Category Archives: Gear

The Trials of Being a Hunter

As you probably know if you read my blog at all, I recently main switched from my Resto Druid to my Hunter. I’m the GM of my guild, but our main-switching rules apply to me too. I had to go through a 9-raid initiate period, complete with pitfalls of being on trial – last in priority for loot, get sat for a lot of progression kills.  I had an Initiate thread where people could comment on my hunter skills, though mine was different from most – I’m the guild forum admin, so the thread couldn’t be kept secret from me like it is for most people. Not too many people left comments in there, whether it was because they had nothing to say or because they were afraid to leave comments that I could see I can only speculate.

Thursday was my 9th raid, and on Sunday I officially passed my trial so Jasy is up to full raider status, and I made her the GM of Apotheosis. Yay!

It was a bit tough going at the start. I wasn’t really doing anything wrong (other than insisting on playing Survival in my first raid), but the gear gap between me and the rest of the raiders made such a huge difference. I think I was around ilvl 520 when I started my trial, with no legendary cloak or meta-gem, and a weapon from Terrace. My gear didn’t get a whole lot better in the first half of my trial. I won a few pieces of loot that no one else wanted in the first week – a helm, gloves I couldn’t wear because it would break my 2-piece bonus. I did get my legendary meta-gem quickly though, which helped a little. In the 2nd week I won a really shitty trinket (Female Dwarf tells me it’s better than the LFR Rentaki’s I was wearing, but it’s still not good). The first two weeks on my hunter were a bit demoralizing.

Finally, in my 7th raid, I hit bonus roll paydirt and coined a Warforged bow. Equipping it increased my top end damage by something ridiculous like 60% and my output skyrocketed. I wasn’t last anymore! My gear only improved from there, as I was able to get my legendary cloak in time for my 8th raid. In my 9th raid I coined a Warforged trinket of awesome and won some nice heroic thunderforged pants off Norushen. In 9 raids I went from terribly undergeared, to the 8th best geared dps in the raid. I really need to remember this next time I start whining about loot rolls, without them I’d still be using that Terrace weapon and have no good trinkets.

Jasy's first Malkorok kill - September 19th

Jasy’s first Malkorok kill – September 19th

 

Jasy's third Malkorok kill - October 17th

Jasy’s third Malkorok kill – October 17th

So I’m feeling much better about being a hunter now. My gear is good, and once I get my 4-set bonus and a 2nd, not terrible, trinket I’m pretty certain I’ll be able to beat the rest of the dps (gauntlet thrown).

Since I’ve passed my trial and have the gear to not be a liability I’m going to do some experimenting with the other specs on farm content. I’d really like to be anything other than Beast Master. I’m feeling good with my performance on single target fights and AoE fights. The only fights I have a bit of an issue with are fights like General Nazgrim – mostly single target, but often with 3 spread out mobs up at a time. I think I could be doing better on those. If anyone has tips for fights like that I’d love to hear them.

5.4 Hunter Raid Gear

The following is the new raid gear available to Hunters in 5.4. It includes gear from Siege of Orgrimmar and the world boss, Ordos. I have not included the new Timeless Isle crafted gear, as it’s low level and has random stats. I assume this list will also come in handy for Enhancement Shaman (though I haven’t included your tier pieces). 

I’m only listing one level of loot in this list (Normal). However, there are actually 6 different ilvls for all raid loot excluding Tier pieces (because 5 different ilvls last tier weren’t enough!). Bosses in Siege of Orgrimmar have a small chance to drop Warforged gear in normal and heroic modes (not in LFR or Flex). Warforged gear is 6 ilvls higher than it’s regular counterpart gear. So the new gear levels for raid drops are:

  • 528 – LFR
  • 540 – Flex
  • 553 – Normal
  • 559 – Normal Warforged
  • 566 – Heroic
  • 572 – Heroic Warforged

