Friday, July 4, 2008

My first respec

I may min-max a little when it comes to gear, but I don't when it comes to spec. I assume it comes from the comfort in the fact that I was able to heal my way through 70 even with full Shadow spec and gear. Your spec may be important, but your skill is more important.

So, as I leveled Shadow, I put points into what I thought would be useful, not necessarily what some cookie-cutter spec progression told me to. Yeah, I had points in [Improved Renew] and [Healing Focus]. I'm sorry, but no matter what anyone tells you, those two skills are far more useful to a leveling Priest than [Meditation] and [Inner Focus]. Don't get me wrong,Med and IF are great, but they just aren't that useful until raiding beyond 5-mans.

Here's a fact: I almost never ran out of mana mid-fight in dungeons before 10-mans. Even when healing. And I almost never had to use mana pots. Yeah, it happened occasionally, but it was always a good sign that our strategy wasn't working. Med and IF would only have prolonged the agony.

Sorry, I'm a little bitter.

In a Heroic PUG this weekend I had a pair of people gang up on me and get up in my business about why I didn't have Med and IF. I explained, very politely, that I was still in my leveling spec and hadn't yet respecced for raiding. Instead of moving on, the two went all holier-than-thou on me talking about how they have SPriest alts and I am nerfing my spec if I don't have IF/Med, etc, etc, etc. I, again politely, told them that it wasn't like I was going to keep this spec forever, but that it had served me well thus far and I'm not the type to respec before every group. That wasn't good enough, and the verbal abuse continued for about 10 minutes.

And yet ... there I was. I was pulling my weight and getting it done, even with my nerfed spec. Go figure.

I keep coming back to the fact that I've been able to surprise people with my skill level, despite being a n00b when it comes to the content. It happened in Kara. It happened in Heroic Sethekk. If I can do that, does my nerfed spec invalidate that? Of course not.

I have an entire post brewing about how too many people in this game are looking for the “one true spec/gear” and forget that there's a progression involved.

But, eventually, I did end up respeccing. The truth is that I don't heal nearly as much as I used to, and [Improved Vampiric Embrace] was getting me into more trouble than it was worth. So, I am now a 14/0/47 cookie-cutter SPriest. Huzzah.

Maybe it's just bitterness, but I am not all that impressed with IF. It's one free spell every 3 minutes, maybe with a bit more crit to count it as a spell and a half. That's not going to make or break a fight. Med is arguably more useful, kicking me from something like 5 MP5 while casting up to 56. That's two free MF per minute, or a free SWP.

But for that, I gave up a 70% chance to get off a heal while getting beaten on. Is it worth it? I'm not entirely sure.


Ho Ho said...

If you aren't oom in 5-mans you aren't pressing your buttons hard enough :) Is MB and SWD always on cooldown? Are VT and SWP up on bosses at all times? Do a combat log some day and see what WWS tells you about your performance. A couple of months ago I thought I was pretty good, after analyzing first report I was pretty embarrassed.

I'm in roughly T5 level and still run OOM pretty often on heroic bosses with IF and meditation and have to use my fiend. In ZA I'm often OOM even with fiend and chain manapotting. SP's are awfully mana-inefficient classes and they absolutely need to keep their VT up at all times to fight more than a minute or two.

As for healing yourself while being beaten on, it isn't almost ever worth it. Just use shield and let the dedicated healer do its work. Dropping shadow form is massive mana waste while also meaning you'll be taking 15% more damage.

Merlot said...

Welcome to the club mate :) This is the club of Priests Who Can No Longer Heal In Instances so yeah, you've made the right decision. Don't get me wrong, inner focus and meditation aren't great, but they are working for you ever instance, every single fight, which is more than you can say for holy talents.

apanthropesp said...

"run OOM pretty often on heroic bosses"

Really? Which ones? I haven't run all of the Heroics yet, but I've run about half of them. With the exception of a bad Calculator bug last night and learning Ahune, I don't think I've gone /oom on any of the Heroic bosses. (For Calc, both the healer and I were at 10% mana after the last gauntlet when he aggroed immediately instead of giving us a few seconds to drink. Regular, too.)

Maybe I'm not pressing hard enough, as you say. But generally I am riding max threat with Omen and am usually only behind the T5/T6-geared people in terms of DPS.

But, also, there really aren't too many 5-man bosses where the fight lasts long enough. The DPS spreadsheet puts me out past 2m before I go /oom, and most 5-man bosses go down in 60-90 seconds.

Now Kara ... that's a different story. I generally go completely oom on the Prince as he is in his last 10%, but I've gotten used to that and know to Fiend early so that my CD is up in time. Nightbane ... I've yet to down, but I do always go oom. (Who can regen mana when they are constantly running around?)

I shall indeed have to WWS.