HoTs and DoTs: A Restoration Druid and Shadow Priest

The End of An Era

This is where I go to cry...

This is where I go to cry...

For the last four blissful months I’ve been the sole, main spec, Shadow Priest in my guild. That time has come to an end. We’ve just accepted a new Shadow Priest into the guild.

I don’t like them already. They have much better gear than me (and seem to have ridiculous gear luck – 2 pieces from Onyxia 25 in 2 weeks!?), they used to be Horde and they use a stupid 1990s “futuristic” font on their user interface. I know cause they had to submit their UI as part of their application.

Of course, I tell myself that I should be happy. This is an opportunity to learn from another Shadow Priest. Trade tips, swap ideas and annoy the rest of the entire raid by theorycrafting over Ventrillo. Debate whether it’s worth casting Vampiric Touch on Heroic Lord J‘s Nether Portals and Infernal Volcanos or if it’s more DPS to just skip it to try and spam just one more Mind Flay (and really, what’s the difference anyway because my DPS contribution to these burst phases is so small). Or what the hell is the best way to up DPS on Twin Val’kyr? And I’ve only got a few weeks to mess around with this one until we come and try it on Heroic.

Perhaps if I keep reminding myself of all the positives, I’ll actually feel excited.

Raiding in World of Warcraft is like living in a fish bowl. Your whole experience, the sum total of your opinions, are based on the other 24 people you raid with. If you have 1 Warlock in your guild, and they come last every fight, you’re going to be sympathetic to any conversation that includes buffing Warlocks – they so need it after all! Play with 1 amazing Elemental Shaman and you’ll be left wondering why Blizzard decided to buff them with the Onyxia patch and just about ignored everyone else.

So in my little fish bowl there’s a tank of each class, a DPS or two of each pure class, the weird hybrid crowd (1 Ele Shaman, 1 Enh Shaman, a Boomkin) and some healers and me. Ask me “What is the current state of Death Knights?” and I’ll make up some vague response based on what our Death Knight can do. Surely the vice-versa is true. For the rest of my guild, I represent 99% of what a Shadow Priest can do.

Uh uh uh, no longer. Now I can be compared. There are only 2 things that separate me and this new Shadow Priest. Gear. Skill. We’re doing the exact same encounters under the exact same circumstances.

Gear upgrades have never really bothered me before. I’m not the kind of player to dump all my DKP on the first item that drops that could be an upgrade. I tend to gear up at the end of a raid release cycle. Yeah, I know, I’m still wearing my spaceman suit from Ulduar. With a ToGC 25 offhand. Go figure!

Blizzard intend to repeat their level-the-gear-across-the-board with each new raid release. Honestly, it just makes me hate all Emblem rewards including Tier tokens. I love looking at my gear and remembering the fight that delivered it into my hands. My shoulders glow orange (I know, not my favourite colour either) but they’re from Yogg+1 on 10 man and the night we got that I thought it was a pretty damn big deal. I look at my shoulders and recall that sense of achievement. Open up the Achievement panel and I just don’t get the same buzz.

I love that if someone else inspects me (well if they know their cloth gear) they’ll know that I was good enough, and put in the effort, to succeed at that encounter.

Before the Achievement system was introduced your gear was your travelogue of all the strange and wonderful places you’d been. Tamarind totally gets it. And the tricky bosses you had defeated along the way. I’m having difficulty letting that go.

People out there will argue that it’s no different than what happened when Sunwell was released but in my mind it is different. Badge of Justice rewards didn’t pretend to be the same thing. They had different names, different stats and different models. You could inspect someone and see the difference between a Rogue wearing Tier 6 and the Badge Boots (cause perhaps they hadn’t won anything better) and a Rogue wearing all the Badge gear who probably hadn’t stepped out of Karazhan.

So these two things combined (Blizzard’s inevitable gear-resets and another Shadow Priest) have made me determined to push a bit harder to get geared up more quickly when the next raid tier is released. Of course you could argue that the next raid is the final one of Wrath of the Lich King so what difference will it make if I take 1 month or 5 months to upgrade.

Now if only we could make these Trial of the Crusader bosses drop something other than Plate and that stupid robe. I swear I’m going to rage if I see yet another Plate tanking item go to offspec bids next week. WTB 1 Spellpower weapon. Any Spellpower weapon.

