Category: Endgame

Covers raiding, emblems, and being the best darn level 80 disc priest you can be

How To Make Enough Gold to Purchase WoW Tokens

How_To_Make_WoW_Gold_Tokens Want to pay for your Warcraft subscription with minimal time and effort? In-game Warcraft gold can now be exchanged for game time in one month increments. When this system was first announced, I was positive I’d be there with my wallet open, ready to shell out twenty bucks for a mountain of gold. When the initial cost of gold was pegged by Blizzard, I thought the price- 30,000 gold for one month of gameplay- was laughably low, and was surprised when it dropped lower still. I hadn’t stockpiled any gold or even been particularly frugal in the weeks leading up to the WoW Token release, assuming that I’d be on the buying end when it came to tokens. With prices hovering between 20,000 to 24,000 gold for a month of game play, though, I quickly changed from a gold buyer to a gold seller. Everyone has their own methods of making gold, but I’m not an Auction House hawk; I prefer to make money solo and at my own pace. I’ve been able to make about 20,000 gold every three or four days, which has bought me a year of Warcraft so far. To make that amount, I rely most heavily on Garrison Treasure Hunters, followed by Salvage Yard sale, and rounded out by the odd Auction House sale. If you’re just trying to get enough cash to pay for your subscription, well- this is how I do it. Bon chance!

Programming Note: As of 5/10/2015, you may purchase ten in-game tickets per week on any single account. At any given time, you may have a maximum of ten tokens in your backpack, or you won’t be able to purchase additional tokens. Instead, you’ll get the in-game Warcraft error message ‘You have too many of that item already’.

I was getting the error message when I tried to purchase my eleventh token- I hadn’t ‘used’ any of them so far, as I was trying to hoard my tokens in my backpack for screenshots- and that was the response I got from submitting a ticket.

Extremely Thorough Research Mode was activated for this blog post
Extremely Thorough Research Mode was activated for this blog post

Activating the Right Garrison Buildings

Your primary goal will be to train followers, recruit followers with the Treasure Hunter trait, and gear all of your followers as quickly as possible. To that end, you’re best served by building and leveling up the Inn, the Bunker, the Salvage Yard, and the Trading Post, all to better serve your Treasure Hunters on their missions. For the Glory of Ah- Treasure Hunters!

Add-on Required: Master Plan

Garrison_How_To_Warcraft_DisciplinaryAction

The Inn

In order to recruit new followers, you must have a level 2 Inn. You will always want to choose Traits > Treasure Hunter from the dropdown menu, and of your recruits, always take the Rare (blue) recruit if there is one. When you’re able to expand to a Level 3 Inn, you’ll get much better Treasure Hunter missions in your Garrison with rewards of 250+ gold (which, if you’ve been zealous about recruiting Treasure Hunters, you can easily turn into north of 1,000 gold).

Minimum: Level 2, to recruit followers
Optimal: Level 3, to unlock Treasure Hunter missions

The Bunker

The Bunker lets you exchange Garrison Resources for follower upgrade tokens. You need to gear up your level 100 followers as quickly as possible, and upgrade tokens accumulate v.e.r.y s.l.o.w.l.y.

Minimum: Level 2, to turn Garrison Resources into follower upgrade tokens
Optimal: Level 3, to get a daily quest for a weapon or armor upgrade token

The Salvage Yard

The Salvage Yard gives you a chance to get a bag of salvage when your followers return from a mission. Generally you get junk which you can sell for a hefty whack of gold, but you also have a chance to get follower upgrade tokens and every now and then, some fantastic transmog or upgrade piece that will sell for thousands on the Auction House. Building the Salvage Yard requires completing a quest series in Spires of Arak.

Minimum: Level 1, which just allows you to get any loot at all
Optimal: Level 3, which returns the best loot from the bags

Add-on Required: Auctioneer Add-on Required: Crap Away!