Weapon

Item Location
Dagryn’s Discarded Longbow Galakras
Hisek’s Reserve Longbow Paragons of the Klaxxi

Death Lotus Crossbow

The Fallen Protectors
Kor’kron Hand Cannon Malkorok
Hellscream’s Warbow Garrosh Hellscream

Helmet

Item Location
Crest of Burning Deeds Ordos (World boss)
Haromm’s Horrifying Helm Kor’kron Dark Shaman

Penetrating Gaze of Y’Shaarj

Garrosh Hellscream
Headguard of the Unblinking Vigil (T16) Thok the Bloodthirsty

Shoulders

Item Location
Firearrow Shoulderpads Ordos (World boss)
Shoulderguards of Intended Power Garrosh Hellscream
Quarantine Shoulderguards Norushen
Spaulders of the Unblinking Vigil (T16) Siegecrafter Blackfuse

Chest

Item Location
Moonhee’s Mean Vest Ordos (World boss)
Chestguard of Relentless Tyranny Garrosh Hellscream
Ancient Archer’s Chestguard Spoils of Pandaria
Tunic of the Unblinking Vigil (T16) Sha of Pride

Wrist

Item Location
Bowflight Wristguard Ordos (World boss)
Dagryn’s Fuselight Bracers Galakras
Wristguards of Ruination Malkorok
Bracers of the Infinite Pipes Siegecrafter Blackfuse

Hands

Item Location
Precision Cutters Iron Juggernaut
Keengrip Arrowpullers  
Grips of Unending Anguish The Fallen Protectors
Gloves of the Unblinking Vigil (T16) General Nazgrim

Waist

Item Location
Lightkindler Waistguard

Ordos (World boss)

Canoneer’s Multipocket Gunbelt Galakras
Arrowflight Girdle Spoils of Pandaria

Legs

Item Location
Desirae’s Dashing Leggings Ordos (World boss)
Leggings of Unabashed Anger Norushen
Legguards of the Unblinking Vigil (T16) Paragons of the Klaxxi

Feet

Item Location
Puddle Punishers Immerseus
Minelayer’s Padded Boots Iron Juggernaut
Ravager’s Pathwalkers General Nazgrim

Neck

Item Location
Smoldering Eye Ordos (World boss)
Immerseus’ Crystaline Eye Immerseus
Gleaming Eye of the Devilsaur Thok the Bloodthirsty

Back

Item Location
Poisonmist Nightcloak Kor’kron Dark Shaman
Cape of the Alpha ??

Finger

Item Location
Reality Ripper Ring Norushen
Swift Serpent Signet Galakras
Ring of Restless Energy Malkorok
Kil’ruk’s Band of Ascendancy Paragons of the Klaxxi

Trinkets

Item Location
Assurance of Consequence Sha of Pride
Haromm’s Talisman Kor’kron Dark Shaman
Sigil of Rampage Spoils of Pandaria
Ticking Ebon Detonator Siegecrafter Blackfuse

What Resto Druids Need to Know for 5.4

Patch 5.4 drops on Tuesday September 10th, and resto Druids have a whole lot of changes to be prepare for and look forward to. I have also updated my Restoration Druid Healing Guide to reflect the 5.4 changes. If you’re looking for a 5.4 gear guide, you won’t find it here – go visit Juvenate for his 5.4 PVE Gear Guide.

Spell changes

  • Genesis is a new Restoration spell learned at level 88. Genesis targets all party or raid members within 60 yards and accelerates the casting Druid’s Rejuvenation effects, causing them to heal and expire at 400% of the normal rate. Costs the same amount of mana to cast as Rejuvenation.

A new spell! Finally! This should help fill the gap in our healing toolkit quite well by making Rejuv a little more bursty. Start playing with the timing on this spell immediately, as I think it’s one of the things that will differentiate the great Druid from the ones who are just okay.

  • Living Seed effects can now stack, up to 50% of the casting Druid’s maximum health, and will no longer be consumed if the target is already at full health.

