Yesterday, my guild did a try at Heroic Highmaul. I thought I’d share some of my initial impressions of the raid and the new raid design.
To start off I want to give you some background on our guild. We were originally a 10-man guild who had become really tight at the end of MoP. When we realised that Mythic raiding was going to be set at 20 players, we knew we had to do some recruiting. And so we did. At the start it was a slow progress, but it started to snowball as we got more players. People wanted their friends to join and then people who heard about us wanted to join. Lo and behold, now were up at roughly 35 raiders.
We hadn’t expected it, but when the raid started we had to bench some people since 30 players is maximum for Normal/Heroic raiding. There was a lot of new people we hadn’t really seen in action, and a lot of old-timers who had been gone a long time. To be honest, we had no idea what to expect from the night.
I saw on MMO Champion a chart over class distribution in Proving Grounds. If you haven’t seen it, this is how it looks for healers:
This is the class distribution over Proving Grounds Endless, “Any Endless Wave”; “10+ Endless Wave” and “20+ Endless Wave”. I just thought it fun to share the statistics, seeming how the percentage over Mistweavers is very low. It could indicate that Endless is really hard for Mistweavers and if you have done it, you’re really good!
The percentages are for 20+ waves:
So if a Druid says that he or she has done Endless, it is just wholly unimpressive. Try it as a Mistweaver :P
In this post I’ll try to explain the fine details of the Mistweaver level 100 talents, and hopefully give you a better insight on what talents to choose in different situations. I’ll start with Breath of the Serpent and Pool of Mists and save Chi Explosion till last, since the complexity of that spell require a longer exposition. At the end of the post I will summarize the pros and cons of each ability.
Breath of the Serpent
Breath of the Serpent is 1.5 minute cooldown that lets your statue breath a 20 yard cone of healing mists towards you. This is a powerful AoE healing cooldown which has no AoE cap. The more targets it hits, the greater the healing becomes.
The healing is in the form of a Heal over Time spell; a certain amount of healing ticks every second for 20 seconds. This spell is affected by haste and can therefore get more ticks. There are originally 10 ticks, of which the total healing of those tick would heal roughly half of what Enveloping Mist total ticks would heal, except on an unlimited number of targets.
The drawbacks of the spell is that it’s awkward to use. The party or raid must be tightly stack and you and your statue must be perfectly placed to use it efficiently. If the group moves within the 20 seconds, it’s possible to track them with the breath by following them, but it’s not possible to reposition the statue during the breath’s duration. Everyone who stand in the breath gets a buff however, so you can see which people are standing correctly and which are not (if you use Healbot you have to manually select the buff to show).
There’s been some radio silence from my part the last week, so I thought I’d do a quick update on what I’m busying myself with.
I’ve been writing on the encounter’s guide for Mistweavers, but mostly doing the actual heroic dungeons to get to know them better. It’s insane how much time it takes just to do a few dungeons. But I’ve learnt the general tactics on all of them and now I just try to figure out the best way to do them as a Mistweaver. There’s a lot of different ways you can do the encounters since we’re basically two specs in one. I have three different builds; single-target oriented build, AoE build and Crane stance build. I’m going to update my “Build” section to reflect these. For now I’m just learning the fine details of the spec as I go.
After reaching the 610 ilvl benchmark, the heroic dungeons finally open up. From a healer perspective, these are very challenging. In my opinion it’s a very fun sort of challenge, the kind that test your abilities to the limits. I haven’t gotten around to trying all the dungeons, but those I’ve tried have been difficult to heal, and fun! The tanking role seems the easiest and the DPS role have had to relearn to use their CCs and interrupts more, an ability that had become obsolete in endgame MoP. But I’ve never used Paralysis as much as I do now.
The last boss in the dungeons seems to be the hardest ones (usually). We’ve actually had to stop several times, and think out a sound strategy to manage the boss mechanics. I’ve scouted the internet after some good dungeon guides, and I found Dayani’s on Wowhead (you can check them out here). But I’ve felt that I always needed something a little more specific to Mistweaver healing in heroic, so for the future I’ll be working on some encounter guides. The goal is that they cover everything you need to think of when healing as a Mistweaver, both in Serpent stance and Crane stance. It will take a while to write them though, so be patient.
I’ve also experienced that some bosses are just simpler to do completely in Crane stance. Like Roltall in Bloodmaul Slag Mines. As a melee it is much easier to counter the mechanics, but the damage pattern also put higher demands on Crane stance healing. Because of this I’ve added an “Advanced Crane stance healing” section to the Strategy guide, where I explain different ways to maximise your healing in Crane stance. Take a look!