The Trading Post

Especially if you are just leveling or have leveled recently, you’ll need many more Garrison Resources than you have access to in the world and by waiting for your Garrison Cache to be replenished. Even after you have paid out all the Garrison Resouces you need to build all the buildings, the Bunker will continue to soak up resources at a regular pace. I recommend building the Trading Post as soon as you are able.

Minimum: Level 1, to process Garrison Resources
Optimal: Does not need to be expanded unless you would like to process more Garrison Resource work orders at once

The Auction House

If you’re like me, you don’t want to juggle hundreds of auctions on the AH; you just want to have a system in place to sell the rares that pop up from your Salvage Yard, or the occasional battle pet you get doubles of. I have a dedicated banker who lives in Stormwind. Especially if you have a lot of alts, it’s easier to mail all high-return Salvage Yard drops to one character to keep up with. To know what’s trash and what isn’t when I open up my salvage bags, I use the Auctioneer add-on. When I hover over the item, I get a suggested Auction House price. If it sells for more than 200 gold, I auction it. If it sells for less, I sell it to a vendor. I also use my banker to keep up with my cash flow. I have eight alts with a level 2 Garrison, and six who are level 100. They generate a lot of cash, so every day or so all of my alts mail all of their cash- minus 200 gold for operating expenses and to keep their spirits up- to my banker character. That also helps me keep up with how much money each alt is making in general, since I know that anything over 200 is their profit over the last day or so. Be sure to buy your tokens when they are at the price minimum. Prices fluctuate about 4,000 gold over the course of the day, so follow WoWTokens on Twitter and wait until you see the price floor before shelling out your hard-earned gold.

Add-on Required: Auctioneer Add-on required: Postal

Additional Ways to Get Cheap Gold

If you want to get still more cash and you have a little time on your hands, run old raids for a chance at pet drops. They have the benefit of selling for a good price on the Auction House and simultaneously of costing very little to post (the exact reason why selling weapons on the Auction House is a fool’s game!). Another great way of making more money is to have more alts. It may seem obvious, but for every level 2+ Garrison owner you have, you’re going to be able to crank out double the Treasure Hunters, double the Salvage trash, and double the cash. Some alts, too, just seem to get lucky; my monk always gets the best Treasure Hunter missions and rare drops, even though I loathe him with a passion. Stupid gnome!

Have a Lot of Alts

The more alts you have with a Garrison, the more Treasure Hunters you can have, the more likely you are to get lucrative missions, and the more missions you’re able to complete in total. If you can stomach it, get all the alts you can into a Level 2 Garrison at the least. The most effective alts have a Level 2 Inn to recruit new Treasure Hunter followers. For each level 100 alt I have, I make about 1,500 gold a day. HaveALotOfAlts

And So:

You can rake in a lot of cash with your alt Garrison farming army, without logging in for very much game time at all. The more alts you have, the better off you are. The more Treasure Hunters you can recruit, train, and gear, the more money you’ll rake in at the end of the day. Good luck in funding your own Warcraft token adventure!

Boost To 90: A Beginner’s Guide to Discipline Priest Healing in Warcraft

It’s finally happened. You upgraded to Warlords of Draenor or purchased a level 90 character upgrade and have made the best choice of your life: you’ve boosted a priest.

Congratulations on your decision-making skills!

But now that you’ve transmogged your gear and picked out that perfect matching mount and pet twinset, you are, as the British say, for it. You’ll have to learn how to play your new priest. Not to worry! Your favorite* disc priest is here to take your grimy little paw and lead you to the promised land. You’ll be smiting like a pro** in no time at all.

* I assume.

** This guide is a basic introduction to the rotation of a Discipline Priest. It is in no way, shape, or form intended to include all of the nuances of the class or spec. My aim is to give you the basic tools you’ll need to become a solid, middle-of-the-pack healer †. With any luck, you’ll enjoy the basics so much that you’ll seek out advanced enlightenment in the ways of the Discipline Priest.

† If I see any theorycrafting/not-the-way-I-do-it-as-a-Heroic-raider/wiener-waggling nonsense in the comments, I will reach through the internet and slap the glasses right off your face.

