Friday, July 27, 2012

Mists of Pandaria Release Date

Tuesday, September 25, 2012. That is all.

HoT/DoT Breakpoints and Haste Mechanics

Picture unrelated. Just pretend she's
a math angel, here to bring you math.
Time for some meaty math! With a new expansion looming, it's hard to write any theorycraft posts that will be of use to people by the time the expansion actually launches. So, I'm writing about something a little bit more abstract: haste breakpoints. What are they, how can we calculate them, and do they matter? I'll answer all of that in this post.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Pre-Expansion Lull - Levelling as Holy

Like many players, I've been playing less in the last couple weeks than I usually do. The guild is done progressing (for real this time; we went back and hit H Rag and Sinestra, the two we still didn't have,) even though we're still farming Dragon Soul, it doesn't even fill a single raid night, and interest in alt runs is down. Lots of people in my guild have been leveling alts, doing PvP, and preparing for Mists.

I expect that I'll likely level primarily as a healer in Mists; last time around, dungeons were much faster XP than questing, at least until 83 or so, when it became more even. On that note, I rolled a second priest, so I could learn Holy properly. Long-time readers - or people who just went digging in the archives - may already know that I used to play Holy back in the first half of Wrath of the Lich King. Well, I was never very good at it to begin with, and it has changed a lot with the addition of Chakra and Holy Words.

One thing I'm noticing about the Holy talents, is that they're not really made with leveling in mind. If they were, they would either be useful for solo questing (damage) or 5man dungeons (tank heals/mana). As is, some of the "strongest" talents are -0.5 seconds to Renew GCD, (yes, because I really need to blanket a raid with Renew,) Desperate Prayer (right, I need a personal cooldown when nothing hits me ever), +30% Spirit Regen in combat, (there's barely any spirit gear to be had,) and Lightwell, (no one uses it.)

On the other hand, I'm really digging having an interrupt. Holy Word: Chastise may have a long cooldown, a mana cost, and not actually be an interrupt, but in a world where most specs don't have anything that can interrupt at all, and lots of foes burn their spell cooldowns at the start of the cast time instead of the end, it's actually quite useful. It's miles ahead of having precisely nothing to work with as Shadow. I'm almost dreading hitting level 51 and getting Revelations, because it will mean I lose access to Chastise.

Lightwell is busy living up to its reputation. It heals a potential 17k total for a paltry amount of mana, exceedingly rapidly: about 300 HPS per target. To compare, on an intense multi-pack fight, I can heal about 40k with a full mana bar and a mana potion, at about 400 HPS. So on the one hand, it's unbridled awesome. That would be like a Disc priest having a shield that absorbs 1.5M at level 85. On the other hand, no one ever uses it. I typically only use it when I'm worried I might not be able to heal the fight otherwise, and people would deny me 30% of my healing longevity? Rage. I could use that Glyph of Lightspring from the Mists beta right about now. Also, asking people to use it is completely fruitless. Oddly, I can explain fight mechanics and expect people to obey ("If you stand close to him, he can't charge you.") but clicking on a glow-y bowl is too hard for everyone ("OOM! Use the Lightwell or die.")

It's kinda strange, Renew actually being useful. I'm used to it being horribly wimpy, and a huge waste of mana. As Holy, it's par with GHeal for mana efficiency and HpET. Both are only slightly behind Heal in terms of mana efficiency, but have dramatically higher HpET. Once I get Chakra (and 12.5% haste) it will jump up even more. You'd think that a previously worthless spell becoming a staple would take some getting used to, but I've actually already made the switch, and it wasn't very hard.

All-in-all, it's not very different from Disc (yet.) Instead of micromanaging Rapture all the time, you micromanage Renew on the tank all the time. Once I get Chakra and Revelations, it should morph into something a bit less familiar.