Windfury Crits

Enhancement Shaman PVE and PVP. As a Tier 7 Enhancement Shaman, avid PvPer and guild leader I find there are not enough active Enhance blogs. Thus, *Windfury Crits* the Enhancement Shaman blog covering PvE, PvP, and pretty much everything else I can think of relating to the wonderful world of enhance.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

ANNOUNCING: Big Hit Box

I am very pleased to announce the launch of Big Hit Box, the definitive melee blog.

I am teaming up with Ret Paladin extraordinaire Cathmor from Eye for an Eye and the respectable rogue Zaltu from One Rogue's Journey. And that's just for starters; we're looking for contributors from all walks of melee: Feral, Blood, Arms/Fury, as well as other Rets, Rogues, and Enhancers.

Want to write a post about enhance/melee? Want to share your spec? Have some great advice for the rest of the Enhance community? That's one of the ideas behind Big Hit Box.

The other idea is that we share so much in common with our fellow melee brethren that I've found their blogs insightful and informative over the past year (yes I actually read the blog of a filthy rogue! Well, Zaltu's not filthy and he is a good guy--even for a rogue).

With WF Crits I wanted to bring the Ehancement community together and I think we're off to a great start there. With Big Hit Box I want to keep the Enhance community rolling, give it room to grow, and sync up with our melee brothers-in-arms.

What does this mean for Windfury Crits? It means I'll be parking this site and this blog; this will be the last post here. It means more exposure for the Enhancement community. It means a nicer looking blog! It means free beer!!! er, wait. Sorry no free beer. But the blog is nicer looking.

FAQ on the transition:

Q: Will Stoney still blog with a Stormstrike-like-crit-to-the-face-focus on Enhancement?
A: Yep. BAM!

Q: Is your rss reader going to be clogged with more clutter when you just want straight Windfury Crits?
A: Nope. I'll provide an updated feed for just WF Crits below, but give the whole site a shot I think you'll like it.

Q: Will there be much more information, organized better, and written by multiple bloggers?
A: Yep. And if you're interested in contributing drop me a line via the contact form.

Q: Are you interested in free lootz?
A: Of course you are. I'll be running some contests to give away some loot cards, I expect the Enhance community to show up in droves for freebies. Don't let the rogues steal all the goods!


The site is still a work in progress and probably will be for a while as I'm always fussing around with these sorts of things. But if I didn't put it live this week I'd just have put it off for another month. so...

UPDATE YOUR LINKS!

The new blog:
http://bighitbox.com

The complete rss feed:
http://feeds2.feedburner.com/BigHitBox

The Windfury Crits posts:
http://bighitbox.com/index.php/category/enhance/

The WF Crits only rss feed:
http://feeds2.feedburner.com/bighitbox/xxsM


May all your hits be crits!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Sunday Night Update

(reposted from Path of a Hero)

I've been working, I've been raiding when I can, and tweeting like a maniac. You guys are all looking great out there and I promise more regular updates as soon as I get this major project launched. Good stuff on the horizon.

As for Stoney: T7.5 shoulders and the Stalk Skin Belt meant I had to completely regem. I also spent DKP on the Arachnoid Gold Band. I was going to save up my DKP for the T7.5 helm off KT but two things convinced me otherwise: 1) I believe in taking upgrades as soon as you can get them because you never know when you'll get the opportunity again, and 2) our MT did not have his T7.5 helm and I knew he wanted it, and with his DKP being much higher than mine there was no reason to hold back because I would never be able to out-bid him. So I took the upgrades as they came.

I love the look of the T7.5 shoulders. It's a damn shame they're so pretty because I'll probably replace them when I finally get my hands on the helm.

I also picked up a Hand of Nerub to do some Theorycraft testing at the dummy one night.

My expertise thesis =P is nearly complete. That's also taken a back burner. I have the results of my raiding across multiple resets. What's left is the hard part: I need to figure out what the increase to DPS would be and if it's worth the trade-off in other stats. More spreadsheets!

Tomorrow we'll be in Sarth3D again, wish us luck! The 2D is like a walk in the park on a fine Sunday afternoon after wiping on 3D for 2 hours. But I don't mind the wiping because we were progressing each time.