Basic Information for Healing as a Discipline Priest

Discipline Priests heal using a combination of direct healing on a friendly target- i.e. Shield, Prayer of Mending, Prayer of Healing- and indirect healing generated by damaging an unfriendly target- i.e. Penance, Holy Fire, and Smite.

Your first challenge will be becoming comfortable switching targets between a tank and an unfriendly target. If you are not using addons- I’ve used none for the purposes of this tutorial- you may find it is helpful to right-click on the main tank and choose ‘Set Focus’. You can then easily find your tank in the hurly-burly of a raid setting and switch quickly between her and her target (her target will appear directly under her portrait).

Setting Up Your Quick Bar

As Marlo Thomas reminds us, we are free to be you and me- so don’t hesitate to experiment with your own setup once you feel comfortable with the basic Disc Priest healing rotation.

Here is my quickbar, without any addons or fancy keybinds:

Discipline Priest Healing Quick Bar | Disciplinary Action

Basic Rotation

Buff yourself using Inner Will (it is not timed but will fall off if you die or change specs).

Buff your party using Power Word: Fortitude.

Primary Rotation for Discipline Priest Healing Quick Bar | Disciplinary Action

Most of the time, your spell rotation will be fired off at a hostile unit. Weird, right?

  1. Target an unfriendly unit
  2. Cast Penance > Holy Fire > Smite
  3. Use Penance and Holy Fire when they come off of cooldown; use Smite as filler
  4. Whenever Archangel procs, use it

Your secondary rotation requires targeting a friendly unit. I generally wait until Penance is off cooldown and if I’m lucky, when Power Word: Shield or Flash Heal- or both- have procced.

  1. Target a friendly unit
  2. Cast Penance, a raid-wide heal
  3. Cast Power Word: Shield and Prayer of Mending
  4. Cast Flash Heal only if it has procced (can proc twice in a row)
  5. Target an unfriendly unit and go back to your Penance> Holy Fire> Smite rotation

Advanced Maneuvers

You can run a decent healing game by just using the rotation above. You can. I often do, too, when I’m healing a raid but also simultaneously watching Downton Abbey, getting coffee, or doodling.

Discipline Priest Rotation - Quick Bar Spells and Mana Return | Disciplinary Action

Mana Control

After you feel somewhat comfortable with your primary rotation, you’ll most likely be going out of mana regularly and will need to learn your Mana Control spells. Your options are:

  1. Inner Focus: Reduces the cost of your next Flash Heal, Greater Heal or Prayer of Healing to 0 mana. I personally like to use Inner Focus in conjunction with Prayer of Healing, a spell that heals and creates little bubbles for five people in a party. Useful if you’ve remembered to target the tank, and even more useful if both of the tanks are in the same party. Don’t bother using it with Flash Heal, since Flash Heal will proc one or two free casts regularly.
  2. Shadow Fiend: Spawns a fiend that attacks your current target and returns mana to you. Use this during your attacking phase, since if you don’t have a target he’ll just stand there and look at you.
  3. Hymn of Hope: You stand in one place and channel mana back to yourself. Any movement or damage interrupts it, so wait until you can find a safe-ish spot before casting.
  4. Mana Potions: Use them.
Cooldowns

An advanced Disc Priest rotation takes into account your three major cooldown abilities: Pain Suppression, Spirit Shell, and Power Word: Barrier.

