Tag Archives: torment

Early Access, Beta, and Information Overload

My latest vlog brings up the issue of how much pre-release information about a game is too much. I’ve written about this before, but have had some new thoughts on the matter. What raised this was the possibility of taking part in the beta for Torment: Tides of Numerera, one of the games I’m most looking forward to this year. There’s a small part of me that wants to see things first, but a bigger part of me that wants to wait for the final product.

How do you feel about this topic?

How to Heal: Baleroc (25N)

This is a Druid healing guide for the Firelands raid instance. Though it’s written from a 25-man perspective, most of the tips should apply to 10s as well.

Baleroc is a healer test. There are buffs you need to manage in order to increase the power of your heals to keep up with the tanks’ massively inflated health pools.

If you’re not familiar with the general tactics of the fight, check out the Icy Veins guide.

Debuffs you want to be aware of:

TormentTorment – This debuff appears on the person standing closest to a Shard of Torment. It causes stacking shadow damage every second. There are 2 shards up at a time, so this debuff will be on 2 people.

Buffs you will get that you want to be aware of:

Vital SparkVital Spark – When you cast a direct heal on someone being damaged by Torment you gain stacks of Vital Spark (1 application per 3 Torment stacks on the person).

Vital-FlameVital Flame – When you cast a direct heal on someone with the Blaze of Glory buff (the tank) your healing on them will be increased by 5% per stack of Vital Spark you have. This lasts for 15 seconds.

Only direct heals will cause these buffs to trigger: Regrowth, Nourish, Healing Touch and Swiftmend. HoTs will not trigger them. You want to get your Vital Spark stacks as high as possible so you can keep up with the tank’s rising health pool and damage taken. It is very important to note that while you have Vital Flame, you cannot build more stacks of Vital Spark. Vital Flame needs to run out before you can build spark stacks again. Casting a direct heal on the tank will refresh the duration of Vital Flame. I use Beru’s Power Auras to track these two buffs.

Since healing strategies for this fight can vary, I’m going to share the one we use in Apotheosis:

  • We use 6 healers who get paired up for healing assignments.
  • We use 2 tanks, one who tanks most of the encounter and one who only taunts for Decimating Blade.
  • For the first shard the healers rotate assignments every 15 seconds – this is so everyone gets some stacks of Vital Spark at the beginning in case the boss uses Decimating Blade at the start.
  • After the first Shard we switch to 30 second rotations.
  • The healer rotation always follows the same order: Healer group 1 heals tanks, then melee Torment targets, then ranged Torment targets (repeat). Healer group 2 heals melee, then ranged, then tanks. Healer group 3 heals ranged, then tanks, then melee.

The Fight :

The toughest things about this encounter is keeping on top of your healing assignment as it rotates and keeping an eye on your Vital Spark and Flame buffs.

  • Before the pull, cast a direct heal to trigger Harmony and stack Lifebloom and Rejuvenation on the tank who will be pulling.
  • Heal the tank until the first Shard of Torment spawns.
  • When the shard spawns make sure you are not standing near it. There will be a purple glow in the spot it’s going to appear. If you’re near it, move. Getting the Tormented debuff will reduce your healing done by 50% and make things very difficult.

Healing the first Torment target

  • I try to get my Vital Spark stacks high as fast as possible when healing my first Torment target. As soon as the first Shard spawns I pop Tree of Life and spam instant Regrowths on them.
  • When the target gets to 12 Torment stacks Swiftmend them for a few more instant spark stacks.
  • If your mana is under 80% after this (it most likely is) Innervate

Healing subsequent Torment targets

  • Your goal should be to build as many Vital Spark stacks as possible without going oom.
  • Roll a Rejuvenation on the Torment target.
  • Chain-cast Nourish. As the Torment stacks get higher you may need to cast Healing Touch or Regrowth. Use Swiftmend for a quick 3 sparks when the person gets to 12 stacks.
  • You can refresh your HoTs on the tank while healing Torment, but do not cast any direct heals on them. Stick to your assignment.