And be sure to follow me on Twitter if you subscribe to that sort of nonesense.



May all your hits be crits!

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Friday, January 30, 2009

I miss blogging

I really miss blogging everything. Work, as previously noted, has been kicking my ass. That and I have a big new project that I'm launching this weekend. Stay tuned. It should be good :D

And feel free to tune in to my tweets:
http://twitter.com/stoneybaby

I hope all of you are having as much fun in Wrath as I am. I sure wish I had more time to play.

May all your hits be crits!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Work (83 elite) Crits Stoneybaby

I've been getting one-shot IRL by Work (level 83 elite) for the last week.
Sorry for the silence on the blog. I'm usually leaving work late, logging in for raids (often times late for those) then logging out right after to hit the sack for some much needed sleep.

I'll be back with some witty, insightful, and ground-breaking posts that will change the way you live your life! Or at the very least just give you a slight chuckle. In the meantime may all your hits be crits!

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Friday, January 16, 2009

Update on 20/51/0

Tonight I got some good comp data on the pure-raid Enhancement build of 20/51/0. Here's a look at Patchwerk tonight versus other nights as the raid-utility spec.

Jan 15 - 20/51/0
DPS : 4925
% Overall - Attack type - % Crit
31% - Swing - 44%
16% - WF - 37%
12% - LB - 38%
11% - ES - 38%
10% - FT - 45%
6% - SS - 56%
4% - LL - 57%
4% - Magma - 38%
3% - LS - n/a
2% - Spirit Wolf - 10%
1% - Searing - 39%

Jan 6 - 16/55/0
DPS : 4219
% Overall - Attack type - % Crit
35% - Swing - 42%
14% - LB - 50%
11% - WF - 29%
11% - FT - 31%
9% - ES - 22%
7% - SS - 50%
4% - Spirit Wolf - 11%
4% - LS - n/a
4% - LL - 30%
2% - Searing - 29%


My gear didn't change that dramatically and the raid makeup didn't change too much either. I think it's safe to say that just based on the Patchwerk fight those little bits and pieces here and there in the spec had a bigger impact on the overall damage than I was expecting.

As for mana consumption, on bosses I never went out of mana. Things got tight at one point on Groubbulus to the point where I considered popping a mana pot, but ended up making it through to the SR cooldown and replenished mana quickly. Mana hog? Yes, but totally managable. If you have the opportunity to try out this spec I say go for it.

I got some upgrades too, which I posted to PoaH.

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Twitter, New Spec, and Random Thoughts

First, I've been tweeting as Stoneybaby so if you are on Twitter then follow me there as... Stoneybaby. go figure. It's pretty fun to tweet mid-raid and shoot out random notes about the life of Enhance. Just like when I started this blog it was pretty much out there in the ether all alone with no one to read. But hey, it's something I do for fun and I'm glad you all found me and enjoy the posts. Although I haven't yet seen any turn-ins for those who are interested in grinding Stoneybaby faction!

But speaking of this blog I've been hard at work on a big project that will take Windfury Crits to the proverbial "next level." I apologize if posts are sparse these days, I've been busy as hell at work and then at home with raids and this new project. Case in point: I started this post at 10:40am. It's now 6:30pm and I'm just now looking at it again, and I still have work to do before I get out of here tonight. Oh hi, it's now 1:00am and I'm just now finishing this post.

Back on topic: I went with a totally new and completely selfish spec last night in raid: 20/51/0. I raided in it last night (Tuesday) but haven't had a chance to compare numbers yet. The idea behind this spec is to be entirely selfish and not spend any points in potentially overlapping talents. I've posted about this before but I'll review again.

For you and your raid to not suffer you must have a Marks Hunter, Frost DK, and at least 1 other Shaman to take Enhancing Totems. With those players guaranteed in your raid then you are free to spend points on what I would consider otherwise frivolous talents. (Jaron, you'll be somewhat vindicated to see I took 5/5 Reverb!!)

Be forewarned this spec is a mana hog. Without Ele Focus or a few points in Convection, the mana consumption goes waaaaay up. But conservation is not the point of this spec.

