Patch 5.0.4 – Initial thoughs

Patch 5.0.4 is here. I’ve been traveling for work most of this week so I couldn’t really sit down and play to get a feel for it until last night.

Thunderspank the Prot Warrior

First the talents. What I love most about my warrior is his mobility and Double Time was at the top of my list. I also love to intervene, so I took Safeguard. Dragon Roar is also tons of fun, though I’ll probably switch back to shockwave for prot – the shorter cooldown on it is handy and I’ve come to see it as a staple of my trash pickup toolbox. Second Wind is probably more useful for me in PvP so I’ll explore the other two in this tier. And Disrupting Shout sounds very useful but I need to train myself to use it appropriately.

At this point I hadn’t been able to get the blasted glyphs UI to work in game so I queued for a HOT 5man heroic without glyphs.

What a total clusterfuck it was.

I’d just redone my UI, new install of RealUI, Tidy Plates:Threat Plates and some macros cleaned up.

Anyway, queue pops, I zone in, say “Hello!”, jump in the portal to land in Emerald Dragonshrine. I ask everyone if they’re ready, get a round of “ayes” and off we go. I hit commanding shout to get the stam buff up and get some rage.

I then charge a mob and start to pick up the trash as it spawns and their threat plates turn green (in tank mode for tidy plates:threat plates a green nameplate means I have aggro on the mob). I think the group is great as they’re all running with me, even the healer. So aggro is not going to be an issue at all! I thunderclap and see a nice warm comforting sea of green plates. And I heroic leap into the pool of moonlight to draw mobs in where they’ll take more damage.

And I wait for them.

And they don’t come to me.

They don’t even turn to glance at me.

But the nameplates are green.

What sorcery is this?

And suddenly it dawns on me that HOLY.FUCKING.SHIT. I am in battle stance. Tidy Plates thinks I am a dps – the sea of green plates means I have aggro on NOTHING. NOT.A.SINGLE.DAMN.THING.

While this realization is dawning on me, the poor druid healer has popped tree form and is trying to heal through the damage of a good 10 mobs wailing away on him. I hit my macro to switch to defensive stance and charge back in. I now remember what I’ve lost in 5.0.4. I no longer have vigilance, so no cooldown-free taunts. I also don’t have my AOE taunt anymore. So I have very little rage, insignificant aggro on a large group of very pissed off mobs and my healer is still going full tilt and building healing aggro.

But I have Dragon Roar. Woohoo! All nameplates go red in a flash!

Good, we’re in control.

SMASH BANG BASH CLASH. HOLY SHIT I’M ALMOST DEAD. I’m trying to use devastate/shield slam/revenge to get some rage to use Shield Barrier/Block but everything is grayed out. WTF!

I look at my toon and something is amiss.

“Where is my shield?” (Another revealation, they’re coming fast and furious right now.)

“Oh you blasted stance shift macro – you put me in defensive stance but equipped my two hander. GG.”

I open my paper doll screen and scramble to get a shield up. Alright, shield equipped. Abilities are a go! But now I’ve lost aggro again and Dragon Roar has a 1 minute cooldown with more than 40 seconds left on it. SHIT.

Fortunately by this time the mobs were nearly dead and we were able to recover without anyone dying. That druid healer was amazing. That pack was handled without anyone tanking.

So, flushed with embarrassment, I apologized to everyone. They were super cool about it.

We did the rest of the instance without much trouble. I did die on Murozond – rewind time to get out of jail free.

It is insane how hard he hits my warrior now if I don’t have AM up. Passive mitigation is very weak now. My PvE gear isn’t very hot but its still higher level than what drops in End Time.

I can totally see healers getting depressed if they try to heal a tank they’ve been running with for a while. If that tank doesn’t use AM properly, the healer will not be able to keep up and will feel gimped.

I played as arms in a few battlegrounds, its fun, but I feel much squishier. Later I realized they nerfed PvP gear ilvl and I was getting owned by wankers with Dragonwrath and the Fangs of the Father. My own 397 PvP axe had turned into a 384 paper noodle. This should sort itself out next tier. I hope I don’t have to raid to get weapons for PvP though, that would suck.

Callendula the Discipline Priest

Those of  you who’ve known me for a while know that if I am not tanking, I’d rather be healing. And dps is something I am rarely in the mood for. DPS feels like a very pigeonholed role to me. I feel that as a tank or healer, my individual contribution counts for so much more. 2 tanks, 2 – 3 healers, 5 – 6 dps. You get more work as one of the former two groups. 🙂

I smoothed out my spells. Got my Vuhdo click binds sorted out. After my learning experience from my warrior, I went off and reforged first thing. Nice passive 2500+ spirit. I’m still using DMC: Tsunami so that is another 400 spirit during combat. So I’d be at 2900 spirit pretty much all the time. That sounded adequate. For Glyphs I fired up a second copy of wow which has no addons and went in there to pick my glyphs.

I then joined a DS10N pug in trade. My ilvl was 384, I was healing after a long hiatus on my priest and was rusty. So I didn’t even try looking for a heroic pug. Normal all the way.

It was fun, we one shot everything – who doesn’t in DS10N now? 🙂 And I got a tier chest (which I have not gemmed / enchanted yet!).

Spirit Shell is a lot of fun, it adds a very fun twist to Disc healing. For those of you who don’t know what it is, it is on a 1 minute cooldown and it does this:

For the next 15 sec, your Heal, Flash Heal, Greater Heal, and Prayer of Healing no longer heal but instead create absorption shields that last 15 sec.

On fights where you expect massive damage in the next 15 seconds you can line it up to get some amazing absorbs. Since we went through fights so fast, I was never hurting for mana. I tried to make myself go OOM by bombing flash heals and shields just to see what it would take and while you can burn through 100K mana fairly fast, at 3K spirit and rapture, I was getting it back pretty quickly. Between intelligent rapture use, Core of Ripeness (yes yes, 359 trinkets but 5K spirit!), shadowfiend and arcane torrent, I’d zoom back up to full mana really quickly. The blood elf racial is super awesome, 6% of your mana back on a 2min cooldown is compelling.

I enjoyed healing with atonement, spirit shell and I think disc is now even more fun to play than it was before.

I’m pretty happy with my warrior and priest. I’ll try out the other toons as I get the time to explore them more. 🙂

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