Soapbox Speech: The Truth about Leadership

Soapbox/cast Soap Box

I have been an officer for a little over a year now.  My guild has both the blessing and the curse of being over 900 strong.  It’s a highly active group of people who play the game in a variety of different ways.  Me and my fellow officers have the momentous responsibility and privilege  to  watch over this guild, from the day to day runnings of the guild, to planning out events days, weeks, and even months in advance.

I love my guild, I really do, but I also think there are a few things that they just don’t understand about officers and what we do.  And this sort of thing applies to more than just my guild.  I won’t claim that what I say here applies to every leadership situation everywhere, but I do think much of what I write today is relevant.  Whether we are talking about your boss, your teacher, your guild master, or the developers of the game you play, here are a few things I think everyone should understand about leadership*.
*Note: What I write here pertains to good leaders.  Bad leaders are another issue entirely that I am not touching in this article.

This is one of those that I think people are aware of, but they don’t realize the extent.  Leading isn’t easy.  It’s not a one and done thing. Leadership requires constant monitoring.  Things that have been going smoothly for a while can suddenly break down, and leaders have to be right there to fix it.  As an officer, I’ve spent countless hours working on stuff for the guild.  Things like writing up information posts, leading guild events, or even just talking to members of the guild.  Events that take an hour or two can have up to three months worth of prep work.   I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to drop whatever else I was doing to jump in and help with something.

Now I’m not saying all this because I want sympathy or a pat on the back.  In fact, that’s not what I want at all.  If I’ve really done my job right, no one will realize how much work I put into it at all.  They will just see the end product and enjoy it for what it is.  I’m simply telling you this so that you realize. While you might not see it right away, leaders are constantly working.

Alongside with this, the choices a leader makes are not always easy ones.  You know that phrase, stuck between a rock and a hard place?  That is probably the most factual statement ever made in regards to leading.  Sometimes decisions are easy and its great and everyone is happy.  But more often than not, there are no win win situations.  Many a times, they are lose lose situations.  One of the hardest things about leading is picking the best of bad options.  Do you split the raid teams or make people sit? Do you remove this person from guild for behavior or give them another shot? Do you give this person responsibility over this issue or do you need to step in and handle it yourself?

So if you ever find yourself questioning a leader’s decision, look at what their other choice was.  Often times, a seemingly odd decision was far better than the alternate.  Leaders have to choose what is best for the group and many a times there is not a good option.  This also brings me to my next point.

Or the one.  Your leaders, officers, developers, and bosses have the bigger picture in their minds at all time.  Their choices reflect what will benefit the largest amount of people.
On paper this looks all fine and dandy, but in practice this can be much harder to see.  Why is this leader purposefully screwing me over?? I thought they were supposed to look out for me! I am just as much a member of this guild as everyone else!! I’ve heard all of this (sometimes in nicer terms, sometimes not).
The fact of the matter is, I’m going to try to please the most I can.  Emphasis on most.  Because, I can’t please everyone.  If I were to try to make everyone happy, then no one would be happy.  Often times, people in the same group will want opposite things. This is why most of the world is run by some sort of democracy- when you can’t  get unanimous, you get a majority.  I might not be able to please you this time, and I’m really sorry about that.  Truly.  But one person’s unhappiness won’t change my decision to make 100 people happy.

You know how I spend the last paragraph talking about how leaders are looking at the big picture? Well, think of it like an artist painting a  picture from very far away.  The artist can see what the picture will look like in broad shapes and colors but they can’t see some of the smaller details.  That’s where feedback comes in.  Leaders rely on this info to get an idea of what their decisions look like to the ‘every day person’.  We know in broad strokes what is going on but we can lose some of the smaller aspects.  We need people to tell us what is going on because sometimes we are too far removed (or too wrapped up in it) to see.

And once leaders know where something isn’t quite right, they can go in and fix it.  Feedback not only lets leaders know what is wrong, it lets us know what to fix.  We can actively improve when we are told what needs improving.

I am not in the camp that holds a leader knows best.  I know there are plenty of people who are, and I don’t think they are wrong for having that belief, but I simply don’t share it.  Instead, I think leadership is the art of knowing when to act and knowing when to ask.  When we are acting, try to see it from the bigger picture.  And when we are asking, tell us what is actually going on.  Don’t sugar coat it or talk around the issue.  Don’t insult us or ridicule our decisions.  Simply tell us.  “Hey, this isn’t working because A, B, and C” or “Hey, I’m unhappy because D, E, and F”.

