Category Archives: Cataclysm

Sneak Preview: Zul’Gurub Items

I took the liberty of datamining some of the items the well-dressed Zul’Gurub NPC native will be wearing in the upcoming WoW Cataclysm patch 4.1.

Disclaimer: This is, of course, speculation and this all may end up differently in the final build!

The renovated 5-man instance replaces the former 20-man raid, and everything’s gotten a visual upgrade. The detailing on the items is beautiful; here’s hoping we get our own PC paws on these in upcoming drops!

Enjoy!

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WoW Twitterparty: Finalized!

Do you play WoW? Do you have a Twitter account? It’s party time!

Join your Twitter friends Friday, March 4th at 5pm PST/6pm MT/ 7pm CST/ 8pm EST for a party on Fizzcrank – US!

We’ll roll some DKs, terrorize the starting area, and then attack the unsuspecting in Alterac Valley in a massive wave of under-geared PHEAR!

TO DO:

  1. Go to Fizzcrank – US
  2. Roll a Death Knight with your Twitter name on either faction. (They can look like your main or not, as you’re so inclined.) If you would like to participate in the Alterac Valley PvP Death Knight Attack, please roll an Alliance DK.
  3. Meet up at the DK starting area for a fun few minutes or an entire evening of  chatting, /mooning, group-pwning the starting area, and the Alterac Valley DK Sweep.

We’ll will be on Vent and Mumble; both have been volunteered (thanks to Time Wasted Tuesday and Spazmoosifer!). Vent and/or Mumble details will be /whispered to anyone who messages me in-game, to avoid broadcasting the info all over the internets; I’ll be playing Discopriest.

I’ll be there as an Alliance-flavored @DiscoPriest; see you then!

 

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Final Call: Raid Recruitment

We’re down to our last three openings over at <Waypoint>, A-Medivh! If you’re looking to raid Monday and Saturday evenings at 8pm, we’d be charmed to hear from you. Our apologies, but we are no longer actively seeking applications for slots other than those listed below.

If you feel you have something exceptional to offer – or just very much want to join Waypoint – and are not one of the classes listed here, by all means to drop us a line but do know that, due to the volume of response received thus far, we may not be able to respond to all non-requested applications individually.

Server transfers welcome.

 Elemental Shaman: A solid Restoration off-spec would be a bonus.

 

 

Mage: Flavor-independent. Must be feisty.

 

 

Retribution Paladin: A solid Protection offspec would be a bonus.

 

 

Please email disciplinaryaction at yahoo dot com to request an application.

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Disc Priest Gear: Using Wowhead To Your Advantage

Wowhead.com has a most excellent feature that I think few of us use to its fullest extent.

If you click on “Database > Items > Armor”, you can choose ‘Priest’ and then ‘Discipline’ (or whatever) from the dropdown menu titled “Start Weighting… Preset:”.

Doing this gives you a list of all gear for Discipline Priests in one huge list (I’d recommend limiting the required level or iLevel – 333 or higher if you want to run Heroics).

In the results, off to the right, there’s a ‘Score’ that shows how good it is for the spec you selected in ‘Presets’.

The down side is that it doesn’t have any commentary, but for pure numbers and names, it can’t be beat.

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SmiteSpec v. ShieldSpec: Builds & Rotations at 85

I’ve put together this little down-and-dirty guide to discipline priest healing because being a Disc Priest these days is, truly, complicated.

The main source of this complexity lies in the fact that Disc Priests are now essentially two distinct specs: the SmiteSpec and the ShieldSpec.

The variance in style of the two versions of disc priesting is pretty pronounced, so disc priests tend to lean quite heavily toward their favorite version of discipline. It’s created something of a rift in the Disc community. Much shouting and pulling of beards.

ShieldSpec focuses on shielding, doling out standard priest healing spells, and managing a variety of cooldowns (Inner Focus, Power Infusion, Rapture) to return mana. It functions similarly to how Discipline worked throughout Wrath of the Lich King.

Pros: Similar to the Wrath disc healing style and thus familiar to Wrath Discos. Intuitive.

Cons: (Possible) lower mana return. Boring.

SmiteSpec is based on an entirely new healing mechanic for Warcraft. SmiteSpec disc priests use a combination of offensive, DPS (primarily Smite) spells for mana return and indirect healing spells, coupled with more classic Discipline direct healing spells (including Shield).