  1. Pain Suppression is a pain in the ass. You cast it on a friendly target to dramatically reduce the damage they’re taking, BUT it also reduces their threat level dramatically. Since tanks who are taking a ton of damage are almost always trying to maintain threat, you can really screw up two tanks’ taunt/stack situation if you’re not paying very close attention. Use with extreme caution.
  2. Spirit Shell creates absorption bubbles instead of direct healing when you cast Heal, Flash Heal, Greater Heal, or Prayer of Healing. Your main problem here will be that you’ll forget to use it, though if you think of it try to cast Inner Focus > Spirit Shell > Prayer of Healing for a nice, big, free bubble fest.
  3. Power Word: Barrier is your only positional spell. It increases the healing that you do for everyone standing in your little bubble, which is useful when the raid stacks in one place, like on the Calamity phase of the Fallen Protectors fight.
  4. Desperate Prayer: A free 30% self heal. No more, no less.
Utilities

Dispel is your… um, dispelling spell, which you’ll need in fights such as the Sha of Pride. You also have Mass Dispel, but it has limited uses as many debuffs are currently immune to it. I accidentally dragged it off my quick bar a few months ago and haven’t even bothered to put it back.

Leap of Faith drags any friendly player from where they are standing to where you are standing, which is excellent for expressing your well-founded irritation in LFR.

Levitate is a slow fall spell.

Fade drops your threat temporarily. It won’t save you from certain death like the night elf racial Shadowmeld, but if your tank is alive and you need to get an add or two off of you, casting Fade can give your tank a moment to pick them back up again.

I have Renew on my bars almost as a utility spell; I only use it when people are running back from a wipe and I want to top them or myself off.

Talents

Take these talents:

Discipline Priest Level 90 Talents | Disciplinary Action

Glyphs

Take these glyphs:

Discipline Priest Level 90 Glyphs | Disciplinary Action

Major Glyphs: Glyph of Power Word: Shield, Glyph of Holy Fire, Glyph of Smite
Minor Glyphs: Whatever the hell you want. Glyph of Confession is pretty funny.

Advanced Information

As you get more familiar with your priest and- with any luck- want to pursue your disciplinary adventures, check out these resources for a more nuanced look at the Discipline Priest rotation:

Icy Veins Disc Priest Site

Ten Ton Hammer Guide

A forum thread I just happened to like on WoW Reddit where people start having romantic feelings for Spirit Shell

Boosting a Warcraft Character from Level 60 to Level 90: An Illustrated Guide

Pre-ordering the Warlords of Draenor expansion gives your account the ability to boost any character on your account to level 90. You can boost a level 1 character all the way to the top, or you can level them up to 60 and then apply the boost. Additional boosts may be purchased for $90.

Why bother leveling a character all the way to 60 when you could just apply it right away? One word: professions. If you choose to boost a level 60 character who has already learned two professions- even if they’re sitting at 1/600 skill points- those will immediately max out to 600. Professions can be very lucrative, but leveling them can cost you thousands and wipe out the tidy profits associated with them at end game.

I pre-purchased the Warlords of Draenor expansion as soon as it became available, and after an awful lot of hemming and hawing, decided to use my free level 90 boost on my Paladin, Acima, who had stalled out while leveling in the 40’s and never really recovered. I already had all the professions leveled on other characters, so I wanted to choose the best ‘overlap’ profession for money-making cooldowns. After asking around on Twitter and doing a bit of research, I decided to make her an alchemist/herbalist. I already had a Transmutation-specialized Alchemist on my Shaman, and many Twitter friends suggested Acima should pick up the Flasks specialization.

Click on the images to enlarge.

Level 60 to Level 90 Character Boost: An Illustrated Case Study

Character: Acima
Class: Paladin
Spec: Protection

DisciplinaryAction_BoostTo90_Warcraft_Standard
Note the changes to the spell bar; everything has been moved around.
Disciplinary Action | Warcraft Guide Boost to 90 from 60: Changes to UI
Character Pane view at 60 (left) and after boosting to 90 (right)

Class Specialization: The primary specialization is chosen at the loading screen; secondary class specialization (dual spec) was reset.
Reputations
: No reputations change. No Pandaria reputations are learned if you did not already know them.
Talents: All Talents reset and all were opened to level 90
Glyphs: All glyph slots were opened and all glyphs reset. No new glyphs are learned.

