Sunday, December 21, 2008

PvP Boomkin Builds

So I was looking yesterday, and noticed that wowwiki has finally got around to doing some basic boomkin builds that should "get you started" on the pvp front. I'm not really particularly happy with either one of them, though I recognise the need to spec partially into the resto tree to get Omen of Clarity at least, and not go 71 points into balance like I'm currently doing (hey, I like to explore my tree fully). Anyway:

Firstly, the more "serious" pvp build, I like this one less than the other but it has its benefits. I really dislike that this tree tosses both insect swarm, the most mana-efficient dot in the game, and eclipse which I find to be a dps boost. Begin controversy arguing now. I agree with the elimination of starfall, I have that currently and I can count on 0 hands the number of times that I've cast it and not had it get me into exponentially more trouble with the huge range on it. I understand you could put a major glyph into it but I'm already packing the SF & Wrath ones, with the third already slotted to MF after I calculated it would give me a 300-point damage boost (lose 600 from the initial, gain 900 in the dot part). I could toss the wrath glyph I suppose but it's not that worthwhile a talent to me. I'm eh on the elimination of IFF and BoP -- both dropping your chance to hit. I particularly like that IFF when talented gives you an extra 3% crit chance on the target, and it brings you to a 99% hit chance which is pretty damned good. I could probably spare BoP with the hit dagger from the Kirin Tor, at least till I pick up some Arena weapons which probably won't have any hit rating on them. Gale Winds I think is not a particularly useful talent, the added cyclone range is nice but I don't think it's going to be that useful in arena where you close gaps too quickly for any range to really be important.

Second build, allegedly a mixmash if you need more pve viability, I like more. I like this stuff we're getting out of the resto tree, I hadn't realised they added boomkin benefits to some of those talents so it's good to spec into both furor and master shapeshifter. Intensity's a must, obviously, so I would keep this resto side of the tree how it is. Many of the same complaints apply to this build though at least they kept insect swarm. Dreamstate I'm not sure is that important, I don't have OOM issues in Arenas or BGs, deaths are too quick, and you already have Intensity so...

I think I'm going to try this one when I hit 80. Yes I did throw some stuff into Dreamstate after all, but only b/c I had nowhere else to put the last couple talents (same rationale on Owlkin frenzy). Keep my eclipse and the hit chance at 100% (I guess you never know when that extra 1% might be important...).

I wish I knew more about Nature's Splendor -- it increases the length of your periodic spells...does it also increase the damage/healing so that you have the same amount per tick? Or is it the same amount just spread over a longer time, ie, you get less per tick? Nobody seems to have any definitive comments on it one way or the other.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

*drool* PvP gear!

PvP gear is out as of Tuesday, and with it my flirtation with 10-man raiding. Back to what I know and love, Boomkin pvp! I think that I'll restrict my PvE gear to drops off heroics, especially as that lets me continue my exclusivity viz a viz not grouping with death knights.

There seems to be a slightly skewed requirement here with regard to arena ratings, to wit --

No Rating Moderate Rating Uber Rating

Gear Savage Hateful Deadly

Accessories Hateful Deadly n/a?

And of course there are currently no weapons available besides the Deadly ones which is ridiculous as they have a 2030 rating requirement on them.

If you take the simple route to getting savage gear, ie., mixing with arena points instead of trying to do straight up honor which is much more expensive, you should be able to get full gear & accessories after the trifling total of 347,200 honor and 1625 arena points. Which is not terribly bad considering that you could get I think around 5000 honor every four matches, and you could pick up a piece of gear every week assuming you did the arena matches. 278 matches later, you have a full gear set! To say nothing of what you start with, which for me right now equates to approximately 25k honor. It's really nice I think that they dropped the mark requirement on any pvp pieces, reducing marks to the sole point of turn-ins for yet more honor. I admire what they did before which seemed like an incentive to get you to do certain bgs, but I don't think you really lose that here since you'd still need to do all the bgs about equally (except AV, praise Lolth that was the one they dropped in exchange for strand of the ancients) in order to have an even turn-in rate.