Because leaders care.  They care so much it hurts sometimes.  They don’t want to make people upset, they want to make people happy.  And we are trying, in the best way we know how.

So this is my message to you.  Help a leader.  Whether it be your guild master, a Warcraft developer, or an authority figure in any other part of your life, just help them.  Think about the bigger picture before you lodge complaints.  And if you do lodge complaints, do it constructively.  Tell them directly.  Be blunt.  Be truthful.  And be honest. And be aware that the answer you receive might not be the one you want to hear.  But by providing feedback, you’ve helped to make the situation even just a little bit better.

/end soap box

Less than Legendary

LegendaryOk, I had to wait over a year before I could write up this post, but here it is.  My reaction to the WoD Legendary Questline. *queues dramatic music*

Annnnnd the long awaited reaction is…… mildly disappointed.

But like all things, it wasn’t all bad.  While I think the Warlords Legendary questline had its moments, I didn’t find it as compelling as it’s MoP predecessor.

First things first, I want to point out how I am actually unusual in that I LOVE raid drop grinds.  I’m currently working on the Legendary questline on each of my toons and it’s been giving me a great incentive to keep running those LFRs.  Raiding is my favorite activity and when I can get something extra out of it like a legendary questline drop, that is just awesome! Sure, there are moments when I found the various stone, rune, and book drops frustrating (like when I spent over a month getting one stone per boss) but on the whole I found that part of the experience fulfilling. I also had the fantastic luck of finishing up with tomes after 55 HFC boss kills instead of the typical 77 so that last phase went even faster for me.

In addition, I also enjoyed Khadgar.  Reading his snarky quest text and then having him accidentally kill me was pretty humorous.  I thought his fixation on Gul’dan and then Garona a touch odd, but other than that I generally enjoyed my quest dialogue with him.

However, outside of the actually raid grind and Khadgar’s snark, I wasn’t so much a fan of the questline.  The non-raid quests were typically a pain.  I remember spending the better part of two hours working on the infiltration quest with Garona as she bugged out multiple times.  The kill 10 nondescript mobs out in a cave and loot an orb seemed kind of random.

I've spent so much time here

I’ve spent so much time here

Also, doing the quests on a purely healing character meant I was spending a long time Denouncing everything down.  There was only quest where I could pick my role and heal, the rest I was forced to create a shockadin build (I mean, I can’t say I was too upset by this, I do love me some shockadin).  Compared to the Mists iteration where almost every quest was  togglable between three roles, Warlords is sadly lacking.  I mean, the ring I was slowly upgrading me wasn’t even helping me with those intermediary quests at all.  It seemed odd.

And don’t get me started on the shipyard.  I remember people complaining about the PvP section of the Mists one, but I would take a thousand PvP quests just to have avoided that shipyard section.  I from the beginning haven’t been a fan of the shipyard at all.  It was like garrison missions except worse because I was constantly under threat of losing my ships.  You could level a ship up to epic, only to have it sink the next day.  In addition to this, the shipyard just feels so impersonal.  You didn’t do anything to get those ships other than talk to a dude out on the beach.  There was no quest to go find them.

And even more infuriatingly, there was really nothing you could do to aid them on a mission if they weren’t already epic.  I remember grinding my teeth as I prayed to the RNGods to take mercy on my ships.  My skill (or lack of) had absolutely no impact on the success or failure of those ships.  For a final climactic part of the legendary, it wasn’t very exciting at all.

The lore of the legendary was pretty good, but I honestly didn’t feel all that invested in the story.  With Mists, the legendary tied into the story.  With Warlords, the legendary WAS the story.  And that story on it’s own just wasn’t very compelling.  I’m still not clear if we were attacking the ogres because we wanted to or because Khadgar asked us to.  We went from killing Garona to saving her in the space of two quests.  The Cordana betrayal served almost no story purpose.  Everything just felt… flat.

Yipee, I get a green circle for a couple of seconds

Yipee, I get a green shield for a couple of seconds

And the ring itself was also a bit of a let down.  While I’m not complaining, I don’t every actually get to click my own ring because I’m not the healer in my guild who is in charge of activating it.   I wish the ring was an actual model on our toons all the time.  I wish the visual effect was bigger and flashier.  The wing thingies in Mists were honestly really cool.  You knew right away that this player had worked their butt off to get that cape.  But you have no clue if someone has the ring by just looking at them when they idle in Stormshield.  Its a legendary, I want it to be flashy gosh darn it!