Disciplinary Action | Warcraft Guide Boost to 90 from 60: Changes to Talent Pane
Talents are reset and opened to 90
Disciplinary Action | Warcraft Guide Boost to 90 from 60: Changes to Glyphs
All glyph slots are now open; no new glyphs are learned.

Professions: I chose Alchemy and Herbalism; no new recipes are learned.
Profession Specialization: If you choose Engineering or Alchemy, you will not learn a specialization.
Secondary Professions: Cooking, First Aid, and Fishing
Secondary Boosts: Only First Aid was boosted to 600. Cooking and Fishing remained at 1/600.

Disciplinary Action | Warcraft Guide Boost to 90 from 60: Changes to Professions - Alchemy and Herbalism
Your primary professions are boosted to 600, but no recipes or specializations are learned.

Quests: Your account-wide quests remain active, and the quest A Flash of Bronze, which gives your character access to the Timeless Isle, is added to your log book.

Disciplinary Action | Warcraft Guide Boost to 90 from 60: Quest Log pane
The Timeless Isle quest ‘A Flash of Bronze’ is added to your quest log.

Gear: All gear replaced with 483 iLevel items; item ‘look’ is the same as the Mists of Pandaria items purchasable from ‘Adventuring Supplies’ vendors throughout Pandaria.
Bags: All existing bags are replaced with Embersilk Bags. Everything is emptied out of your bags, and then mailed back to your character (from you to you).
Flying: Character learned Flight Master’s License, Cold Weather Flying, Expert Riding (level 60), and Artisan Riding (level 70), but NOT Master Riding or Cloud Serpent Riding

Disciplinary Action | Warcraft Guide Boost to 90 from 60: Changes to Bags
Bag contents are removed and mailed to your character; bags are replaced with 22-slot Embersilk.

The Boost Process: Once your character is level 60, if you’re choosing to get her there for the profession boost, you may click on the gold shield to the left of your character list in the WoW character login page. From there, the level boost process moves forward. Your character is deposited in the Eternal Vale at either the Shrine of Seven Moons or the Shrine of Seven Stars, depending on your faction.

Disciplinary Action | Warcraft Guide Boost to 90 from 60: Boost Leveling Process Screenshots

The Discipline Priest Handbook

A Short and Complete Manual of Healing as a Discipline Priest

Permanent Link to the most up-to-date version of the Discipline Priest Handbook

Not everyone dedicates the entirety of their Warcraft life to the incomparable experience of being a Discipline Priest.

I can’t explain it, but there it is.

Recently the difficulties associated with playing an alt- long-forgotten, rolled to fill some raid niche that evaporated, miraculously reaching the level cap by picking flowers- were brought home to me when I picked up my dusty mining druid and determined to shape him into a lean mean healin’ machine.

Things went badly. Okay, more than badly. I didn’t know what to spec, I had no idea what a healing rotation even looked like as a druid, and I was- to my shame- booted out of my first pug after two rounds of trash.

To my delight and pathetic gratitude I stumbled upon Tree Bark Jacket’s wonderful Resto Druid Cheat Sheet. Specs immediately become clear, spells made sense, and I stopped wearing cloth.

I asked Keeva of Tree Bark Jacket if I could steal her layout to similarly assist those 85 Disc Priests who needed similar help -the short, sweet version of How To Disc- and she graciously allowed me to lift whatever I could carry.

May this be of some use to you in your new- or continuing- journeys as a priest.

Godspeed, noble Discos!

The Discipline Priest Handbook

Spec Smite Spec:
Sample Smite Spec, WowheadNon-Smite Spec:
Sample Non-Smite Spec, Wowhead
Talent Specs
Stat Priority Intellect >> Spirit >> Haste > Crit > Mastery Stats Guide
Stat Goals Stack Spirit and then Haste (to @12.5%) at lower gear levels.Stack Crit and then Mastery at higher gear levels.
Enchants
Rotation Smite Spec:

  • All of the Non-Smite Spec information, plus…
  • Smite a hostile target five times to proc Archangel
  • Use Archangel to return mana and buff healing

Non-Smite Spec:

