meters – that really honestly don’t matter.

There are definitely people who specialize in the discipline priest more than I so I’m going to throw a couple of links out here in case you’re interested.  These people live and breathe the bubbles in game 😀  so their experiences and insights are much better to look at in terms of the ins and outs of the spec.  This was only meant as an introduction – to set the stage – and because my husband said I should do a post on how to disc priest because I get so frustrated with trying to explain it to others in game – probably because I took to it somewhat intuitively – analyzed it less.

I Like Bubbles

Penance Priest

Deja Vu… All About Lag

Last night I tried to random on my priest and got what amounted to a group of very juvenile teens from 4 different servers.  The tank decided to pull 2 groups at a time in H-OK, while not putting any damage on the spellflingers and saving both for last.  I asked them to target the spellflingers first and explained briefly why.  Second pull – same thing – only this time it killed me.

“Idiots, kill the spellflingers first or they’re going to kill me”.

“Sorry, that was my bad – I had lag”

“So lag caused you to twice pull 2 groups and kill the spellflingers last?”

“Yep lol – just shut up and heal.  It’s a heroic and just a game – I’ll do what I want – u r fail if you cant heal thru it.”

[All this whilst I’m laying there dead waiting for the pally to decide to rez me or whatever]

“I didn’t come here for a bunch of repair bills due to stupidity.”  I don’t honestly begrudge people new to an instance a wipe… OK is fraught with peril for the uninitiated…  A new tank might run into the wrong group, or pull 3 etc.  I DON’T tolerate wiping because “I’m going to do what I want regardless of all else”.

They finally rez me and actually stand there for five minutes telling me how stupid I am and how fail I must be not to be able to heal through two spellflingers wailing away on me… how it’s just a game and it’s past my bed time etc and so forth.  Some of it was even sexist diatribe.  I’m busy showing hubby the stupid – he advises me to leave – I probably should have as at this point they haven’t pushed the [VINDICTIVE DK] button.

I respond that the fact that I am geared does not give them license to be moronic and contemplate leaving on the spot.

One of the four responds, “hey, let’s finish.”  [Okay – I don’t have time to requeue so perhaps I can tolerate this a wee bit longer if they’ll focus on the dungeon].

“No, the healer has to promise to finish the instance or we kick.  Don’t you dare leave midpull!!!!”  says the tank.

Gee…  not that it had crossed my mind to leave mid pull…   I’ve done that a total of once – when the tank dropped mid pull in an instance one time, I left to avoid a repair bill.  That group was in heroic toc and all three of the dps together equaled about 3k.  But yeah, why WOULD I EVER want to leave an awesome group like this?  A group who stopped the instance run to tell me how horrible I am and call me all manner of names?

I replied that I’d stay and finish if they would start paying attention to important mechanics.  I just wanted my frost badges at this point.  And therefore they launched yet another diatribe at me… telling me how fail I am and it’s just a game and they want to do what they want to do.

“Fine then, just kick me.”

“Leave (bad language).”  [Oh, what happened to kicking me?]

“Make me.”  [Yes, they pushed the vindictive DK button in me… and I’m much softer and meltier on my priest].

Cue another [even worse] diatribe at which point I ported to Dalaran, put them all on ignore and walked away from my computer.  And I’m not sorry.  I’m one of the nicest most accomodating players you’ll find – as long as you treat me with basic respect – I do buffs, offer to do CC as needed, dps skull first, always /focus the tank to follow their target, misdirect/tot when appropriate; so on and so forth.

Eating a debuff after soaking up that much abuse, just to try and get two frost badges?  I’m not that nice.  Not anymore anyway.

And suddenly I’m remembering why I stopped running randoms… Deja Vu

As for lag, I know it happens.  It or a random DC has happened to me at some BAD moments before… but some things AREN’T lag.  Own up to them please.  Or at least make sure it doesn’t happen again?  I’ll settle for that.

Also, mechanics STILL DO matter in some cases – please DO pay attention to them.  Your healers will thank you 🙂

Mental note to self: Leave groups before they trigger VINDICTIVE DK.  Askevar doesn’t like when that happens.


Hubby on his new pally and I on my disc priest with two other guildies got into a H-HoR earlier.  The random thing is wacky of course  :P.  Well it gave us an awesome enhancement shaman Dwellana who was very patient and when I died [causing our one wipe] she immediately started throwing some heals.  In the most touchy parts she also threw a few chain heals to get us through.

So thank you Dwellana of Draka for giving us a very pleasant H-HoR run!

Weekend in Review

Decided to do a quick post before going to bed because I feel like it 😛

I spent the weekend doing a good bit of grinding Emblems of Triumph [and frost] on my main and alts. My death knight tank is of course getting the best and such, but the Disc Priest is second on that list, followed by the kitty druid, enhancement shaman, hunter and mage.

Askalaphos, my hunter got a few nice things because I ran her through the new instances on regular – Heartshiver, Krick’s Beetle Stabber and Rimebane Rifle.  She ended up getting the Windrunners Spaulders of Conquest with badges as well.

Aulao, my mage snagged herself a new wand, the Brimstone Igniter, getting her “Superior” level on all gear.

Arica, my kitty druid finally snagged the idol I’ve been working on casually for a long time – Idol of Mutilation.