The point of this spec is to not waste any talent points in things that would otherwise overlap with other raid members. The point of this spec is to squeeze an additonal 2% here, 1% there, and 0.33% over there. It's not going to make a huge difference upwards in raids, but it will make a huge difference DOWNWARDS in 10s and 5s, so again only use in heroic raids with the right group make up.

But then with Enhance there is only so much tweaking one can do. This spec isn't about increasing DPS by 15% or something drastic like that, it's about continually squeezing every last 0.1% extra damage you can squeeze out. Because we've all been there on the 1% boss wipes. Those wipes when having that extra 1% output will make the difference between heartbreaking wipe and starting over or kill and notch on the belt.

This spec is created with that in mind. This spec is why I continually mess with my gear, trying to squeeze every last point of EP out of it. This spec is about putting ever conceivable effort forward toward getting that kill.

And on that note... good night.

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Hitting Exalted with the Stoneybaby faction

I finally hit Exalted with Sons of Hodir today and promptly realized there is no achievement for hitting exalted with them. What a rip-off. If anything deserves an achievement, it would be the weeks upon weeks of grinding out dailies, slaving away for these chilly giants of the Storm Peaks, doing their bidding to mend the past and free them from the guilt of their mistakes. Nothing like getting a bunch of min/maxing crazed adventurers to do your bidding to atone for your sins for you. That's what I need. I need someone to atone for my sins for me.

I'm currently offering a few shoulder inscriptions for hitting exalted with the Stoneybaby faction:

  • [Greater Inscription of the Guinness] +40 Pint pouring perfection, +15 alcohol tolerance
  • [Greater Inscription of Jack Daniels] +40 Prose writing, +15 alcohol tolerance (clearly not the one I currently have equipped)
  • [Greater Inscription of Iced Tea] +40 Sugar-rushed leveling, +15 incessant leg tapping
  • [Greater Inscription of Starbucks] +40 Work effort and ability +15 incessant leg tapping

All this and more can be yours simply by atoning for Stoneybaby's sins. For a complete list of sins please see the first two inscriptions and use your imagination.

Oh, btw, I've been tweeting about Stoneybaby. My twitter ID is... Stoneybaby. go figure.

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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Can I fark with my gear any more?

I feel like all I ever do is mess around with my gear and talk about the damned hit-cap. Gawd it was so much easier when there was no hard hit cap for Enhance and all we had to do was dip down into the Resto tree for Nature's Guidance. Do you remember Nature's Guidance? It's not even listed on Wowhead now.

Anyway, I won the Valorous gloves on Sath+1 on Monday and had to dip into my stockpile of gear to figure out how to hit cap. What I came up with was not only hit cap, but an additional 4 points of Expertise. I was able to get to EXACTLY 341 hit and 124 Expertise Rating which is only 1 wasted point of Expertise Rating (remember Expertise is only good in chunks and can actually be wasted).

So 341 hit and 124 Expertise Rating gives me a kinda of private nerdgasam. oh-oh-oh-oH-OH-OH-OHYEEEEAAAAAHHHH

And now in true man/nerd post-coital fashion, I am tired. good night all.

Updated PoaH

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Monday, January 5, 2009

Captain Kel'Thuzad

Ugliest weapon in the game: Kel'Thuzad's Reach.

What's he reaching for? Why does he even need to reach? Doesn't he have some crazy Lich-like power so he doesn't have to reach? You know he's sitting up there in the pinnacle of Naxx watching the college bowl games using his Lichy powers to magically open the fridge and transport a nice cold beer to his lil beer cozy that says "I died for the Lich King and all I got was this lousy beer cozy." Maybe that's what he's using this thing for: to open some Lich-sized beers after a hard day of trying to the abom's meathooks out of the banshees while his back is turned. Is a Lich's work never done?

With hands like these... no.

Anyway, I put Berserking on it. The interesting thing is that now I only have Mongoose on 1 weapon, and it's my Off Hand, and my OH is faster than my MH, though just slightly. I was going to test out going WF/WF because of the Totem of Splintering, but now with Mongoose on my OH I don't think that will be a good option. I'll stick with WF/FT. (though that logic was based on thinking that Mongoose only affects the weapon that is imbued with it, and I'm not sure if that is the case... something to look into.)