The biggest reason why I didn’t like the legendary questline however, was none of these.  Throughout the whole process, there was no challenge. The legendary questline wasn’t legendary.  The raids could be done on LFR and thus were fast.  The quests could be easily soloed by a healer class doing 3k dps (that is really telling).  I never felt tested, never had to pull out any stops, never even had to pay attention too much.  I miss that.  I missed the Trials of the Celestials and the Thunder Forge.  I miss having to look up how to best heal through a certain mechanic because it was too hard for me to figure out on my own. Everything was just too easy.  The time that the quest took was the only thing that held me back.

Just like many things in Warlords endgame, the Legendary questline did have potential but it just fell flat.  The main draw of the quest for me was the excuse to raid and I would think that Blizzard would want folks to enjoy the process of getting that ring more.  As it currently stands, I have one toon done, one toon on tomes, one toon on runes, and one toon on stones so I am pretty evenly spread. I will probably complete all my in-progress rings, but more because I like raiding than any desire I have to repeat the quest.  However, Blizzard has shown that it is willing and open for feedback (just take a look at some of the proposed changes for Legion) and I fully believe that the artifacts system will become a far better version of the legendary questline. Let’s just try to forget about the less than legendary Warlords one. 😛

Flying Feud


I realize that I’m basically preaching to the choir here, but I needed to get this off my chest.

Ok.  I told myself that I wasn’t going to write this post.  I knew it was a can of worms and I swore not to even get near it.  I couldn’t stay away.
Today, we are going to talk about flying.  Or rather, the reaction to the possible removal of flying.

You see, I personally don’t care one whit about the whole ordeal.  Whether it’s in the game or not does not impact my playtime much, if at all.  I’m completely ambivalent about the whole thing.  But what I’m not ambivalent about, is the discussion it has generated.

The majority of WoW players do not hold the same view as me. In fact, many seem to feel very strongly about the issue.  And on both sides of the argument (and yes, it has become an argument) are guilty of overreacting to the issue.

I understand that flying is an important issue.  And I understand that you want to get your opinion out to the world.  I feel the same way about changes that effect me.  But there come a point where it’s no longer expressing an opinion.  Where it’s no longer offering constructive criticism.

I’m definitely not saying to stop talking about flying.  Feedback and input are what tell Blizzard what works and what doesn’t.  But please, for the sakes of others, don’t smear your opinion everywhere you go.  Not everything connects back to flying and not every opportunity should be taken to complain about it.  Submit feedback, discuss in appropriate threads and forums, but don’t bring it where it has no place.

And another thing, most people are set on their decision on the matter.  Your continued arguing and bickering over the matter won’t convince anyone that your side is right.  If you are going to discuss your stance, please try to do so in a constructive and calm manner.  More people will listen to you if you aren’t antagonistic.  Civility to others, and especially those who don’t share the same opinion.

The bickering and arguing, while tiring, is not my worst gripe with this whole matter.  It’s the threats to the creators of this game and those who you disagree with.  Once you feel the need to threaten the safety of another because of an opinion, this is where you become a problem.  While it might seem like a good way of venting your anger, that is a terrible and immature way to respond.  Children respond like that.  Not adults.  I know not everyone on the internet is an adult (I know I’m not) but you owe it to the other Net denizens to at least try to act like one.  Please don’t threaten violence.  You see the line? That is way to many steps over it.

Please remember that there are real people behind the avatars.  The pro-flyers are real people.  The no-flyers are real people.  And especially, the developers are real people.  So stop treating them like garbage and start treating them like human beings.  How would you feel if everywhere you went on the internet, you had people telling you you were an idiot.  That your choices were the worst thing ever.  That you were ruining peoples lives.  That you were a monster.  That they would harm you or your family.  It wears on a person and it makes them feel terrible.  I would never wish that on anyone, and I hope none of my readers are doing that to others.

I understand that flying is an important element of the game and that people feel very strongly about it.  But be constructive in your debate.  Be calm in your discussion.  And be humane in your conversation.  You are not the only one with a strong opinion and just because someone else doesn’t share it, that doesn’t make them wrong.