I’ve been planning to write a post about the 1-main per expansion “rule”. The best time to change your main is when a new expansion is released because having a new max level cap is the true equaliser. But with the Emblem changes bringing your Alt up to a comparative gear level to your Main is easy and soloable and doesn’t require your guild to go and run old Tier content. So you could switch pretty easily mid-expansion now. Yet the Achievement system makes me much more invested in my Wrath of the Lich King main (my priest) than any other character I have, or could plan to have… so is there really a choice anymore? I know, I know, one problem at a time.

Back to this topic. I raided with the new Shadow Priest for the first time tonight. They successfully ran away from Icehowl and thus earnt an A+ from me right then. Yes, his DPS was higher than mine but we were pretty equal on Damage Done. We won’t dwell on the fact that I was receiving Power Infusion for half the night.

I just have to include these absolutely amazing videos which probably do a better job capturing what raiding Ulduar was/is all about than any Achievement list or piece of armor. Perhaps this is the new way to remember your raiding history. How the author, Invisusira, got their entire raid to walk up the stairs to Kologarn I’ll never know. 1000g each? The promise of gold can do amazing things, you know. Most impressive part of the movie in my opinion. I can’t even get 10 people to face the same way for a screen capture.

[youtube tCG2Q8iQzEE Ulduar: The Movie (Part 1 of 3)]

[youtube yUOaq01rj0E Ulduar: The Movie (Part 2 of 3)]

14 Responses to “The End of An Era”

  1. AdgamorixNo Gravatar says

    First – love your site theme, it’s brilliant.

    Personally, I relish the competition I get from having someone else share my spec in a raid. When I was the only Healing Paladin – they could just marvel at my massive HL spam. Once a second one came in – well now I have to adjust my level of deliciousness, and push myself harder. It’s one reason I love running with PuGs on my alts – I get to see how others in my spec/class do it.

    I don’t know how much you can move without impacting your DPS severly – but if I could offer a small tip that might boost your DPS a little.

    Start the fight with the white aura. As you run in, put up all your dots on the dark twin. Keep moving straight to the dark portal, click it, and start your DPS rotation on the light twin. The only thing you’ll have to watch for is an aspect change, because you’ll be far away from your opposite color. Also pick up the aura from collecting the same color orbs as your aura. Your haste will make your mind flay tick like mad.

    Good luck!

  2. UltraNo Gravatar says

    Personally if another elemental shaman joined I would get very competitive but there is no reason why you can’t take this on board and make a new friend.

    DPS meters mean very little when ‘pure’ dps classes usually top, but having competition like that in our raids certainly will push you to perform better which is a positive thing I suppose.

    When it comes to gear upgrades pretty much any caster loot is yours! you shouldn’t be afraid to bid high amounts of dkp when any ilvl 245 gear boosts our dps so much!

    End of An Era? have to consider things like his ages and school holidays :P could be gone very soon :) it has in fact only been 1 raid :D

  3. KithainNo Gravatar says

    So glad to see I’m not the only shadow priest that gets antsy when another shadow priest is in the raid. I also used to be the only spriest in my guild, until the old officers saw the Naxx damage that we used to do (lol aoe trash pulls) and mistakenly thought spriest dps is so awesome that they had to recruit 2 more. Once Ulduar came and our old raid leader came back from a wow hiatus, we soon realised that having more than 1 shadow priest gimps raid dps, and we now only take 1, rarely 2, spriests. Well, at least it keeps me on my toes. Competition isn’t a bad thing, though it does sort of make me emo when things go in their favor (like me getting snobolded twice in a row, or getting toxined… lol xD).

  4. CassandriNo Gravatar says

    @Agdamorix

    So… you’re saying start with the opposite to the raid to get full damage on your DoTs on the “secondary” twin then switch to match the rest of the raid and dps the “primary” twin.

    I’m assuming this is to boost Shadow Word: Pain over the length of the whole fight? You’d keep that refreshed then over both targets (which I’m doing now). But once Vamp wears off would you reapply it on the second twin?

    I think I need to make more effort to move around, collect orbs and power up.