Gear, no choice on -- obviously it's the savage wyrmhide all the way. WRT to accessories though there's a little bit of choice, at least on some of the gear. Do you want hit, crit, haste, or mp5? Hit is *just* about worthless I think, as you'd expect with a primarily pve stat. There's a 96% hit chance against an equivalent level, which all the BGs are at 80, so you only need 4% more and boomkin have an automatic 4% from talents, and bumped to 7 if you bother (or have time) to cast IFF on your target. Ditto the worthlessness of mp5 or spirit on gear -- you die so fast in a BG there's no way you run through your entire mana pool...I don't think it's happened more than a handful of times in all the BGs I've done, though on occasion it has occurred in longer-running arena matches. So...crit / haste / spellpower? Spellpower trumps on importance I think, but between the other two what do you do? I'm inclined to give a slight edge to haste here, if only because people are stacking serious resilience nowadays which somewhat lowers the effectiveness of crit; but on the other hand it's an extremely useful pve stat and much as I might like to, I don't spend 100% of my time in BGs so :-).

The savage gear nets --

blue xxx
red xxx
yellow xx
meta x

There is also a prismatic one that you could add to your belt slot with a belt least I assume any serious person would do so.

For the meta I'm tossed between the Ember Skyflare (25 sp, 2% int) and the Enigmatic Skyflare (21 crit, 10% reduced snare/root). I think the ember is probably better for overall usage, especially with druids slipping out of roots through shifting and the medallion of the alliance for getting out of fear. If I start running into a ton of locks in arena though I'll probably switch out for the Impassive Skyflare (21 crit, 10% reduced fear).

As per usual I think we're shooting for blue-int, red-spellpower, yellow-crit. The yellow I'm figuring on Perfect Smooth Sun Crystal (+14 crit), for red Runed Scarlet Ruby (+19 spellpower), and usual blue provides trouble, tending to be more PvE-useful than PvP, tons of spirit and mp5-based gems, and little to choose from pvp-wise. There is of course the old fallback to straight stam boosts a la Solid Star of Elune...but I'm more inclined I think to go with something like Forceful Forest Emerald (8 haste, 12 stam) or Jagged Forest Emerald (8 crit, 12 stam) so I'm at least getting something caster-useful out of it.

My guild recently had a Vent Meeting where I was yet again reassured that This Time things will be, you know, different, and we're going to be Super Serial about PvP / arenas, etc. My confidence in such promises dwindles every time it comes up and goes unfulfilled. But the beauty of arenas, of course, is that I don't *need* my guild to do them. Where it suffers is trying to do BG premades, a chimeric dream that I have that the few of us pvpers in the guild have never been able to convince the rest of the folks to come along for. I rather suspect that I'm going to have to go with my fallback on this one, trying to do premades with Meridius, though the chat channel they allegedly created for that purpose seems to have died as I haven't heard anything on it for a long-o time.

Time to hit 80 already so I can start implementing this :-)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Other shouts --

I found a nice blog the other day so if I may point other boomkin in the general direction of Gray Matter, I'm sure he'd appreciate the visits!

Also, on the Traumatic Shift front, I changed my mind and went for daggers instead on the vague and possibly unfounded idea that I'd be able to find more crit on a dagger than a mace. And also the fellow above seems to think the dagger from the Kirin Tor rep reward is pretty much one of the best pre-raiding one-handed weapons ever so that played a factor too. I got a nice off-hand to replace my AH junk yesterday by getting into a group for nexus and getting the Tome of ... something I don't remember the name of, off of Anomalus. Thanks to Telk, Sylene, Aldimere, and guildmate Xirlok for putting up with my anti-DK policy.

Strange but true story: had a conversation with Telk while I was looking for a group (difficult as a dps anyway, more so with said policy) which was actually fairly civil about why I refuse to group with DKs. So I noted that in an attempt to wrap up the conversation, something like "thank you for being so courteous, it's above the flak I usually get" and his response was all, "I guess you can be a bigest against is racist against trolls". Huwah? Reply to courtesy is to descend into calling me a bigot? Anyway I thought that was a write-off until Aldimere who was the leader of the group invited me in and look, there was Telk in the group. Weirdness. It almost makes me wonder if I could just shortcut the tiresome attempts of people to "convert" me to DKs by saying I'm a bigot. Hard to argue with that, right? The wife thinks otherwise, that it would intensify argument. I have not yet seen a good enough argument to convert me, the most cogent being "well so you're against warlocks too?". I think there's a fundamental difference between calling in demons from another plane and enslaving them to your will, and forcibly reanimating dead corpses and desecrating their post-death experience. Other people apparently would lump that in the same group. I split that on two reasons: one, I think there's a difference between enslaving an evil demon, and enslaving a good person. Fine line, yes, but wouldn't you feel better about making Hitler your personal slave and Mother Theresa, even if you hated slavery across the board? And two, from a practical standpoint I have to draw a line somewhere or I'd never be able to play. Excluding one class is tough but doable, even though it probably virtually excludes me from anything over a 5-man run, but excluding two would be impossible, I'd be reduced to solo play all the time. And that would suck as I've been making a slight priority shift in Ihra with the expansion so that I want him to have some good PvE gear as well as PvP gear. Prior to wrath, I walked around in a full set of PvP gear all the time with I think 2 rings and a set of bracers to switch out for PvE.