It is an improvement, but the change that really need to happen to make LS a decent heal is that it needs to trigger from magic damage. Until that happens, LS is unlikely to do more than a couple percent of overall healing.

Not sure why they changed the name in the first place.

And there was much rejoicing. We’ll now actually have a choice to make with our T2 talent.

  • Wild Mushroom for Restoration Druids now summons a single mushroom at the friendly target’s location. If the mushroom is recast, the mushroom moves to the new location and retains its accumulated bonus healing.
    -A single mushroom now heals for as much as what 3 mushrooms combined healed for previously.
    -Wild Mushroom and Wild Mushroom: Bloom now have a shared 3-second cooldown.
    -The spell is no longer capable of critical strikes, and accumulates overhealing done by Rejuvenation by 100%, down from 150%. Overhealing bonus no longer benefits from Naturalist or Mastery: Harmony.

HUGE quality of life change here. One mushroom to place is superior to three. We can also choose between spawning the mushroom beneath our target, or placing it manually (see new glyphs below). The best part is that the Mushroom can be moved, so you don’t waste your charge if the raid moves.

  • Innervate now restores mana equal to 50% of the Druid’s spirit.

This means you need at least 12000 spirit to get the same effect from Innervate that you did in 5.3. With better gear, this is a buff.

Talents

  • Dream of Cenarius has been completely redesigned. It now causes Wrath to deal 20% more damage and heals a nearby friendly target for 100% of the damage done.

This will let us be kind of like Disc Atonement healers, but much less powerful. Another change was also made that will impact this talent – Wrath now deals 10% more damage, but has its mana cost increased by 50%, so healing by doing damage may be a little expensive. This talent should excel on fights where the boss/mobs take extra damage.

  • Heart of the Wild when activated, now also provides a 25% bonus to healing for Restoration Druids.

With a 6-minute cooldown, this doesn’t strike me as that big of a deal. I think the HotW on use is still best used for adding some damage.

  • New talent: Ysera’s Gift, which replaces Nature’s Swiftness, and heals the Druid for 5% of their maximum health every 5 seconds. If the Druid is at full health, it will heal the most injured friendly target nearby instead.

Passive healing. /yawn. If you don’t want to have to worry about another spell and take Cenarion Ward, this is a good option.

  • Nature’s Vigil when activated now increases all damage and healing done by 12% (up from 10%), and causes single-target healing spells to trigger an additional heal on a nearby ally for 25% of the amount healed. This is in addition to the existing effect where it damages a nearby enemy target for 25% of the healing done.

This has gotten much stronger with the additional heals. I’d say this will be the go-to level 90 talent for most fights.

  • Soul of the Forest now causes the Druid to gain 100% haste (up from 75%) on their next spell after casting Swiftmend.

Glyphs

  • Glyph of Lifebloom’s effect is now baseline.

Awesome, and opens up a glyph slot for:

  • Glyph of Efflorescence increases the healing done by Swiftmend by 20%, causes the Efflorescence healing effect to be triggered by Wild Mushroom instead of Swiftmend, and lasts as long as the Wild Mushroom is active.

This is an amazing glyph. The 20% increase the Swiftmend is good, and the ability to have Efflorescence up all the time is great.

  • Glyph of Innervate now causes Innervate to give both the Druid and the target 60% of the normal effect of the spell if it’s cast on a target other than the Druid.
  • Glyph of the Sprouting Mushroom (minor): Allows the Wild Mushroom spell to be placed on the ground instead of underneath a target.

And a few random, cool things:

  • Teleport: Moonglade now returns the Druid to a location near their original departure point when the spell is cast while in the Moonglade area.
  • Glyph of One With Nature: Grants the Druid the ability to teleport to a random natural location.

Patch 5.4 is giving Druid some great buffs and quality of life changes. We should be in a much better place now than we have been all expansion.

Happy healing!