I know this is a lot to ask for, with the anonymity of the internet.  But I believe in the power of the community.  We are better than this and we can solve our differences peacefully.

“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”
-Mahatma Gandhi

The Apex of My Loathing

Apexis crystal hatredI don’t like apexis crystals.  In fact, it wouldn’t be untoured to say that I hate apexis crystals.  However I’m not one to rant without reason.  So let me tell you why I dislike those infernal little shards of the past.

First of all, Apexis crystals are really small.  Or they must be, because it takes so dang many of them to buy even the lowest tier of gear.  And because it takes so many crystals to buy things, there is a feeling that it is that much harder to obtain gear.  Back in the day of Justice Points and Valor Points, it required less of that currency to buy the comparatively same gear.  And while the rate of acquisition balances out, it certainly feels like it’s a lot harder to use currency to buy upgrades.

The second issue is that Apexis crystals are gathered differently than previous currencies.  With Justice and Valor Points, you could earn them from daily quests (which I’m glad is gone) or running dungeons/raids/scenarios.  But with Apexis crystals, you either do one daily for a large amount, you get lucky with work orders, you can do some garrison missions, or you grind elites for hours. I think this is the crux of the matter.  You can’t do instances to get crystals.

The way it used to work was you ran instances in hopes of getting new gear.  Then in case you didn’t what you needed, you went and used the points to buy gear that you couldn’t upgrade.  That way you always got something out of an instance, even if the bosses gave you no drops.  That also acted as an incentive to get those who might not need the gear from an instance to run the instance.  Meaning in LFR, there was always at least one overgeared person to pull you along.

But instead of grinding instances to get better gear, you now must grind mobs.  A grind is grind, right?  Wrong.  Grinding instances was an experience.  You could chat with other instances members (or fight with them).  You could help friends gear up by running them through.  You could stoke your ego and burn things down with your awesome gear.  But a mob grind? You mindlessly murder hundreds of mobs for hours.  Mob grinding is repetitive, dull, and anti- social.  Plus, tanks and healers especially can’t mob grind nearly as effectively as dps.  Instances, no matter how many times you do them, are more interesting than mob grinds.

As a healer (with a tank offspec) I can’t really grind mobs.  And besides that, I would way rather run an instance.  In effect, apexis crystals have destroyed alternative gearing methods for me.  And, they’ve taken away my incentive to run instances once I no longer need gear.

I know there are other methods of getting apexis crystals, but they are not as controllable.  The missions options change almost daily.  Work orders are completely random.  The daily is dependable, but you can only get your 800-1000 and you are done for the day.  I miss the flexibility of justice/valor points.

With the vast number required to buy a single piece and the time commitment and unenjoyable grinds attached, I definitely think that Apexis Crystals are a weaker aspect of this expansion. It’s completely possible that I’m doing this whole thing wrong, but they have been no use to my gearing up process.  I’ve bought maybe one or two pieces of gear.  Apexis Crystals just aren’t doing it for me.

Its the End of the World for my Pally

So, I know I promised to write up an article not about paladins.  I swear, the next one I write will be all about mages or something.  But for now, there are more pressing matters having to do with the edits to the 6.0 patch notes.

“Selfless Healer for Holy no longer causes Judgment to grant Holy Power. It also is only usable on Flash of Light, no longer on Holy Light or Holy Radiance.”

WHAT?? So I write up an article on how much I love a certain talent choice, and not even two weeks later, they decide to rework the talent completely!  Wow, never doing that again.
But in all seriousness, I really dislike this change.  Selfless Healer (which I covered extensively here) made me want to play my paladin again, as it made the game play faster and more engaging!  Later in the notes, they explain the change with basically ‘blah blah, reasons reasons’ (ok, they actually said it was because of the changes in WoD healing would have made it over powered).
What changes? Is it the reduction of instant casts for AoE?  Because in all reality, I would be fine losing the cast time reduction of those spells if I could keep the mana reduction and the other two.  The biggest part for me is the mana reduction, not the cast time reduction.  And, if they are upping mana regeneration come WoD, this will actually work in their favor!  I really don’t understand and I really don’t like these new changes.
And then the part where Judgement doesn’t generate Holy Power, what’s up with that?  All of the Holy Powered abilities were already given a cast time, so why should the generation of Holy Power be decreased?
The way the new talent would work would remove the instant payoff of casting Judgement (a charge of Holy Power) and would remove the two useful spells from the mix, Holy Radiance and Divine Light (which is being renamed Holy Light).  The casts of Judgement would essentially be wasted GCDs, as the only thing they do is improve the efficiency of the next Flash of Light (a spell, by the way, which I almost never use).
To me, this seems like a massive and pointless nerf to the Selfless Healer talent choice.  Unless I’m missing a piece of this or if things change, it looks like I’ll be using Eternal Flame as my talent choice.  Sigh…
Addendum: Anyone who got the song reference in the title gets a cookie.  Anyone who sang it in their head when they read it gets two.