Also a shoutout to Carbonite, a lovely add-on. I downloaded it on the recommendation of some guildies who said it was better than Quest Helper, in order to power-level my mage Forol on my wife's server. I have been generally satisfied with it, even though the map supercedes Cartographer's and doesn't tell me instance levels anymore. But two days ago it came in amazingly handy. I was farming caribou meat in BT and I passed a 71 DK. In direct violation of my policy I allowed him to live because hey, he was 3 levels under me and I felt an odd stirring which was probably pity though I can't tell for certain. His response: to wait for 5-10 minutes until I was heavily engaged with two other mobs, and then jump me and kill me. I rezzed, and Carbonite via its interesting "friends list for gankers" told me where he was on the map, which was way far away and I'd've never found him by myself. I was able to hunt him down and murder him like a dog. For the record he was mounted and not engaged in any fighting at all so it was a much fairer fight than he gave me.

PvP notes on that fight: I again continue to hate how you have to kill unholy(? I think?) dks twice, first as themselves and then again as a ghoul. That's not cool, they're hard enough to kill anyway and then to give them an extra life adds to the unfairness. I'm still not sure what happened in dragonblight a few weeks ago where I had to kill a ganking DK three separate times before she died for good; wife came up with the theory that she had a soulstone on her maybe. I don't know but that needs some serious nerfing. Also I started the fight by rooting, which has generally been my answer to dk's having insane melee dps, stay as far away from that as possible. And he death-gripped me thus nullifying the roots. I understand that's on a 30-second cooldown so if i had to do that again I guess I would root, expect to be death-gripped, and shift to travel to get the distance back while my trees pounded on him.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Traumatic Switches

First of all, a shoutout to this quest, the first in a very long time that actually gave some caster leather; no good for me as still under my level but I'm getting MIGHTY SICK of seeing quests with the reward choice of caster cloth, feral leather, something mail that I don't look at too closely, and something plate that I also don't look at too closely. Show me some love, yo.

In other news, Ihra needs to L2READ his talents that, put into Improved Moonkin Form, mean that I get additional spellpower equal to 15% of my Spirit. So who knew, that has some value after all. I did a search yesterday for caster leather in dungeon drops, which isn't too terribly good but --

70 pants out of Utgarde, off of Ingvar
71 belt out of the Nexus, off of Telastra
72 shoulders AND staff out of Azjol-Nerub, off of Hadronox
73 gloves out of Ahn'Kahet, off of Elder Nadox
74 helm and necklace out of Drak'Tharon Keep, off of Trollgore and Novos, respectively
75 pants and necklace out of Violet Hold, off of Erekem and Zuramat, respectively
78 cloak and ring out of Gundrak, off of Gal'darah and Moorabi.

With a slight revision here because after 74 levels of staves, Ihra is making a wrenching switch to mace & offhand. I take a dps hit, a slight sp boost, and loose big on hit and crit...for the moment because I'm using AH goods instead of good drops which could make up for that. To wit, there's a nice offhand from Anomalus in the Nexus, and a good 76 mace off of Moorabi in Gundrak, could I but get there.

On the other hand, daggers might be a good choice also, with the Kirin Tor giving an excellent revered dagger, and who doesn't love rep rewards?

Could be difficult though as my rigid anti-DK policy kept me out of no less than three separate instance groups yesterday.

I continue to whine about four key recipes not being in-game from Bliz, thus preventing me from getting my Hail to the Chef achievement. GRUMBLE.