Progress vs. Gear

How much raid time should be dedicated to farming for gear from bosses you’ve already killed and how much should be dedicated to learning and defeating new encounters?

I’m sure that’s a question that has plagued many raid and guild leaders. I’m also sure the answer depends on the type of guild. Blood Legion’s not going to clear through an instance multiple times on normal when they could be working on a new kill. Likewise, a more ‘casual’ guild is going to want, and maybe even need, that extra gear before they progress further in a lot of cases.

My guild falls somewhere in the middle of those two examples. We finished Tier 14 at 8/16H.

In Tier 14 we cleared all normal modes before doing any heroic modes. We did kill Heroic Stone Guard only a couple days after defeating Sha of Fear, but we never took a detour from normal mode content in HoF, for example, to work on MSV heroics. When I asked our raiders for feedback at the end of the tier, one of the most common responses I got was that we had spent too much time farming for gear and not enough time pushing progression. Noted.

In Tier 15 we’re currently sitting at 1/13H. This tier is a bit different than last. While Tier 14 consisted of 3 smaller raids, Tier 15 is one big raid. In Tier 14 if we wanted more time to work on a new hard mode in Heart of Fear we could skip one of the other raids for the week. We can’t do that in Throne of Thunder. With only 9 hours of raiding each week, we need to make some harder decisions about how we’ll be spending our raid time. At this point, it would take us about 1.5 raid nights (raids are 3 hours each) to fully clear on normal. I think we will get more efficient at that, but that’s where we’re at right now. Plus, repeating heroic kills will generally take a bit longer, so we want to give a bit of a time buffer so we can be sure to get all the way through Lei Shen.That only leaves us 3 hours (we can maybe push this to 4) to work on new things. That’s really not a lot of time.

Since so many people had said they wanted to spend more time on progression this tier, the officers tried to make good on that. The week after our first Lei Shen kill we spent half a raid on Heroic Jin’rokh, then went through the rest of the raid on normal to ensure we got a repeat kill of Lei Shen. My idea of just working on H. Jin’rokh until he was dead, even if that meant not full clearing that week, was outvoted. In hindsight, probably a good thing. The next reset we decided that we would keep our raid lockout for 2 weeks so we could spend a good 3-4 raids on progression fights, before wrapping up normal modes at the end of the following week. I thought this was the best idea. Everyone in the raid had a Lei Shen kill and everyone in the raid wanted to progress through this tier faster (I thought).

Apparently not. It seems, to some people, that farming for gear is more important than progress at this point. The officers got a number of complaints about how we were ‘wasting’ our raid lockout.

I think I have a pretty good idea about the capabilities of our raid. Yes, gear always helps, but having the best possible gear is not a requirement for getting down heroic bosses, especially the early ones. If we were failing dps checks, then definitely, we need more gear. But that’s almost never been our problem. More gear doesn’t make people not stand in Rockfall or hit their Crystal Shield at the right time. Practice does. (Also, if I’m going to upgrade my gear, I’d rather upgrade it to heroic gear).

You can’t please all the people all the time. But I try to. At this point I don’t know if anyone, besides the officers, liked the idea of extending the lockout. Because really, no one sends feedback when they’re happy about something, only when they have something to complain about.

So that brings us back to the original question. How do you split your raid time so your raiders get gear, but you can still make progress at a good pace? Where’s that magic point where doing farm content every week is no longer necessary? Do you wait for everyone to have their 4-set before you start extending lockouts or skipping normal mode kills? Until everyone has weapons? Until Lei Shen gives me that trinket I want?

Resto Druid Gear for 5.2

The following is the new gear available to Resto Druids in 5.2. It includes gear from the new raid, new reps and some new leatherworking patterns. I assume this list will also come in handy for Mistweaver Monks (though I haven’t included your tier pieces).