It was the best of pugs, and the worst of pugs…

Best Dance Animation EVAH

I’ve been healing a lot recently (wow, shocker), mostly leveling dungeons on my new druid. And I’ve been noticing some very interesting things about both healing, and the attitude towards healers.
Leveling Dungeons are really hard
Once you finish with the faceroll of Wrath dungeons, healing gets really hard. The gear wall for Cataclysm (made doubly hard by how heirlooms level scale), left my druid with half the health of everyone else in the dungeon, and scrambling to mash the buttons fast enough to heal. Then, once you finish with Cataclysm, you get to Pandaria.
I had this foggy notion that Pandaria healing was easier than Cataclysm, and I wouldn’t have to be popping Tranquility every boss fight. Boy, was I wrong.
To start off, mana starts to matter. Instead of being able to simply frantically mash buttons to heal everyone, I have to mash buttons in a mana efficient way. Which is way harder than it would seem. A lot of times I let dps die in order to keep the tank up, because I simply don’t have the mana.
Although my heals can heal for a pretty good amount, I’m constantly using my healing cooldowns (such as Ironbark) to keep up with the damage. I had to research how to use my cooldowns, because I genuinely needed them. And the funny thing is, is that I’m using more cooldowns in leveling dungeons than I ever do in raids or max level dungeons.
I truly believe that leveling dungeons are harder than max level healing. I have to be way more on my toes and use way more abilities to keep everyone up. This may be a factor of how druid healing operates, but I don’t think that is the case. I have to be on top of every decurse, every damage spike, every HoT, or I cause a wipe.
But, by leveling dungeons being so hard, I am getting a way better grasp on my druid and how to play it than I got on my paladin (who leveled tanking). I know what my cooldowns are and when to use them. I know how things interacts, and what heals I should do in what order. And I know who is takes higher priority when there’s a lot of damage. Leveling dungeons are hard, but instructive.
Many players are rude/don’t care
Now, this may just be my experiences, but the majority of the groups I’ve been in are, for lack of a better word, crappy. Melee standing in the badness, ranged not stacking for heals, tanks not waiting for me to get mana. It hasn’t been fun.
On top of that, people are more impatient. I was in a group where the tank pulled a boss while I was mana-ing up. I was locked out, and after a bit, they all wiped. I patiently explained to them that I was getting mana, and that I was sorry I didn’t make it inside in time. But in response, one of the dps raged at me, blaming me for taking “10 hours to walk up stairs”. Then, after that, s/he passive aggressively asked before every pull if I was ready, and blamed me every time they dropped below 50% health. While that was definitely the worst incident, many runs have been similar.
It seems that players just don’t care anymore. We are at this stage in the expansion where most everyone is old pros at this content. They all have their overgeared 90s, along with haughty attitudes. No one gets out of the bad because it “doesn’t matter”. No one is friendly to each other because we all just want to get this last alt up to 90.
But what we have to remember, is when we are in leveling dungeons, we typically aren’t playing our overgeared 90s. We are playing our undergeared 85+, who do take significant damage from the bad stuff on the floor. And by ignoring this, you are making your friendly neighborhood healer’s job that much harder.
It’s not that hard to get out of the bad, and say hello when you zone in, and bye or ty when you zone out. People need to remember that it still does matter, even though you’ve done it a million times before. And for goodness sakes, wait for you healers to get mana!!
Leveling brings out the worst, and best, of people
I have been in slow groups, fast group, silent groups, and talkative groups. I have been in groups where the tank can’t keep aggro for anything and where dps are more aggressive pullers than the tanks. But I have also been in fantastic groups where the tank does a fantastic job keeping aggro, has a good pace, and then manages to cast Inneravate on their healer when it comes off cooldown (seriously, any tank or dps who does that deserves a gold medal). Everyone reacts differently to the tedium of leveling.
But when you are stuck in that repetitiveness, remember that everyone else in the group is too. We all want to do the same thing, level up, gear up, or just experience the content. So how hard can it be for everyone to just treat others how they themselves wish to be treated? We are all in the same boat; try not to tip it over for everyone.


