Tag Archives: Games

Cataclysm Plans: The Hard Push

6 Dec

We’re all thinking the same thing here.  We’re all refreshing countdown timers and counting the minutes.  In a matter of moments we’ll be leveling again.  For a number of us, this is the first serious leveling we’ve done in almost two years.


My ambition is to take a group of 277 ilvl geared raiders and lead them through chained dungeons.  This might not be the fastest XP / hour method, but its a surefire way to replace epics with blues and see firsthand the layout of the new heroics we’ll be running to get raid ready.  I’d also trust my team over myself any day.  We’re stronger as a group.  Aside from this, there are a few other motivating factors for this method:

  • We’re on a PvP server, and questing can be tricky
  • Getting ahead of the main leveling teams using instanced content could let us quest the last level in an underpopulated Twilight Highlands
  • Completing all the quests at a leisurely pace once we hit 85 let’s us enjoy them more and provides a windfall of gold (quests at max level reward gold in place of XP)
  • We can all keep each other talking and awake.

I’ll let everyone know how it works once I have some post-Cata down time.  I hope to report successes.

PvP Heroes!

I’d like to hit arena on launch week (launch of arena, not Cata launch.  This will be the following Tuesday).  These means a decent mix of honor gear and purchasable crafted items.  Blasting a solid team through to high ratings by killing players in greens is the plan.  At the very least I’ll learn something about how everything has changed in the new “mana matters” style of play.  On the table right now are Shatterplay, RPS, and Afflic/rDruid/sPriest.  Part of this is going to depend on the players willing to push as hard as I am for this.

I will admit I need to develop skills.  I’m not perfect, but i’m a lot stronger than last year.  I’ve done my homework.  If it takes 10000 hours to become an expert, I’m starting to count them down.

Guild Achievements

We have a core of players interested in pushing server first achievements.  This is exciting, but for the rest of the guild I’ve set a more tentative goal of 25 player raid readiness by January 11th.  Our entire officer team is on board with this, which is impressive given that many have children/classes/families/jobs, etc.

We also plan to implement guild achievement bounties.  This will look like a group (or single) player being rewarded for completing a task that either awards an achievement for the guild or takes us closer to one.  We should be able to afford to give players and extra incentive, especially after we unlock Cash Flow (guild level four).  I still have no clear idea how fast a guild levels.

A big item on this list for me is the new fish feast.  Unlocking the recipe currently requires the guild to fish up 10000 pools (not fish, pools).  I’m not certain on the best way to motivate this, but broken into 20 players fishing up 500 pools each makes this feel a lot more manageable.

Time will tell.  How’s everyone else’s push?

The Best of (Dark) Intentions

17 Nov

Dark Intent.  This is an ability you don’t care about for three reasons.

First, it’s a warlock ability.  As this is a priest blog, you usually come here for discussion of priest abilities (with a few notable exceptions).  Today is not a day I plan to consume theorycrafting anything other than my main character, so let’s get that out-of-the-way first.

Second, it does not exist in-game yet.  This is a beta ability, first available to warlocks at level 83.  As a beta ability it is subject to change.  We will be exploring the current (and so far stable) iteration of the spell.

Third, you might have already written this ability off as a Focus Magic clone, tradable between warlocks and irrelevant to your shadowy path of destruction.  Not so.

You care about this ability because despite being cast by warlocks, these dark intentions are for us. In terms that a warlock can understand, I’m going to give you the ammunition you’ll need to fight off all competitors and receive this buff.

How Does it Work?

Dark Intent is a 30 minute buff a warlock will cast on another player.  It does two things.  First, it gives both players a flat 3% haste.  This effect stacks multiple times with additional buffs.  Second, every time your linked friend crits with a periodic ability, you receive a flat 3% increase to periodic damage and healing.  This stacks up to 3 times.  Likewise, if you crit with any periodic ability, the warlock receives this stacking buff.  This effect does not stack with multiple Dark Intents, so it is unwise for warlocks to trade this buff.

Who is the Warlock going to Use this Ability on?

A smart warlock thinks about three things:

  • How can I increase my personal DPS?
  • How can I increase the overall power of the raid?
  • Can somebody make me a sandwich?

In terms of personal DPS, he’s wise to trade with a class that grants maximum uptime on the +% damage part of the buff.  This requires a high number of constant critical periodic effects.  Critical hit chance effects this, but it is not a complete picture.  Likewise I’ve seen analysis that looks at the number of periodic effects one class has active versus another class.  This is also an inaccurate method of assessment.

The metric for puzzling out uptime on the +% damage buff is periodic critical strikes per second. While harder to measure than flat crit rate, only a class with more than one periodic critical every 7 seconds is going to keep maximized uptime on Dark Intent.  Here shadow reigns king.

The second aspect of your warlock’s little “who should I give this too” puzzle is raid power.  The buff should be handed out to the class that makes the best use of it.  This means a class that appreciates haste and makes use (primarily) of Over-time effects such as Hots or Dots.  In the category or non-warlock damage classes, shadow priests are the only class with three DoTs and a periodic effect as a spam-able nuke.  This puts us high up enough on the list to not be completely ignored.

In Conclusion: Why Us?

With the highest number of periodic effects of any class–and an unrivaled rate of periodic critical strikes per second–shadow priests are a perfect choice for raid success and the personal DPS of your warlock friend.

If your warlock is a mouth-breathing lowlife who looks like the picture below in real life, consider forgoing all advice and just making him a sandwich.  In my professional experience, sandwiches buy you a lot of love.