Pros: New and different way to heal, unique to Discos. (Possible) higher mana return. Wings (WANGS!).

Cons: Focus diverted between DPS targets and healing targets. Minimal DPS damage. Unfamiliar mechanism.

Personally, I’ve been running the two specs simultaneously to see which better fits my needs/playstyle, and I have to confess that I lean more towards the ShieldSpec. However, both are viable and fun Discipline Priest options.

Sample ShieldSpec Build
View Liala’s Current ShieldSpec Build

Click to Embiggen

 

Sample ShieldSpec Rotation

With this build, I like to Shadow Protection/Fortitude everyone pre-fight. The low-cost instants of Inner Will are worth more to me right now than Spellpower (plus I think the increased movement speed helps me stay out of AoE trouble).
For a rotation I generally bubble (Power Word: Shield) the tank, hit him with Prayer of Mending, then watch. If another DPS is taking a lot of damage, I’ll throw another bubble and a Renew on him or her, and then go back to refreshing Prayer of Mending and bubble on the tank. For a big, quick tank heal I use Penance; for a slow, big tank heal I use Greater Heal.

If damage is going all over the place, I use Inner Focus and then Prayer of Healing; if damage is focused on the tank, I use Inner Focus and then Greater Heal. I use Inner Focus on every cooldown religiously.

Sample SmiteSpec Build
View Liala’s Current SmiteSpec Build

Click to Embiggen

Sample SmiteSpec Rotation

[Incoming!]

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Don’t Panic: Disc Priest Tips for Cataclysm

Healing as a Disc Priest in these early days of the Cataclysm expansion can be cataclysmically horrifying.

The average LFD group is explosively bad: DPS refuse to utilize crowd control. The tank pulls seven mobs as though he’s an overgeared ICC Kingslayer running Mana Tombs with every buff in the game. No one will stop for you to drink.

You’re running out of mana every two mobs and the group keeps pulling, oblivious to your panicked squeals for mana, mana, mana! Bars are dropping. You pop triage heals on the DPS, even though you can’t spare the mana, because you know you’ll wipe for sure without that strangely tough hunter because your tanks’ health is dropping faster than a brick on fast-forward and he’s vying for the title of World’s Biggest Dick anyway.

The ‘lock Life Taps six times in quick succession, the tank pulls the boss while you’re counting the seconds on your Shadowfiend cooldown and sobbing softly while whacking the last three mobs feebly with your stick, and then it happens:

You wipe.

And then the group boots you.

I wish I had more encouraging news for you, gentle discos, but the best I can say is that we’re not alone. Every healer I’ve talked to is going through this same agony. Tanks are squishier, DPS are slower, your mana is nonexistent, and somehow in LFD all those problems add up to THE HEALER SUCKS!

I feel your pain. Hell, I’m living your pain!

We’re all in this together, all embattled and embittered and embarrassed in these bludgeon-fests, but here are a few tips that may assist in that horrifying slog we’re facing these days. They’ve helped me regain my sanity- what little remains, that is- and I hope they do the same for you:

1. LFD? LFG!

The LFD tool is an odd monster. It at once impersonalized the leveling experience and yet exposed you to far more content. Blizzard certainly took the impersonalization to heart: just look at the new guild system for confirmation that they really, really want you get to know players on your realm at least a bit better.

The lone leveler got hit with the nerf bat in terms of guild achievements and rewards, but perhaps- perhaps!- the extreme difficulty of healing right now is intended to do the same thing.

I have to be honest with you guys, now: I have not finished a single random LFD instance since Cataclysm began. I’ve been kicked (“You suck!”), I’ve ragequit (“You guys suck!”), I’ve been in the fetal position and crying too snottily to seize hold of my mouse (“I suck!”).

And then there are guild runs.

I moved my main priest to another server (to act as temporary financial support to a low-level alt), and ended up in a new guild about two weeks ago. I don’t know all of my guildmates very well, but I *do* know them better than my LFD-sponsored Ipwnunoobz tank.

When I need to stop for mana, they stop. We pull cautiously and steadily. We make good time, because we don’t wipe. No one yells. No one curses (there is excessive /mooning of bosses, however). No one pitches a fit.

If you haven’t yet, or if you’re not in a guild that runs instances regularly. do seriously consider getting in with a guild to run with outside the LFD Disaster Relief System.

