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Archive for August, 2008

I’m sure you’ve already seen the post that will change raiding entirely (tl;dr version: most buffs/debuffs will be able to be provided by multiple classes, will be raid wide, and won’t stack with other versions of that buff/debuff).

Some people are up in arms about the death of unique classes, while others are welcoming the changes with open arms.

I’m in the middle.

I’m by no means a die hard theorycrafter, but I have been following the beta builds to see what’s coming up for shadow priests. Prior to this post, I was ready to build up my healing set and respec to Holy when Wrath hit (blasphemy!). Shadow priests just weren’t going to be viable in raids.

Now, we’re not quite viable yet, but there’s HOPE!

Why shadowpriests don’t currently wtfpwn damage meters:

  • Vampiric Touch – If we did as much dps as a lock or a mage, our party would never run out of mana
  • Misery – who needs increased shadow priest damage when all your casters can do 5% more?
  • Shadow Weaving – We don’t do more dps – thanks to us, the locks do!

And I’m okay with that. Shadow priests do less dps because we bring MASSIVE utility. Check.

The Utility Nerf

Let’s look at what our friendly neighborhood Blizz rep posted. Here are the bits I’m interested in:

In addition to this change, we also needed to address the “mana battery” roles in a raid. The mana regeneration effect they grant is no longer limited to their own party, and it no longer depends on the amount of damage they deal. Each time they trigger the mana regeneration effect, 10 people in their raid group will receive a buff which causes them to regenerate 0.5% of their maximum mana each second. This buff, Replenishment, will be given preferentially to raid members with the lowest mana, but will re-evaluate which raid members receive it each time it is fired. Replenishment is provided by Shadow Priests, Survival Hunters, and Retribution Paladins.

And the spell changes:

Misery: Causes spells cast at the target to have +3% spell hit.
Shadow Weaving: Buffs only self.
Vampiric Touch: Grants Replenishment mana regeneration buff to up to 10 raid members on dealing damage.

Misery

Seriously? Good for shadow priests, but it doesn’t bring much raid utility. If you’re raiding with me under the hit cap, I’ll hurt you.

Shadow Weaving

Bye bye, shadow priest/warlock synergy! Oh, and did I mention that Improved Shadow Bolt now only affects the warlock? No more ISB love for me ūüė¶

Vampiric Touch

How I love thee, let me count the ways! Now, shadow priests won’t be the only mana batteries. Survival Hunters and Ret Pallies will be joining us on the caster “wtb” list. But our mana regen will affect ten people with the lowest mana. And here’s the important part – mana return is not tied to our damage.

There’s a lot of theorycrafting going on over at shadowpriest.com, mostly about how exactly the Replenishment buff will work. There’s a lot of unanswered questions – does it stack with the other mana batteries? What’s the duration? How is it reapplied? Are Shadow Priests, Ret Pallies, and Survival Hunters going to be equal in the mana battery capabilities?

Why It (Could Be) a Good Thing

We’ve lost a chunk of our utility. And the general balancing of classes is based off damage + utility, right? So it follows that (/hope) shadow priest damage will be addressed. We’re no longer tied to low damage because we’d give back too much mana, or because we give so much increased spell damage to our locks and other casters. Now shadow priest spells can be adjusted and we can scale properly.

And forget about shadow priests – spreading the buffs and debuffs around is just plain good for the game.

How many times have raid leaders had to take along the noob shadow priest (>.>) because they needed the mana return? How many other raiders have had to sit on the sidelines because they can’t compete for a raid spot against a class who brings a specific buff needed for an encounter?

Oh, I know the hardcore guilds will still min/max, and they’ll find the least number of hybrids needed to cover the buffs and debuffs, and stack the rest of the raid with pure dps.

But for the rest of the WoW raiders? Ya know, 75% of the community? (did you know 82% of statistics are made up on the spot?) This is a good thing. Raid leaders can spend their time learning the new exciting encounters instead of figuring out exactly which class/spec you need, and exactly how to build the perfect group synergies. When Wrath hits, and guilds can progress through the entire game running only 10 man raids, the ability to pick up a buff or debuff from multiple classes will a blessing.

This opens the door to a whole new raiding world. And I, for one, am looking forward to it.

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My little Isisxotic isn’t so little anymore.

I started playing WoW (again) last fall.¬† I had picked it up again in a fit of boredom.¬† I had an toon or two languishing in the 20-25 range, and had even wrangled my boyfriend into playing, but I dreaded hitting the 30 slump.¬† In October, at an alumni reunion, I was drinking my beer and attempting to ignore the football game when I overheard a college buddy say “So, yeah, we went into SSC yesterday and my mage was rockin'”

Woah woah woah…

I turned to him and said “Wait a second… WoWer?”

He looked at me in disbelief, and we both looked around furtively before confessing to our mutual addiction.

Two days later, I rerolled on his server with my boy.¬† Our ‘lock / priest duo leveled insanely fast, and my mage buddy introduced us to a great group of people before abandoning WoW for law school (silly boy and his “priorities”).¬† When we hit 70, we jumped into the guild that had been waiting for us headfirst.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

And you know what I’ve discovered since then?¬† I love raiding.

When I first hit Karazhan in my newly crafted gear, I was just awed by how well these people worked together.  We cleared the entire instance in a few short hours, and I was hooked.

I love coming together with 24 other people to do a job.¬† Forget the loot – nice bonus, but it’s not why I raid (no, seriously –¬† I’m a shadowpriest.¬† I barely saw a piece of loot I could use until we hit t6 content).¬† That rush you get when the raid worked together, and all the sudden there’s a Pit Lord hitting the ground?¬† That’s why I raid.

We’re currently 4/5 in Mount Hyjal and 3/9 in Black Temple.

Hey, Reliquary of Souls?¬† You’re next.

Reliquary of Souls - courtesy WoWWiki

Reliquary of Souls - courtesy WoWWiki

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