As always, this stuff is all from the PTR, so it may not be entirely accurate, things may be missing or it may change. I’ll try to keep it as up to date as possible. The drop locations of a few of the items is currently unknown, they are likely trash drops in Throne of Thunder.

I have listed 3 levels of loot in this list (LFR, Normal, Heroic). However, there are actually 5 different ilvls for all raid loot excluding Tier pieces (because things clearly needed to be more complex). Bosses in Throne of Thunder have a small chance to drop Thunderforged gear in normal and heroic modes (not in LFR). Thunderforged gear is 6 ilvls higher than it’s regular counterpart gear. So the new gear levels are:

  • 502 -LFR
  • 522 – Normal
  • 528 – Normal Thunderforged
  • 535 – Heroic
  • 541 – Heroic Thunderforged

Head

Item iLevel Location
Spirit Keeper Helm 522 Leatherworking

Hood of Smoldering Flesh
LFR Normal Heroic

502/522/535 Maegara
Helm of the Haunted Forest (T15)
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Twin Consorts

Shoulders

Item iLevel Location
Heartroot Shoulderguards 522 Shadow-Pan Assault – Revered (1750 VP)
Spaulders of Diplomacy
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Horridon
Mantle of the Haunted Forest (T15)
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Iron-Qon

Chest

Item iLevel Location
Robes of Treacherous Ground
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Council of Elders
Robes of Concussive Shocks
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Tortos
Robes of the Haunted Forest (T15)
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Dark Animus
Robes of Contagious Time 541 Ra-den

Wrist

Item iLevel Location
Hearthfire Armwraps 522 Shadow-Pan Assault – Friendly (1250 VP)
Infinitely Conducting Bracers
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Jin’rokh the Breaker
Vampire Bat-Hide Bracers
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Tortos

Hands

Item iLevel Location
Gloves of Enduring Renewal 522 Shadow-Pan Assult – Honored (1750 VP)
Handwraps of the Haunted Forest (T15)
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Council of Elders or Nalak, the Storm Lord
Anima-Ringed Fingers
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Dark Animus
Gloves of Slicing Electricity
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Lei Shen

Waist

Item iLevel Location
Cinch of the Dead Forest’s Vigil 476 Kirin Tor Offensive/Sunreaver Onslaught – Honored
Martien’s Splitleaf Girdle 522 Shadow-Pan Assault – Revered (1750 VP)
Abandoned Zandalari Moonstrap
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 ??
Girdle of Night and Day
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Twin Consorts
Worldbender Waistband 541 Ra-den

Legs

Item iLevel Location
Trousers of Waning Shadow 522 Shadow-Pan Assault – Honored (2250 VP)
Roots of Rampaging Earth
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Horridon
Legwraps of the Haunted Forest (T15)
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Ji-Kun or Nalak, the Storm Lord
Leggings of the Malformed Sapling
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Primordius
Kilt of Perpetual Genuflection 541 Ra-den

Feet

Item iLevel Location
Spirit Keeper Footguards 522 Leatherworking
Deeproot Treads
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 ??
Sandals of the Starving Eye
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Durumu the Forgotten
Roots of Pain 541 Ra-den

Neck

Item iLevel Location
Mender’s Battletags 522 Shadow-Pan Assault – Neutral (1250 VP)
Necklace of the Terra-Cotta Mender
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 ??
Horridon’s Tusk Fragment
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Horridon
Passionfire Choker
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Twin Consorts
Soul Prism of Lei-Shen
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Lei Shen

Back

Item iLevel Location
Static-Collecting Cloak 496 Sunreaver Onslaught/Kirin Tor Offensive – Revered
Shan’ze Gravetender Cloak 496 Sunreaver Onslaught/Kirin Tor Offensive – Revered
Dreamweaver Drape 522 Shadow-Pan Assault – Honored (1250 VP)
Deadly Glare Cape
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 ??
Drape of Booming Nights
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Jin’rokh the Breaker
Shimmershell Cape
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Tortos
Constantly Accelerating Cloak
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Dark Animus
Black Night Thundercloak 541 Ra-den