I can highly recommend Mortem Vitae Sequens on A-Farstriders, Waypoint on A-Medivh, Tsu Tain Guu Faitaa on H-Drenden, and Business Time on A-Moonrunner. If those guilds are aren’t hiring, I know each one would be happy to recommend a good one on-server.

2. Dress for Success

It’s tempting- oh, so tempting- to gear up as a Shadow Priest, run a few quests in Vash’jir and Mount Hyjal, and in the meantime queue up as a healer for a few (invariably disastrous) PUGs through the Looking For Group tool.

Do not do this. If you’re picking up gear with Hit and chucking the gear with Spirit, well- you’re gonna have a bad time.

Now is the time to commit to running in Spirit gear with no Hit as a dedicated Disc Priest instance healer (or partner-in-crime of a tankish questing friend).

If you can’t bring yourself to do that, admit to yourself that you’d really like to see those new areas while you level, dropping Spirit gear for Spellpower and Intellect (and Hit), and level as a  Shadowpriest, may the gods forgive me for saying it.

3. (Key)Bound for Glory

Go into the game. Hit ‘Esc’. Select ‘Macros’.

Creating macros is easy, and it’s awfully nice to have a pre-programmed little ditty that you can slap out at the beginning of LFD. It might not make any difference, but you’ll feel like you at least made the effort.

Just select ‘Create New…’ on the Macros screen, select an attractive icon, and type in anything you’d normally type in the chat screen. Once done, pull the icon(s) to your quickbar and press at will.

My own goes something like this:

/p Hi, everyone! I’m Liala and I’ll be your healer for this evening’s run.
/p Healers are really low on mana right now, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, so I’m going to have to ask for a few more mana breaks then we’re all used to. I promise I’ll make it as quick as I can.
/p Deeps, I’m really sorry, but I’m probably not going to be able to heal you as much. Please don’t hesitate to use bandages if we’re getting creamed. That’s it! Thanks for reading!

Then I have a few macros that I’ve always had:

/p Mana break after this mob, please.
/p Focusing on tank heals, please bandage at will.

Employ your macros to give your tank a verbal heads-up whenever possible, and reap the rewards of a happy tank.

4. Get Right Back To Where We Started From

We all want to get ahead, to see the new instances, to see the new content!

The last thing on Azeroth any of us want to do right now is go back to the Lich King or any of those Heroic Wrath instances we’ve run ten thousand times, but there is, I swear, benefit to doing so.

Queue up for a random Lich King Heroic and run it paying complete and total attention to your rotation.

Running these suckers is a great way to familiarize yourself with all the new bells and whistles we Disc Priests have without stressing the hell out over everyone dying all over the place. No matter how much I read or study or crunch numbers, I find nothing ever, ever replaces the actual experience of playing with a new build.

Since healing should be cake, you’ll be able to take stock of your new talents without being terribly distracted.

Try out new rotations. Pay attention to the numbers that are popping up as you heal, and check out which spells give you the biggest results and how much your mana bar sinks with each. Get used to using Inner Focus and Hymn of Hope and Barrier, and whatever else you haven’t been using lately. Try out the new Smitespec and see if that fills you with joy (and wings).

Whatever else you do, remain calm and remember we’re all right there with you, bitching about our tanks and DPS in the ethereal super-reality that all Disc Priests share. Your QQ is our QQ. Godspeed.

For more information on gear and builds, check out:
Cataclysm Disc Priest Builds (Shieldspec and Smitespec)
Gearing a Disc Priest: 80-85
Gearing a Disc Priest: The Beginning Raider (85+)
Cataclysm Disc Priest Gems and Reforging
My current build on the Armory

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Best Races for Priests in Cataclysm

Cataclysm is here, and we’re asking the same questions: what new alt should I roll?

If you’re rolling a new disc priest and need to know how racial bonuses will benefit you, look no further!

(Racial Traits from Wowpedia.org; thanks as always, guys!)