The Horror of Healing Changes

Druid Healing

With all the WoD news coming, some of the most emotionally impacting for us here at Growing Up In Azeroth would have to be the healing changes (at least for Fussypants; she stomped angrily around the house for an hour after reading them).  We’ve waited for a bit to collect out thoughts (and to cool off), and now are ready to talk about the proposed changes.
Fussypants: Before we begin, I just want to point out that I have played a resto druid, a holy priest, and a holy paladin pretty extensively, so I’m coming from the point of view of a healer.  My dad, on the other hand, has only dabbled in healing, and is providing the rarely played resto shaman position.  Let’s get started!

“Ideally, we want players to spend some time below full health without having healers feel like the players they’re responsible for are in danger of dying at any moment. We also think that healer gameplay would be more varied, interesting, and skillful if your allies spent more time between 0% and 100%, rather than just getting damaged quickly to low health, forcing the healer to then scramble to get them back to 100% as quickly as possible.”
“To that end, we’re buffing heals less than we’re increasing creature damage. Heals will be deliberately less potent compared to health pools than before the item squish. Additionally, as gear improves, the scaling rates of health and healing will now be very similar, so the relative power of any given healing spell shouldn’t climb so much over the course of this expansion.”

Fussypants: Ok, well I agree with the idea that people should not always be at 100% health.  However, I have a few qualms with this.  First, many players, not knowing any better, may complain and yell at the healers for not healing them all the way when this goes live.  The abrupt change between always being at 100% to sometimes being at 100% is going to be hard to go through.  I know that I have mindset that I need to heal people 100% whenever I can, so it will be hard to get over.  The smaller heals too, with be annoying at first.  But, this part doesn’t bother me much, and I can totally see why Blizzard wants to do this.

Yotaan:  I think the players will switch over quickly in most settings.  Those in randoms, however, will likely gripe.  I think the healers may overextend themselves a bit in the early dungeons as they adjust too.  They go OOM trying to top everyone off when it’s not necessary.  Still, not a big deal in my book.

“We also took a look at healing spells that were passive or auto-targeted (so-called “smart” heals).
We want healers to care about who they’re targeting and which heals they’re using, because that makes healer gameplay more interactive and fun. To that end, we’re reducing the healing of many passive and auto-targeted heals, and making smart heals a little less smart. Smart heals will now randomly pick any injured target within range instead of always picking the most injured target. “

Shaman Healing
Fussypants: Ok, I can agree with this.  Effectively, this forces a healer to be more aware of who’s receiving the heal, instead of endlessly spamming their smart AoEs heals.  I like this .

Yotaan:  Fussy, I don’t like this.  The little I have healed has been resto shaman, and many of our heals are smart AoE heals.  The resto shaman mastery buffs the healing done to more damaged players, and by making smart heals less smart, shaman will be doing less healing.  Chain heal is iconic to the class and this will have a big impact on play style and shaman healing effectiveness.  Now, I spot or off heal a bit when I playing elemental too, but I only use the healing totems.  Healing Tide will be greatly affected and may not be as helpful in those clutch situations.

“Another of our goals for healing in this expansion is to strike a better balance between single-target and multi-target healing spells. We’ve taken a close look at the mana efficiency of our multi-target heals, and in many cases, we’re reducing their efficiency, usually by reducing the amount they heal. Sometimes, but more rarely, raising their mana cost was a better decision. We want players to use multi-target heals, but they should only be better than their single-target equivalents when they heal more than two players without any overhealing. This way, players will face an interesting choice between whether to use a single-target heal or a multi-target heal based on the situation.”

Priest Healing
Fussypants: Yes.  I approve.  They are making it inefficient to spam AoE heals.  On my paladin, I always disliked how spamming Holy Radiance would get me the best heals.  Also, other classes, like holy priests, could do very well because they had many AoE heals.  This is going to make healing much more interesting!

