Thursday, October 23, 2008

3.0 and Achievement Madness

First off, I'd like to apologize for the significant lack of updates in the past few weeks. Midterms have really been kicking my butt lately, not to mention the overwhelming new achievement system. So where to begin?


In a previous post, I explained some of the talent specs I was throwing around. The spec I ultimately decided upon was this one. I sacrificed Guardian Spirit for Meditation. I was reluctant at first, but it was a very good decision in the long run. More on this later.

Some things I've noticed:

Critical chance seems to be just as important as I'd previously assumed. Almost everytime I crit off of a heal, something procs. Whether it be Surge of Light (my favorite new talent, hands down), Holy Concentration, or Improved Holy Concentration, it's almost guaranteed that some sort of red text will pop up on my screen dictating what my next spell should be.

Surge of Light: This talent used to only apply to mana free, instant cast smite bombs, but as of patch 3.0, it now also applies to instant cast, mana free FLASH HEAL. Yes, you read that correctly. This is a wonderful change, especially if you're trying to pad the healing meters ;) You're able to get that quick heal on someone who took a bunch of damage, before another healer can even finish their cast. It's also great for regenerating some mana, although I'm not sure if the 5 second rule is still in effect because of the changes to mana regeneration. I'll be sure to get some research done on that and perhaps have a post dedicated to it.

Holy Concentration/Improved Holy Concentration: If you spec into both, you have a 45% chance to proc both a mana free cast, and two 30% faster casting spells. This helps with mana regen, and quicker heals on tanks. A win/win situation. There's really no reason for you NOT to spec into this.

Mana regeneration as of 3.0, is, to put it quite plainly, painful. Granted, my guild doesn't run with either a shadow priest or a ret paladin, or even a survival hunter for goodness sake (/sigh), but even so, I could still potentially see myself having mana problems. What with the loss of downranking, and with the addition of the 'potion sickness' debuff, it's really difficult to keep mana, and raid members, up. Some things I suggest: don't wait until the last minute to use a mana potion. I know it's worrying to use a mana potion at the beginning of a fight, but really, using one when you're out of mana is almost useless. Try to start off with using a shadowfiend, too, because if you use it early in the fight, there's a better chance that the cooldown will complete before the fight is over, giving you some extra mana towards the end of the fight, when you could potentially be out of mana.

Also, do your best to practice canceling spells mid-cast if someone heals your target before you do. Granted, if you are specced into Serendipity you gain some mana back, but it's only 25% of the spells cost, and any time you can avoid spending mana is preferable.

Another thing to consider: Circle of Healing is obscenely overpowered now that it has a 'smart' heal effect. What this means is that instead of only healing your target's party, some of whom may or may not need a heal, it heals your target, and four other people near your target who DO need a heal. So, if you're targeting a tank and hit circle of healing, it's going to heal the tank and then perhaps hit four melee who may have been taking some AOE damage. Basically, Circle of Healing is going to search for the people who need the healing the most in it's radius, and heal them over someone who doesn't need the heal. This is GLORIOUS. Every time I hit Circle of Healing, it heals for about 6000, and all to people who need it. This results in not ONLY a more effective and worthwhile spell, but also owns the healing meters. Three of our top four healers in Sunwell were Circle of Healing priests, the other being a Wild Growth spamming druid.

Now, enough of silly talents, lets talk achievements.

What a way to bring people back to the game. I have seen more people on consistently in the past week than I have in, well, forever. Exploring, doing quests, finishing dungeons, raiding classic instances, searching for pets, grinding rep, leveling skills and professions; you name it, chances are someone is doing it. Some achievements I've been focusing on have been the exploration and reputation specific achievements. In fact I am now Bellezza, Guardian of Cenarius. If you are looking to get this title, you need to be exalted with the Cenarion Circle and the Cenarion Expedition. I was already exalted with the Expedition, so Circle was the only one left. Not too bad, I thought. I looked at my current reputation: Neutral. Lovely.

Off to Silithus!

This is how I spent my Sunday: Grinding Twilight Cultists. All day. Literally. Getting Cowls, Robes, Shoulders, summoning elementals, killing ?? bosses that you needed twenty people to kill at level 60, and turning in texts. And bugs. Oh, lots of bugs. However, it paid off in the end. Special thanks to my friends Iliana and Aegus for helping me :)

For those of you reading this, thank you. If you have any feedback or questions, feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me at

Also, /cry for the loss of Starshards and other priest racials. You will be sorely missed. This is a travesty for priests everywhere.

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