HORDE

  • Blood Elf
    • Racial Traits
      • Arcane Affinity : 10 point skill bonus to Enchanting (note, this also raises the cap by 10 at each level of enchanting).
      • Magic Resistance : Reduces the chance you will be hit by spells by 2%.
    • Assessment
      • Excellent. Arcane Torrent serves as an additional mana return ability, to be used in rotation with Shadowfiend, Hymn of Hope, and mana potions. to me, that’s a game-changing racial, and the best in the game for disc priests. Enchanting is a great choice of profession for priests as well, so go us.
  • Forsaken (aka Undead)
    • Racial Traits
      • Will of the Forsaken : Removes any CharmFear and Sleep effect. 2 minute cooldown.
      • Cannibalize : When activated, regenerates 7% of total health and mana every 2 seconds for 10 seconds. Only works on Humanoid or Undead corpses within 5 yards. Any movement, action, or damage taken while Cannibalizing will cancel the effect. (Mana aspect added in Cataclysm)
      • Underwater Breathing : Underwater breath lasts 233% longer than normal.
      • Shadow Resistance : Reduces the chance you will be hit by Shadow spells by 2%
    • Assessment
      • Good. Mana regen through Cannibalize is nice, but requires an actual humanoid corpse, which will be awkward in high-level instances. Will of the Forsaken is great if you’re going to PvP with your Disc Priest, but isn’t as important for the raider/leveler.
  • Goblin
    • Racial Traits
      • Rocket Jump : Activates your rocket belt to jump forward. 2 minute cooldown, shared with Rocket Barrage.
      • Rocket Barrage : Launches your belt rockets at an enemy, dealing X-Y fire damage. (24-30 at level 1; 1654-2020 at level 80). 2 min. cooldown shared with Rocket Jump.
      • Time is Money : Cash in on a 1% increase to attack and casting speed.
      • Best Deals Anywhere : Always receive the best discount regardless of faction standing.
      • Pack Hobgoblin : Calls in your friend, Gobber, allowing you bank access for 1 min. 30 minute cooldown.
      • Better Living Through Chemistry : Alchemy skill increased by 15.
    • Assessment
      • Mediocre. Time Is Money is a decent haste bonus, and Best Deals Anywhere is nice for everyone! The bonus to Alchemy is solid, but only if you’re taking the Alchemy/Herbalist route for professions (a solid priest choice). Overall the bonus to haste is not that big of a game-changer, and the other talents are too non-priest-specific to make it our recommendation pro-goblin. On the other hand, a goblin priest would look fantastic in Tier 10 gear and their hair choices are fabulous.
  • Tauren
    • Racial Traits
      • War Stomp : Activate to stun opponents – Stuns up to 5 enemies within 8 yards for 2 seconds. 2 minute cooldown.
      • Endurance : Base health increased by 5%.
      • Cultivation : Adds a 15 point skill bonus to Herbalism as well as increases the speed you can gather herbs. (Note, this also raises the cap by 15 at each level of herbalism). Faster gathering speed added in Cataclysm.
      • Nature Resistance : Reduces the chance you will be hit by Nature spells by 2%.
    • Assessment
      • Poor. The only marginally useful trait would be the Herbalism bonus for an Alchemy/Herbalism-trained priest; the rest are not useful to priests in the least.
  • Troll
    • Racial Traits
      • Berserking : Activate to increase attack and casting speed by 20% for 10 seconds. 3 minute cooldown.
      • Regeneration : Increase health regeneration bonus by 10%. Also allows 10% of normal health regen during combat.
      • Da Voodoo Shuffle : Reduces the duration of all movement impairing effects by 15%. Trolls be flippin’ out mon!
    • Assessment
      • Mediocre. In theory, you won’t need health regeneration as you’ll be protected from direct hits by your friendly local tank, but if mana management is as restrictive as promised, a small personal health regen bonus may be welcome. Berserking offers haste increase similar to goblins’ Time Is Money, but the other bonuses are not priest-specific.