The launch of Warlords of Draenor has been a rollercoaster ride of joy and frustration. The content is magnificent, beautiful and fun, but also bugged and burdened with lag. I managed to finally get my Mistweaver up to a level 100 about a day ago. It took many hours, of which half of the time I battled with D/C, freeze spikes with NPCs and characters not loading. But let me tell the tale of how the journey went.
Through the Portal – I cried for so many different reasons
Or you know, cried, laughed, and internally howled in frustration. It started with all of us logged in right before midnight. The lag had already started and everyone was crowding in Blasted Lands. I had parked myself in Deadwind Pass just to get away from the worst of it, even though that didn’t help much. When the clock struck midnight the whole server stood upon Khadgar, not letting anyone click on him to continue the quest chain. After some shuffling and shouting, I finally entered the Dark Portal.
The experience of the opening event was even cooler than in the Beta, partly because there were so many people there, and partly because there were actually NPCs there, instead of cardboard cut-outs (haha, Blizzard). It took forever to process through, the lag was vicious. I had a whole party who did it (we were four people LANing), but we all got in at different times. We met up later when we got to Shadowmoon Valley. If anyone was there at the time of the launch, you’ll probably remember the impossible raven quest when there was a complete frenzy to tag the few spawning mobs. Oh yeah, and you had to spam the banners until your fingers started bleeding. But after that, the actual levelling started.
In the wake of WoD levelling it might be prudent to talk a little about how you’re going to gear your Mistweaver. If you have done some studying you already know the stat priority for Mistweavers;
Multistrike (66 rating for each %)
Crit (110 rating for each %)
Versatility (130 rating for each %)
Haste (100 rating for each %)
Mastery (115 rating for each %)
In this post I will do a little more in-depth discussion of why the priorities look like they do. I will explain exactly how the stats work and what they do for your healer.
I have discussed a little about the importance of spirit before. In short, spirit is essential in progression, but while levelling Mistweavers can get away with a little less than other healers since we can partly depend on Mana tea. But in progression you want spirit on every piece that is available. At level 100 our mana regen is lacking and the only cure is to put some spirit on it.
I like details. Maybe to a point where it’s not so healthy. Or at least sane. But being slightly uhm, passionately thorough about a subject can sometimes be very productive. So I’ve been conducting some experiments lately regarding our Jade statue. I thought I’d share some of my findings.
We know that the Jade Serpent Statue has two abilities: Eminence and Serpent’s Accord. Eminence is a copy of our own Crane stance passive ability, which convert 50% of all damage the Mistweaver does into healing. The healing befalls an injured ally within 20 yards. Serpent’s Accord is a copy of our Soothing Mist, which heals an injured ally within 40 yards. Unlike Soothing Mist though, Serpent’s Accord changes target during the channel, depending who needs the healing most.
But there are a few things that are not mentioned in the tooltip. By testing and experimenting (with an innocent test subject), I’ve discovered a few more attributes to the statue. Firstly, the range of the statue’s abilities is based upon the statue’s placement, not the Mistweaver. To simplify: the Mistweaver’s Eminence and Soothing Mist can only reach 20 respectively 40 yards away from the Mistweaver’s position. The statue’s ability is independent of where the Mistweaver stands, its abilities are solely measured from the statue’s position.
For today’s schedule we saw Method and Midwinter race each other to finish 4 of the bosses in Highmaul WoD raid fastest. We also saw a panel about the WoD cinematics and how the work process looked like, and later a panel with general Q&A.
The raid was definitely the most interesting part. I watched this purely from a healing perspective and my first impression was that it looked a lot of fun. The content seemed challenging but not overly punishing. As promised, we didn’t see the “health bar whiplash” effect as in MoP. The damage pattern looked more like the raid had a bouts of ticking damage, so it was a slower progress down to the like 30-50% health spectrum. The healing process to full health was much slower and it was clear that the healers had to focus some player over the others. When the raid health was back to full it was another bout of ticking damage down to lower health almost immediately. The healers were constantly occupied in other words.
First day of Blizzcon, and in celebration I’ve corked up my Mohawk Blizzard beer (probably the best porter there is) and watched the whole show online. Today there weren’t too many surprises WoW-wise, but I’ll summarize a little of what was brought up on the WoW panels.
There was one panel about the Warcraft Movie, which we still don’t know much about other than the story will be 50% about the Horde and 50% about the Alliance. We saw some of the actors and they talked a little about the work and characters (Durotan and Orgrim amongst others). Still no trailers though.
On the WoW panel we got a small summary of a lot of things we already knew, but some new things as well. Reduction in CC, ability pruning, item squish and healing gameplay were among the topics that were brought up.