Yotaan:  Aaaahhh!  Again!  My poor resto off-spec…

“Finally, we’re removing the low-throughput, low-mana-cost heals like Nourish, Holy Light, Heal, and Healing Wave, because we think that while they do add complexity, they don’t truly add depth to healing gameplay. “

Fussypants: No. No. No, no, no. I really hate this idea.  I really do.  Basically, this turns into a lot of pointless standing around.  Instead of casting Holy Light to top someone off in a low mana cost way, I will now have to use a higher mana cost spell to do the same thing, or just stand there until they are lower heal again.  When I play, I love action, and movement, and spell casting.  This effectively makes it so that, instead of casting a low mana heal, I will instead be watching my mana, or just standing there.  I love doing  something, and to me, standing waiting for mana is not compelling game play.  At all. Ick.

Yotaan:  I totally think this is fine.   I don’t use that heal very much, and I know that they have to get rid of something.

“Over time, healers have gained a bigger and bigger arsenal of heals that they can cast while on the move, which removes the inherent cost that movement is intended to have for them, while also limiting players’ ability to counter healing in PvP. This left silences and crowd control as the only ways to actually limit an enemy player’s healing output. We’re still preserving the option to instantly heal, but are reducing the number of instant-cast healing abilities overall. Here are some examples:
Wild Growth (Restoration) now has a 1.5-second cast time.
Uplift (Mistweaver) now has a 1.5-second cast time.
Eternal Flame and Word of Glory now each have a 1.5-second cast time when specced Holy.
Light of Dawn now has a 1.5-second cast time.
Cascade, Divine Star, and Halo now each have a 1.5-second cast time when specced Holy or Discipline, while remaining instant cast for Shadow.
Prayer of Mending now has a 1.5-second cast time.”

Light of Dawn
Fussypants: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! ARGGG, THIS IS SOO DUMB!!!!!!!! So, because healing on the move was affecting PvP, they are changing it for PvE too??? For my paladin, this will bring me down to one instant cast, that is on a 8 second cooldown!  How am I supposed to heal the group if I’m running from the bad?  Apparently, not with Light of Dawn anymore!! And on my druid, I now will have to cast Wild Growth? Isn’t that just creating another AoE heal that won’t be mana effective anymore? Isn’t that basically removing it from use on cooldown?  And for priest, casting Prayer of Mending?? What?????????

I incredibly strongly disagree with these changes.  Many of the spell that they have added cast times weren’t that uber powerful before.  It’s not like Tranquility was on the move or something!  And, from the little PvP I’ve done, healing on the move isn’t that huge of a problem (correct me if I’m wrong).  The cast times should be for PvP only!
/steams in corner

Yotaan:  My rest shaman is smugly looking at you Fussy.  Welcome to the Club.  /violin

Fussypants: Overall, I really dislike these changes.  It sounds like Blizzard want to make healing harder, by making it way less fun to play.  I don’t want to stand still instead of healing, to have to cast Light of Dawn (seriously, that is my favorite spell to jump around and cast).  I’m really hoping that something is changed, because I cannot see myself enjoying things if this is how healing will be.
However, I realized much will be changed when WoD finally comes out.  I will try to remain cautiously optimistic about healing in WoD.

Yotaan:  It’s gonna be fine and, more importantly, it will be fun!

You are not your #%$@ DPS

See that up there? It ain't that important.

See that up there? It ain’t that important.