ALLIANCE

  • Draenei
    • Racial Traits
      • Gift of the Naaru : Heals the target of X damage over 15sec. The amount healed is increased based on the caster’s Spell Power or Attack Power, whichever is higher. 3 minute cooldown.
      • Heroic Presence : Increases chance to hit with all spells and attacks by 1%. No longer affects nearby allies as of Cataclysm.
      • Gemcutting : 10 point skill bonus to Jewelcrafting (note, this also raises the cap by 10 at each level of jewelcrafting).
      • Shadow Resistance : Reduces the chance you will be hit by Shadow spells by 2%.
    • Assessment
      • Poor. Gift of the Naaru is a decent self-healing spell when the mana chips are down, but really- Binding Heal would be even better. Heroic Presence doesn’t help you, as healing spells on friendly targets always hit. But you already knew that, right? And you don’t have any hit on your gear, RIGHT?
  • Dwarf
    • Racial Trait
      • Stoneform : Activate to remove poison, disease, and bleed effects; +10% Armor; Lasts 8 seconds. 2 minute cooldown.
      • Gun Specialization : increases chance to critically hit with Guns by 1%.
      • Mace Specialization : Increases expertise with maces and two-handed maces by 3.
      • Frost Resistance : Reduces the chance you will be hit by Frost spells by 2%.
      • Explorer : You find additional fragments when looting archaeological finds and you can survey faster than normal archaeologists. Cataclysm
    • Assessment
      • Mediocre. None of these are useful to disc priests. But dwarf priests! Will wonders never cease? Hard lobbying by the pro-dwarf community made me rethink my original ‘Poor’ rating of dwarves; the high mana cost of Remove Disease and other cleansing abilities in Cataclysm renders their Stoneform pretty valuable (even if they can’t cast it on others). I think that’s worth a bump up to the next level. Now stop biting my kneecaps.
  • Gnome
    • Racial Traits
      • Escape Artist : Escape the effects of any immobilization or movement speed reduction effect. Instant cast. 1.45 min cooldown.
      • Expansive Mind : Increase mana pool by 5%. Change to mana pool from Intellect occurred with Cataclysm.
      • Arcane Resistance : Reduces the chance you will be hit by Arcane spells by 2%.
      • Engineering Specialist : 15 point skill bonus to Engineering (note, this also raises the cap by 15 at each level of Engineering).
      • Shortblade Specialization : Expertise with Daggers and One-Handed Swords increased by 3. Cataclysm
    • Assessment
      • Mediocre. The only thing we care about here is the mana pool increase by 5%. It’s a nice little bonus, and- while not being the best in the game- is certainly nothing to sneeze at.
  • Human
    • Racial Traits
      • Every Man for Himself : Removes all movement impairing effects and all effects which cause loss of control of your character. This effect shares a cooldown with other similar effects, 3 minute cooldown.
      • Diplomacy : Reputation gains increased by 10%.
      • The Human Spirit : Increase spirit by 3%.
    • Assessment
      • Good. The Human Spirit is the only real bonus we get here, but the extreme emphasis on mana regen in Cataclysm bumps the human race from Mediocre to Good in my book.
  • Night Elf
    • Racial Traits
      • Shadowmeld : Activate to slip into the shadows, reducing the chance for enemies to detect your presence. Lasts until cancelled or upon moving. Any threatis restored versus enemies still in combat upon cancellation of this effect, 2 minute cooldown.
      • Quickness : Reduces the chance that melee and ranged attackers will hit you by 2%.
      • Wisp Spirit : Transform into a wisp upon death, increasing speed by 75%.
      • Elusivesness: Reduces the chance enemies have to detect you while Shadowmelded and increases your speed while stealthed by 5%. Faster stealthed speed added in Cataclysm
      • Nature Resistance : Reduces the chance you will be hit by Nature spells by 2%.
    • Assessment
      • Mediocre. I play a nelf priest myself, despite the lack of decent racials. The one bonus of nelf priestness is the excellent Shadowmeld, with which you can (with luck) hide in the shadows during a group wipe and rez everyone without the run.
  • Worgen
    • Racial Traits
      • Darkflight : Activates your true form, increasing movement speed by 40% for 10 sec. 3 minute cooldown.
      • Viciousness : Increases critical strike chance by 1%.
      • Aberration : Increases your resistance to harmful Nature and Shadow effects by 1.
      • Flayer : Skinning skill increased by 15 and allows you to skin 0.5 seconds faster.
      • Two Forms : Turn into your currently inactive form. 1.5 sec cooldown.
      • Running Wild : Drop to all fours to run as fast as a wild animal. Serves as the worgen “mount”.
    • Assessment
      • Mediocre. The only thing that salvages worgen from poor priest racials is the small increase in Critical Strike… Bbut you know that’s not going to stop us from rolling the baddest priest on the shape-shifting block.
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Disciplinary Action on the Twisted Nether Blogcast

This Saturday (…aturday …rday) Disciplinary Action will be taking on the Twisted Nether Blogcast in a live evening show!

Tune in at 8pm PST / 11pm EST for all the action with Liala and Fimlys and much talk about the comic, disco priesting, and the state of Azeroth as we poise on the brink of a sea change.

A live chat room will be simultaneously rolling for any and all to pose questions (but not that one. OR that one. Ew, or that one, sick!).

See you then!

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