  • Apply Power Word: Shield and Prayer of Mending to the tank just before she pulls. Keep Shield up on the tank.
  • Re-apply Prayer of Mending to the tank whenever it expires
  • Optional: Apply PW:Shield to a DPS who is taking a lot of damage, or to yourself
    *ProTip: When you get aggro, use your Fade ability.
  • Small Heal: Renew (HoT)
  • Medium, Fast Heal: Penance
  • Large, Slow Heal: Greater Heal
  • Group Heal: Prayer of Healing
    *ProTip: Use Inner Focus every time it’s off cooldown before a Greater Heal or Prayer of Healing.
  • Use Hymn of Hope and Shadowfiend to regen mana
Rotations
Glyphs Smite Spec:

  • Primary: Glyph of Penance, Glyph of Power Word: Shield, Glyph of Power Word: Barrier (or Glyph of Renew)
  • Major: Glyph of Mass Dispel, Glyph of Divine Accuracy, Glyph of Fade
  • Minor: Glyph of Shadowfiend, Glyph of Fortitude, Glyph of Fading

Non-Smite Spec:

  • Primary: Glyph of Penance, Glyph of Power Word: Shield, Glyph of Power Word: Barrier (or Renew)
  • Major: Glyph of Mass Dispel, Glyph of Dispel Magic, Glyph of Desperation
  • Minor: Glyph of Shadowfiend, Glyph of Fortitude, Glyph of Shackle Undead
Glyphs
Reforging Destroy:

  • Hit
  • Parry
  • Dodge
  • Expertise

Take:

  • Spirit
  • Haste
  • Crit
  • Mastery
Gems & Reforging
Gems When in doubt, gem for Intellect.Primary Gems:

  • Red = Intellect gems
  1. [Brilliant Inferno Ruby]
  • Yellow = Critical, Haste, and Mastery gems
  1. [Smooth Amberjewel] Critical Strike
  2. [Quick Amberjewel] Haste
  3. [Fractured Amberjewel] Mastery
  • Blue = Spirit gems
  1. [Sparkling Ocean Sapphire] Spirit

Secondary Gems:

  • Green
  1. [Zen Dream Emerald] Mastery + Spirit
  • Orange
  1. [Potent Ember Topaz] Int + Crit
  2. [Reckless Ember Topaz] Int + Haste
  3. [Artful Ember Topaz] Int + Mastery
  • Purple
  1. [Purified Demonseye] Int + Spirit
Consumables
  • Elixirs
  1. [Flask of the Draconic Mind] +Int
  2. [Flask of Flowing Water] +Spirit
  • Food
  1. [Fortune Cookie] or [Seafood Magnifique Feast] +Top Stat
  2. [Severed Sagefish Head] +Int
  3. [Delicious Sagefish Tail] +Spirit
  4. [Basilisk Liverdog] +Haste
  5. [Baked Rockfish] +Crit
  6. [Lavascale Minestrone] +Mastery

And don’t forget [Superior Mana Oil] for that little extra edge.

Professions
  • Tailoring: +580 Intellect chance or +580 Spirit chance (cloak embroider)
  • Jewelcrafting: +81 Intellect (3 red gems)
  • Alchemy: +80 Intellect (mixology)
  • Engineering: +80 Intellect (bracer enchants & tinkers)
  • Enchanting: +80 Intellect (2 ring enchants)
  • Blacksmithing: +80 Intellect (bracer & glove sockets)
  • Inscription: +80 Intellect (shoulder inscription)
  • Leatherworking: +30 Intellect (bracer enchants)

For theorycrafting, more in-depth discussion, and alternative ideas, visit the PlusHeal.com Priest Forum or the Elitist Jerks Discipline Priest Forum.

Beginning Raid Leader Resources for Cataclysm

Most guilds out there, even if they want to raid, have gotten just about as far as… Magmaw. The vast majority of guilds haven’t gotten even him down yet.