This has been bothering me for a while now- people judge on your deeps/heals, and not on your personality.  This has always bugged me, but not until recently have I really been bothered by it.
The event that compacted the issue happened in a flex raid my guild was running.  We, and some random others, were running the first wing and generally having a good time of it.  Everyone was getting along, and there were many laughs to be had.
Important things to note however, were this.  I was consistently the top DPS (this isn’t bragging (much :P) as it is important to the story) and my guild mates were generally in the middle of the pack.
We got to Norushen, and had our first wipe.  I started to have extremely bad lag issues (3334 latency, woot!), so I had to restart WoW.  Alright, no skin off our backs, we dusted off and tried again.  And promptly wiped again.  I had died halfway through, so I now was trying to restart my computer to fix the issue.  This means I left the voice comm our guild was using too.
When my computer finally restarted, it was slow.  I got back on the voice comm, and was shocked to hear what had happened.  Apparently, the random others had turned against a few members of my guild, citing low dps as a reason to kick them.  One member had gotten kicked, but another in our guild had invited them back to the raid.  This was our flex raid after all.
Then, the randoms started slinging insults at various members of our guild.  The person was kicked again, and this time, our entire group left the randoms.  I was shocked at how quickly that escalated, and fully expected to log into WoW, having been kicked from the group.
But I wasn’t.
It turns out, that because of my high dps, the randoms had waited 15 minutes for me to come back online.  I was astounded by their patience, and then immediately upset.  Why couldn’t they have been that patient with my guildies?
And this is the issue.  People value your DPS over your attitude, or willingness to learn.  My guildies were friendly and nice (until they were attacked), but because they didn’t have the dps, they were given no patience.  I was mostly silent, but had relatively high dps, so they waited a FULL FIFTEEN MINUTES for me to get back.  Fifteen minutes!  And yet they couldn’t do it for my guildies!
It angers me, the things that take priority in peoples minds.  Yes dps is important, but just as much so as a positive attitude and a willingness to learn.  People need to be WAY more patient with lesser geared people, especially if those people are putting their all.
I mean, which would you rather have?  The sullen sour shaman who pulls 20% of the deeps, all while putting down the rest of the raid, or the helpful happy hunter, who many not have the best dps, but is doing the very best he can while being polite to others?
I know that if I hadn’t been a high dps, I would have been kicked too.  No one would have given me tips on how to improve, I would have just been shunted.  Because I would have been taking up their precious, precious time (/heavy sarcasm).
Patience is a virtue that I think everyone can work on.

Last Riddle:

If only once,
someone stepped up
and gave the man his pay.
He’ll gladly pay you Tuesday,
for a hamburger today.

When you figure out this one, email me the answer to the riddle AND THE TITLES OF THE OTHER POSTS IN THE ORDER WHICH YOU HIT THEM at .  Good luck!

Death to Spirit

WoWScrnShot_121113_210844I will be the first to admit it.  I do not like spirit.  Yes, I am well aware that it is one of the only stats that work as flexibly as intended, but I still don’t like it.

Spirit, in my mind, is a crutch stat.  Healers can stack spirit to the point where they don’t need to manage their mana.  With the excessive amount of spirit that reforging can give you, healers many times no longer have the valuable skill of mana conservation.  They don’t need to.  And that is what I disagree with.

In my perfect WoW world, spirit would not have such a big effect on mana regen.  Healers would start with more spirit regeneration when they hit max before gearing up.  This would help with two things.

The first is that it would make healing at lower gear levels much easier to do, without simplifying the game.  I remember, when I first hit max on my holy paladin, I was constantly running out of mana.  Even using my Divine Plea, I went oom every pull.  No mana on top of my already weak heals made healing very stressful and very hard. By making the mana regen better, under-geared healers will be able to heal more often (even though our heals will still be weaker).

The second reason is the mana managing skills of a healer will matter more for longer.  Instead of being able to stack spirit into oblivion, healers will actually have to watch their mana.

I am not saying, that I want to dumb down healing.  In fact, my opinion is that spirit does that.  With a less influential sprirt, healing may become more dificult.  Having to manage mana is not something every healer can do, but I think every healer should know how to.

Another complaint I’ve heard with my argument is that downgrading spirit is forcing healers to heal one way.  While that is a valid point, I don’t necessarily think that is true.  Yes, downgrading spirit would essentially remove one way of gearing a healer, there are many other ways.  Healers can gear for faster heals, or bigger heals, or mastery heals.  Gearing for spirit is the ‘safe’ way, where you can heal with abandon and not have to worry much about mana.

As I understand it, Warlords of Draenor is going to drastically change spirit and healing in general.  With WoD, it was announced that reforging was going to be removed.  The stats on your gear cannot be changed in any way.

This is a very good solution to the spirit problem.  Healers will still be able to find gear with spirit and stack that, but it will be much harder to do so.  Healing will go back to being more mana managing instead of spirit stacking.  However, healers will still be able to stack if they choose.  The choice will go from mandatory (as it is now) to optional.

To sum up, I don’t like spirit.  I think today, healers rely too much on it, which makes lower gear healing very hard and higher gear healing almost too easy.  I think better gear should bring bigger or faster heals, not the ability to ignore your mana.

This post was inspired by an article on WoW Insider.