Finger

Item iLevel Location
Ancient Primalist’s Seal 496 Kirin Tor Offensive/Sunreaver Onslaught – Exalted
Signet of the Shadow-Pan Assault 522 Shadow Pan Assault – Friendly (1250 VP)
Ring of the Shadow-Pan Assault 522 Shadow Pan Assault – Friendly (1250 VP)
Petrified Eye of the Basilisk
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Horridon
Durumu’s Captive Eyeball
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Durumu the Forgotten
Ro’shak’s Remembrance
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Iron Qon
Ra’den’s Evolving Signet 541 Ra-den

Trinkets

If you’re looking for some analysis on the new trinkets, check out Therya’s very detailed post. Personally, my top choices are Horridon’s and Chalice. The absorbs from the other two sound nice, but I really don’t like Spirit-based trinkets (and Stolen Relic of Zuldazar will require a whole new click binding and I’m pretty much out of those).

Item iLevel Location
Soothing Talisman of the Shadow-Pan Assault 522 Shadow-Pan Assault – Friendly (1750 VP)
Horridon’s Last Gasp
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Horridon
Inscribed Bag of Hydra-Spawn
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Maegara
Stolen Relic of Zuldazar
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Primordius
Lightning-Imbued Chalice
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Lei Shen

Weapon

Juvenate has done a good analysis of 1-handed weapon drops in 5.2. A one-handed weapon plus off-hand is superior stat-wise, since off-hands get an extra Intellect enchant. However, there are only 2 off-hands available, and they come from the 10th and 12th bosses in the tier. If you pick up a nice 1H weapon, you could be stuck with your Feng offhand for a while. It might be worth it to pick up a staff (or the 2H mace, depending on where it drops) if you get the chance.

Item iLevel Location
Saurok Ritualist’s Sacrificial Dagger (1H dagger) 476 ??
Lightning Snare (1H mace) 476 ??

Jerthud, Graceful Hand of the Savior (1H mace)
LFR Normal Heroic

502/522/535 ??
Invocation of the Dawn (2H mace)
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 ??
Amun-Thoth, Sul’s Spiritrending Talons (1H fist weapon)
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Council of Elders
Giorgio’s Caduceus of Pure Moods (2H staff)
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Ji-Kun
Ritual Dagger of the Mind’s Eye (1H dagger)
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Durumu the Forgotten
Athame of the Sanguine Ritual (1H dagger)
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Dark Animus
Suen-Wo, Spire of the Falling Sun (2H staff)
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Twin Consorts
Torall, Rod of the Shattered Throne (1H mace)
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Lei Shen

Off-hand

Item iLevel Location
Orb of Arcing Lightning
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Iron Qon
Lei-Shen’s Orb of Command
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Lei Shen

A Bad Raider

What makes someone a good raider?

There is a lot that goes into it. There’s performance – using the right spells at the right time, not standing in bad, doing well on meters, having good reaction time. There’s preparation – knowing the boss fights ahead of time, having proper enchants and consumables, having the best gear possible. There’s personality, which may be more of a concern to some people than others – people who are pleasant to be in a raid/on Mumble with generally make for a better raiding experience, and people who can constructively problem solve when things go wrong are appreciated.

There has been a lot of discussion through this expansion about how much should be expected of raiders. There was the debate about effort vs. reward for 300 stat food. There has been debate on the requirement of doing LFR. There’s been debate about dailies, rep grinds and valor capping.

Today I read a post by my friend Stormy, who was talking about how annoyed he was by the continual daily and rep grinds. Here’s the quote that inspired my post (which is specifically addressing mandatory faction grinds) :

If you’re in a raiding guild and you’re not doing the most you can to maximize your gear, enchants, valor points, etc., you are not pulling your weight. You can call them “optional” all you want, but if you’re a raider and you’re not doing them, you’re bad and you should feel bad.