The elite raiding core of the game may be chomping at the bit for Firelands, but the majority of us are still cooking dinner, dropping small humans at school, picking them UP from school, doing laundry, washing dishes, studying for exams, and, if we have the time, gearing for raids- to say nothing of actually running the raids themselves.

For guilds and groups that are just now starting to look at Magmaw, or have progressed only a few raid bosses into Cataclysm, most raid guides do nothing more than give you a wicked bad case of gear envy.

So for those of us who have more enthusiasm than time, can reliably expect someone to take a bio break to change a diaper, and run their dailies for points once in a blue moon, I’ve compiled a selection of indispensable real-life raid leader- and raider- resources:

1. Boss Blueprint: You’re standing in the middle of Blackwing Descent, trying to communicate to your DPS (who are assuredly not listening) that they need to go THERE and then HERE and then run THAT way when everything turns to steam, when it hits you: These damn colored floor flares are never, ever going to get your point across.

What you need is Boss Blueprint, a drag-and-drop online Strategy creator that you can easily customize and then mail out to your raid team. It’s so easy it’s stupid.

The beauty of Boss Blueprint is that you can do it at work, and then email it to your raiders, who can then look at it at work- which, as we all know, is the only place where any Real-Life Raider has time to think about strategy.

I'm realize I'm only amusing myself

 

 

2. Deadly Boss Mods: Everyone on your team should realistically have this. I realize there are some people who get all bent out of shape about add-ons, but… c’mon. C’mon.

When you look up ‘deadly’ on Google, the first suggestion that pops up is ‘boss mods’. Doesn’t that say it all? (PS- I don’t know why almost as many people are searching for ‘deadly women’, but it can’t mean anything good.)

DBM gets you out of the bad, reminds you to stand in the good, and shouts at you when it’s time to run away. Yes, that’s right: DBM is your mother.

 

3. Boss Loot Lists: Everyone likes to be encouraged to raid, and what better way to encourage your raiders than to remind them the phat lewts they might get their grubby paws on if they can actually remember to make it to the raid on time?

Just go to Wowhead, type in the name of the boss you’re attempting to kill, scroll down to ‘Drops’… and mail that list to your raiders. I guarantee your attendance will improve.

As an added bonus, Wowhead lists a nice, simple strategy for each boss, as well- a guide to create that Boss Blueprint image you’ll be sending around to the group?

For your ease and convenience, I’ve linked the normal raid bosses here:

BLACKWING DESCENT:
Magmaw
Omnotron Defense System: Arcanotron, ElectronMagmatronToxitron
Maloriak
Atramedes
Chimaeron
Nefarian

BARADIN HOLD:
Argaloth

BASTION OF TWILIGHT:
Halfus Wyrmbreaker
Double Dragons ValionaTheralion
Ascendant Council
Cho’gall
Sinestra

THRONE OF THE FOUR WINDS:
Conclave of Wind
Al’Akir

4. Email and Prosper: REMEMBER: With a group of mature gamers who have complicated lives and not nearly as much time as they’d like, email is a great way to get in touch with them. We can all read email at work. As most of us are blocked from viewing game websites, this is your best chance to get in front of your raid team when they have time to actually listen.

If a raider doesn’t want to give you their personal email address, fine: have them create a new one on Yahoo or Gmail and then forward it to their work address.

DO NOT put links in your email. If you want them to see anything, copy and paste it. Darned Websense, ruining our fun…!

Don’t overload them with emails, but one before each raid night is great. Include:
– The loot list, right at the top, to get everyone psyched

– A list of every person’s character name and their role, to remind everyone that they are important to the success of the team as a whole
Example:
Zacariah – Main tank (warrio)
Zoe – Off tank (bare)
Zebidiah – Healing Zachariah (disco)
Zusterke – Healing Zoe (pally)
Zoot – Healing Raid (tree)
Zounds – Ranged DPS (warlock)
Zeke – Ranged DPS (huntard)
Zabra – Ranged DPS (mage)
Zorym – Melee DPS (d nugget)
Zasha – Melee DPS (d nugget)

– A SHORT strategy (I find Wowhead’s length is good) with pictures you create at Boss Blueprint illustrating each stage or major change.