Healing the Tank

  • When you’re switching from healing Torment targets to healing the tanks, you want to get a direct heal on the tank as fast as possible to trigger Vital Flame. Use Swiftmend if it’s off cooldown or Regrowth to do this.
  • The healing on the main tank isn’t too demanding. Just keep up your HoTs, and chain-cast Nourish or Healing Touch.
  • Healing the Decimating Strike tank is where things get tougher. Roll a Rejuv and chain-cast Healing Touch, along with Swiftmend when it’s available or Regrowth if you want a faster heal. Be ready to use Nature’s Swiftness here if you have it. Pop Tree of Life for the second time during Decimation Blade.
  • When you’re getting ready to switch back to healing Torment, keep a very close eye on your Vital Flame timer. When the time left on the buff is down to 2 or 3 seconds stop casting direct heals on the tanks. Just refresh your HoTs and get ready to swap targets. If you have the Vital Flame buff you will not be able to build Vital Spark stacks.

Other spells

  • Since there should only ever be 3 people taking damage at a time Wild Growth and Tranquility don’t have much use in this fight.

Happy healing!

My Favorite Games

Since I’ve promised myself I wouldn’t write about druid changes or tree form for a while, I thought I’d make a completely non WoW-related post.

I’ve been a video game geek for a long time. In addition to WoW I still play a number of other games (although not as many as I’d like). There are a few games that I keep coming back to – games with fantastic story and gameplay that are still great despite aging graphics. I tend to go back and replay my favourites every few years and I thought I’d share them since they are older, weren’t terrible commercial successes, and a lot of people may be unaware of their existence. My video games tastes tend towards RPG/adventures. You won’t find any FPSs here.

Planescape: Torment (1999)

Planescape Torment

Best CRPG ever. Torment is a dark, story-driven RPG with excellent dialogue and some of the best writing I’ve seen in a video game. At the beginning of the game you wake up in a mortuary. You are the Nameless One, you have no memory and you cannot die. A floating skull comes along to give you the chant and help you escape. Throughout the game you run into all sorts of interesting characters, become stronger by reacquiring your memories and search for your lost mortality.

The game is very text-heavy, but it’s so well done and every aspect of the Planescape universe is so fascinating that it doesn’t weigh it down. Torment has the same top-down viewpoint as games like Bladur’s Gate or Icewind Dale, but it blows those games out of the water as far as immersiveness and characters go. Even minor NPCs are more fully fleshed out than most playable characters in other games.

If you’re into grindy, Diablo-style combat, you might not enjoy this game as much as me, because the focus is not on combat. Despite this, I think they do a decent job with it and the division of combat vs. story is good.

If you like story-based RPGs you should give this game a look. The only problem is that I have no idea where you can get it for a decent price. If you can find it, it’s worth it. Edit: Planescape Torment is now available on GoG.com! Go buy it!

Under a Killing Moon (1994)

Under a Killing Moon

This is an adventure game with a film noire atmosphere. You play Tex Murphy, a hard-boiled PI living in a post-apocalyptic future. Under a Killing Moon and its two sequels are the only games I’ve ever seen who manage to pull off the use of Full Motion video.

For me, this was adventure gaming at its best. I think I was maybe 12 when I played this game for the first time. Although I had been playing games like Super Mario Brothers, Wizardry and Sim City for a few years, it was games like Under a Killing Moon that made me fall in love with video games. I can’t say what exactly it was about it that thrilled me the first time I played it, but I’ve now gone back to play it at least 3-4 more times and it’s still doing it. The interface is intuitive, the characters and dialogue are great, the puzzles almost never fall into the adventure game trap of not making any frigging sense.

The look and feel of UaKM is different that any other game I’ve played. Both follow-up games are very good as well, in fact most people would argue that Pandora Directive is much better. I love them all, and they are available quite cheap at gog.com. I’ve still got my fingers crossed (12 years after the last game was released) that I’ll have a new Tex Murphy game to play one day.

Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines (2004)

Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines

The game is set in White Wolf’s World of Darkness, and is a very atmospheric RPG. You start the game as a freshly sired vampire and need to navigate through an eternally dark Los Angeles, making friends and enemies, feeding on mortals, fighting foes and surviving vampire politics.

The character development is deep and allows you to shape your character to your liking. Would you rather charm someone into giving you what you need, steal it, or just smash their face in and take it? It’s up to you. You also get access to skills not usually associated with creatures of the night, such as computer hacking, lock-picking and use of firearms. Depending on which clan you belong to, you get different supernatural powers that will aid you in combat or quests.

This is by no means a perfect game, it does have some bugs along with a fair share of clipping isssues, but if you can look past these, it’s a lot of fun. There are also a number of unofficial patches and mods available. Vampire: The Masquerade is available through Steam. Tip: For the most fun game experience, play as a Malkavian.

What are your favorite games? If anyone knows any gems that are older or less well known, I’d love to hear about them.