(Note: This actually wasn’t the main point of his post, and my quoting it is not an invitation for you to go tell him he’s wrong if you disagree).

Confession time!

Dailies and rep have not been a priority for me this expansion. I just got exalted with Shadow Pan this week. I’ve only been exalted with Golden Lotus for a few weeks, and I’m not even Revered with August Celestials yet. Operation Shieldwall? I think I just hit honored. The first two reps I got exalted with were Tillers and Cloud Serpents, the two factions that give me nothing to assist me in raiding, but whose dailies I found the most fun. And this from someone who considers themselves, above all, a raider.

Maybe this makes me bad, but honestly, I don’t feel bad at all. In fact, not burning myself out doing things I consider chores in a game that’s supposed to entertain me makes me feel pretty good.

I do think personal experience (and luck) had something to do with my apathy towards dailies. Sha and Garalon were very good to me. So were raid bosses. A week or two into raiding I think I had 2 pieces of gear that could be upgraded by rep rewards. For those two pieces I would rather wait and hope for boss drops than spend an hour (likely more since I’m a healer who is terrible at killing quest mobs) every day for a few weeks doing something I didn’t enjoy. I also have a bit of a mental block about buying gear – I want to tear my spoils from the claws of an enemy I’ve vanquished, not purchase them from a cuddly panda vendor. But that’s another story.

So I return to the original question. What makes a good raider?

To me, gear is the last thing on the list of what makes a good raider – within reason of course, someone in greens would not likely be of much help to their raid team on heroic boss progression – and the thing I’m least concerned about (not unconcerned, just least concerned).

The performance someone puts into the actual raid is what I consider most important. I try to stand in as few fires as I can, I try to keep everyone alive, and when I heal a raid I strive to make everyone else’s job easier. The best gear in the world isn’t going to help me if I have no skill. Of course I’m not perfect – sometimes I heal x when I should heal y, or I stand in front of Garalon’s swipe because I’m trying to be in range of the kiter and the rest of the raid so I can heal all the things. I think my energy is better spent trying to improve on those things than a piece or two of gear.

If I ever felt that I (or my raid) was being held back by this view, I would change my tune. But I think I’m doing just fine (truth? a symptom of me suffering from high self esteem? who knows!) I’m pretty sure no one in my raid has ever thought to themselves (or said to me) “Gee, I wish Jasyla had better gear, she needs all the help she can get.”

The fact is, there are only so many hours in the day. And despite much evidence to the contrary, WoW is not a job (at least not until someone starts paying me). I put a lot of time and effort into this game. I raid 9 hours a week, I’m GM of a guild, I’m a healing lead, I write raider reviews, I do log dives of my own performance, I interview potential recruits, I do guild bank stuff, I spend a lot of time trying to optimize my healing, I write guides on this blog that I hope are helpful to other players… Plus, sometimes I like to just play and do things in game that have nothing to do with raid prep or guild management. 

Some people can do it all, but for others, the question of effort vs. reward arises.

I have a choice (really, it is a choice). I can cram dailies and valor capping – things I do not enjoy – into my schedule and slowly but surely become burnt out and start hating the game. Or I can just not do them if I don’t feel like it. I can accept that being 2 ilvls lower than I could be or getting the extra socket in my Sha-Touched weapon 2 weeks later that most is an acceptable trade-off for maintaining my sanity and desire to play. I also suspect people perform better when they actually want to be in a raid than they do when they’re sick of the game. Seems like a pretty easy decision to me.

Does this make me a bad raider? Well, maybe. But I’m cool with that.

Restoration Druid Guide updated

My Resto Druid Guide has finally been updated! You can find it here:

Restoration Druid Guide for Mists of Pandaria

Topics covered include:

  • Stats
  • Talents
  • Spells
  • Glyphs
  • How to Heal
  • Gear
  • Gems and Enchants
  • Consumables