List people by name to tell them what they are doing at each stage. You may have to replace them, but at least everyone will know who is being replaced.

And when you have an entire raid yelling at a puggee to do exactly the same thing, it will- shock!- occasionally sink in.

 

IN CONCLUSION…

Just because you’re not finished with every boss in the game doesn’t mean you can’t raid and raid well. You have the inestimable bonus, with your group, of having actual fun.

Wiping is not fun. Losing is not fun. Knowing what’s going on, what your raid expects from you, and where you ought to be is. As a good raid leader, your job is to make it easy for everyone to come and have fun with you.

Now get out there and take down Magmaw!

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!]

Discipline Priest Builds for 4.0

Check out our guide to Disc Priest Gear in Cataclysm

These builds are now active in patch 4.0.3. You can add onto them- without respeccing- in Cataclysm, when the level cap increases to 85 and you can pick up the last four talent points. Consider them a starting point for experimenting with all the fun new elements of the disc priest!

Check out DA’s main priest: Liala’s Current Build and Stats at WoW Armory

SAMPLE BUILD #1: The Standard Shielding Disc Priest (aka SHIELDSPEC)

Interactive Talent Calculator for Build #1

This build includes many talents familiar to WotLK disc priests, including Improved PW:Shield, Grace, Rapture, and Divine Aegis, among others. I’ve also picked up a few new talents:

  • Darkness: Improves spell Haste by 3% (Shadow)
  • Power Word: Barrier: Summons a barrier in a certain location that shields any friendly target within it.
  • Soul Warding: Reduces cooldown on PW:Shield by 2 seconds.

This build should feel very familiar to current Disc Priests. For variation, I’d recommend dropping 2 points of Veiled Shadows (Shadow; reduces cooldown on Fade and Shadowfiend) for two ranks of Inspiration (Holy; increases healing of Holy heal spells).

Recommended Glyphs
Prime: Glyph of Penance, Glyph of Power Word: Shield, Glyph of Power Word: Barrier
Major: Glyph of Mass Dispel … and the rest currently suck for us; try Dispel Magic and Holy Nova, just for giggles
Minor: Glyph of Shadowfiend, Glyph of Fortitude, Glyph of Shackle Undead (I’d switch this one out with Glyph of Levitate, but it’s a personal preference)

SAMPLE BUILD #2: The Smite/Shield Hybrid Disc Priest (aka SMITESPEC)

Interactive Talent Calculator for Build #2

This build is highly experimental; Blizzard clearly wanted PvPing Disc priests to do more damage through the use of Smite, as you can see from the inclusion of a number of new talents (Evangelism, Archangel, and Atonement). This might also be a nice leveling build, enabling a dedicated Disc priest to heal through 5-man instances and solo quest without changing specs. New talents include:

  • Evangelism: Increases the damage and decreases mana cost of Smite, Holy Fire, and Penance each time you cast Smite (or Mind Flay).
  • Archangel: Consumes your Evangelism effect so that, rather than increasing the damage, etc., of your next Smite (see above), restores a percentage of mana and boosts your healing effects.
  • Atonement: Heal a nearby target (or yourself) for 80% (40% for yourself) each time you Smite.

For a possible variation, I’d consider dropping 2 points in Darkness (haste increase) for two points in Veiled Shadows (Shadowfiend and Fade cooldown reduction).

Recommended Glyphs
Prime: Glyph of Penance, Glyph of Power Word: Shield, Glyph of Renew
Major: Glyph of Mass Dispel, Glyph of Divine Accuracy, Glyph of Smite
Minor:  Glyph of Shadowfiend, Glyph of Fortitude, Glyph of Fading (all that Smite-ing’s going to be generating threat that you’ll have to control much more than the Shield build)

Don’t be afraid to play around with the new talents; good luck and have fun!