Kintara now has 3 pieces of tier 9 and I’m loving it!  I’m 39ish badges away from the final t9 piece and I then plan to work on Merlin’s Robe and Bejeweled Wizard’s Bracers as well.  She snagged these:  Velen’s Leggings of Conquest, Velen’s Gloves of Conquest and she already had Velen’s Shoulderpads of Conquest.

Askevar, my main, snagged a trophy from ToC25 on Saturday evening and upgraded her chestpiece [Thassarian’s Chestguard of Triumph] and since I had the badges sitting, I went ahead and upgraded my gloves [Thassarian’s Handguards of Conquest] and pants [Thassarian’s Legguards of Conquest] to tier 9.  She’s never done better tanking than she did tonight… even with the dodge nerf, her threat was amazing and for the first time in a long time, I actually felt solid – which is a big deal for me because I have never felt on solid ground where she’s concerned.  I know that sounds crazy, but, well…  Let’s just say I think I finally accepted that she’ll never have pally level threat and I am where I am for a reason – because I’m getting the job done to the best of my ability…  Maybe nothing like the pressure of a new instance can make you focus on your strengths and attempt to overcome any weaknesses?  Eh, I dunno but it felt amazingly good.

And finally, my hubby queued up his baby pally with my baby prot warrior for a level 74ish instance.  I went dps because I didn’t really have good tank gear and I didn’t want to be a detriment.  I bought dual-spec for the occasion lol.  We got in there and the “tank” [another pally] had half of everyone else’s health and was a level higher.  He was using spellpower and ret gear rather than tanking/defense gear.  After a couple wipes, we voted him out since he decided to just refuse to move or do anything and I queued up as tank/dps [which seemed to relieve the shaman healer].  I did much better as a tank than I had as a dps and only lost threat a couple times when hubby’s baby pally spiked 2k dps [yes at level 73].

I love the new instance finder because I can get 3-4 toons through for their daily frost while my son has his morning nap!  I LOVE it!

Week in Review on my Toon Army

As we all know, Hallow’s End started this week, and I already have 2 of my toons with the title, Hallowed [my main – Askevar, and my former main – Carlyn]. Carlyn was lucky enough to also receive the [What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been] achievement… well I say lucky but I worked a lot on that :P. I hope to see that on my new main someday but that’s going to be a bit more work as well.

All the rest of my toons [save my level 25 warrior] are just a squashing, a hallowed helm, or both shy of the title, so I’ll keep trick or treating on them this week to see what I can get.

My mage is just shy of level 79 as I write and I’ve been doing tournie stuff with her and working on making her some decent PVE gear. I mainly plan to PVP with her, but eh, it’d be nice to heroic on her occasionally. I’m currently debating whether to dual spec her. With the changes coming to Frost in the next patch, I should be able to heroic with her alright in a modified pvp spec as I understand it, and I don’t honestly plan to raid on her –  must do more research.

Got my priest into a VoA10 and 25 – both ended with boss deaths, but the 25 had some… normal pug issues I guess you could term them.  No loot but achievements were had 😀  Also healed a guild pug of Ony10… well we tried to do it.  Let me say, I have new appreciation of what you healers do on that fight.  I’ve never sweated that instance as a tank… not really, but trying to MT heal was most interesting and frustrating at times.

Dear Tanks and DPS: What Your Healers Want You To Know

After healing a VoA 10 on my disc priest – I realized that there are some things we as tanks don’t see from the healing perspective [or even the dps perspective].  We succeeded marvelously with a pug group.  The tanks – a paladin and a dk – who reminded me so much of my husband and I, it wasn’t funny.

1.  Fire is bad – whether it’s blue, red, orange, pink, or polka dotted.  Fire is bad.  Healers can on occasion heal someone through it, but seriously, don’t count on it.  It makes healers mad and mad healers = no more heals for you!

2. Healers are human [even if they’re another race :P].  We screw up.  We heal a second early or a second late on occasion.  It’s an art form – much like knowing how to pop cooldowns in your tanking and it requires a certain combination of experience, knowledge, skill and some luck.  It requires anticipating damage – for example a paladin will take steady damage where a death knight is more bursty in what they get.

3. All healers heal differently.  Druids are all about the hots.  Disc priests are about bubbles and preventing damage.  If your group is succeeding, don’t fuss because the disc priest is low on the meters – or know enough about them to know it’s normal [as the RL did in this case].  I have seen so many disc priests lately saying they keep getting kicked from groups for being low on the meters and they’re considering respeccing as a result.  To them I say, if you want to be disc – BE DISC.  Don’t let some jerks who don’t want to even gain a basic understanding of other classes and specs push you out of your favorite spec!  The healing lead in our guild atm would KILL for a raiding disc priest simply because of the flat 3% damage reduction you bring!

4. As a tank – if I die and I can’t immediately figure out what happened, I will ask my healer [and consult my combat log]- “What happened?”.  Sometimes stuff happens – seriously.  I get out of range and they get punted the other direction.  Just ask.  Sometimes it’s you, sometimes it’s them, sometimes it’s just plain bad luck.  The point is NOT to blame the healer or anyone else but to find out the problem, correct it and move on.  I’ve gotten the response from my healer in a whisper “I screwed up, I’m sorry.”  Okay, thats good, let’s move on and get it done!  We’re all in it together and hey, it really is a game.  Deaths I don’t mind on occasion.  What I hate is repeated stupid deaths making the same mistakes.

I may to have more to add later, but eh, this is what I had on my mind.  Feel free to respond and add to it if you’re a healer!