    @Ultra did you see your video link in there? :P

  5. UltraNo Gravatar says

    yeah lol :) its pretty boring to watch… most of the fights in TOC arent single target like that so its fun to mix in Chain lightning etc.

    if you look at my other videos you can see my druid before I xferred it! utlracool imo

  6. PapaNastyNo Gravatar says

    those videos you linked were epic, if you ever want to make one up yourself and need a hand, just give me a yell, and I’m sure that our 10man group would all help out if you wanted to make one, might even be enough keen that we could do a 25man of it.

    Although of course, any movie needs a star, someone who is a Champion of the Light, a Crusader against the Dark and a Protector of Virtue. As it so happens, I know someone who fits the build :)

    But yeah, having the other shadowpriest in there will be good, if you work as a team on how to maximise your dps for each fight, you should be able to push the pure dps classes a bit harder. Hehe and you have almost as much dkp as random, so if you want gear I’m sure it won’t be a problem :) Although you’ll get decked out without spending any dkp just from 10s probably anyway :)

    Keeping both SW:P on twins sounds like it’d be pretty mad too so long as you remember to keep it refreshed.

  7. CassandriNo Gravatar says

    At the moment I keep SW:P & Vamp on both twins regardless of my own debuff… but that’s wasting 3.5 seconds or so each … 15 seconds or so … for half returns.

    @Papa There’s no way I can capture, let alone edit, a video to turn out that good.

  8. PapaNastyNo Gravatar says

    Cass, don’t your dots stay at the +% dmg increase which you have when you first put them up? (Even if the +% increase drops off later on)

    I might have misinterpreted this tho when schadow told me tho (I asked him for a 2min description on how to play shadow for my priest before I started lvling to 80 lolz)

  9. CassandriNo Gravatar says

    Well aside from Shadow Word: Pain you have to recast your other DoTs. The others last 15-20 sec.

    So if I swap to cast Vamp Touch on Lightbane chicky with Light Essence wouldn’t it only do half damage for the next 15 sec? In that time I could be casting more spells on the dark twin.

  10. AdgamorixNo Gravatar says

    Aye – that’s why I said to just cast it at the start….but…

    Let’s say you have the white aura and you put SW:P and whatever other DoT you can on the Dark Twin. Then you switch to the Dark Aura and go full tilt boogey on the Light Twin. I don’t know for sure, but I believe that if you refresh the SW:P (Doesn’t one roll of Mind Flay refresh the DOT?) it keeps ticking at the original potency – not at 1/2 damage.

    Then again – it may be just not worth the pain.

    Don’t spend a lot of time running around for orbs – otherwise you’ll wind up like this Ele shaman in our PUG last night – you spend so much time trying to buff your DPS, that you do less DPS than the tank.

    All in all – it’s a fun fight. Enjoy!
    .-= Adgamorix’s last blog … Divine Sacrifice Nerf/Buff/Fix =-.

  11. KithainNo Gravatar says

    Not sure if you already know this, but try to bribe the raid leader to make sure you’re on dark essence most of the time so you get powerups from your SWD self-damage. Depends on the strat you’ll be following I guess.

  12. cubbyNo Gravatar says

    cass you are irreplaceable!!

  13. ZahrahNo Gravatar says

    I like having competition because It makes me non complacent, and wanting to be better. I get the occasional challange with a holy priest that has shadow offspec, I have to contend with beating our mages, warlocks and Shammys though in the interim. Having gone from one of three sp’s though to now the only one that raids as Shadow fulltime, I do admit that being the only has been nice.. and even nicer when I can kick the other classes butts on the metres – Shadow power!

  14. CassandriNo Gravatar says

    It’s not uncommon (especially when we scale back on healers for Ulduar) to have a healer with me in Shadowform as their offspec. That’s never bothered me. Well actually, hearing Mind Flay when it’s not my own, does confuse me a little bit. Just a little.

    I guess I always try to one-up myself. I know when my timing is a bit off and I reapply VT too soon, or when not one of my targets has had Dev Plague applied for quite some time… And I know when I’ve done everything just right and every DoT has rolled on/off seamlessly.

    But now the Damage Meter has real significance post-encounter. I don’t like that part at all.

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