Oh and I'm only using this weapon in raids. For soloing I use Angry Dread and Pride. For PvP I use Titansteel Bonecrusher and Pride.

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Saturday, January 3, 2009

Second Most Popular

PoaH update.

Turns out I'm the second most popular Path on PoaH. How do I know this? The first most popular guy made a comment to me congratulating me on being the SECOND most popular... hmmm.

Here's today's post:
I didn't buy the Savage Gladiator's Totem like I intended... because it doesn't exist in game yet. But I did spend some DKP on a new chest piece, then bought boots to match. I also picked up the Mirror of Truth and put on a pair of gloves without hit rating to keep my Hit at a decent level.

I now have 2 chest pieces, 2 bracers, 3 gloves, 2 belts, 2 boots, and 4 trinkets that I keep in my bags. Why? because they all have varying amounts of hit and if I want an upgrade and I need to increase or decrease my hit then I have choices in my bags. For example if Sapphiron drops Bandit's Insignia then I have a choice if I want to use that and Mirror of Truth, thus losing the 83 hit on Grim Toll. It's a constant balancing act.

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Thursday, January 1, 2009

Not Very Merry

I have an unhealthy relationship with achievements. I don't need them, I don't want them, but I continually find myself drawn to them, like a moth to the flame.

When I'm raid leading it's a constant internal struggle, should we go for the achievement or just go for the easy non-achievement kill? Usually at the encouragement of the raid we go for the achievement. Same with running heroics. "Oh if we kill this boss while dancing on our heads we can get 10 Achievement points that are good for nothing!" Awesome let's do it!

At one point I almost discouraged inviting two non-raiders to an guild Naxx25 because I knew we could easily defeat two wings with only 20 players and thus start working on Heroic: The Dedicated Few. Almost. But the diplomatic side of me (not The Diplomat mind you) quickly quashed that unhealthy fixation and did not protest to their invitation. In those players' defense they are solid players that I would gladly have in my raid--it wasn't about them per se, but about the damned achievement.

Thus is the relationship of achievements and the World of Warcraft player: love/hate.

I easily nailed The Hallowed title once they took away the mask requirement. I plan on being an Elder because I love the Lunar Festival (as my girlfriend would say, that's the wannabe Asian in me (hi, 8 years of kung fu and extensive travels through China and Thailand)) (Wow was that two closing parentheses?) Ahem. Where was I? Ah yes, Merrymaker...

Violet Proto-drake courtesy of MMO-Champion I went into this Winter's Veil with the expectation that I would never get the Merrymaker title and thus would never get the coveted Violet Proto-Drake for banging out all the holiday achievements. I was sure I would miss Merrymaker simply because I would be offline for 7 days and would not be able to open the gifts under the tree in Ironforge.

I logged back in on Tuesday night and much to my dismay the presents were still there and I looted my Crashin' Thrashin' Racer. At that point I had a decision to make: to Merrymake or not to Merrymake. I would have to complete:
  • Fa-la-la-la-Og'rila
  • Crashin' Thrasin'
  • 'Tis the Season
  • Bros. Before Ho Ho Hos
  • Let It Snow
  • With a Little Helper from My Friends
And I would have until 6AM Friday 1/2 to do it.

For me, this is was the line of demarcation. If I went for it and committed myself to be a Merrymaker then I would be compelled to go for the whole shebang and get the damnable title and mount. If I opted not then I could breathe easy and enjoy the Achievement metagame at my leisure.

All or nothing.

I chose not.
I chose against Merrymaker.
I chose against Achievement obsession.
I chose to just play as I play, enjoy as I enjoy, and Achieve as I Achieve.

I have enough work to do in real life, on side projects, and in game without worrying about getting some stupid snowflakes to camp Dalaran for a freakin' Blood Elf Warlock.

I feel better about my Achievement decision. Thanks for listening. Oh and I updated my latest Achievements on the sidebar, check em out! (ARGHHHH!!!! DAMN YOU ACHIEVEMENTS WHY DO YOU HAUNT ME STILL?!?!)

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Random WoW Encounter

Last night I was out and about with my parents and one of my three sisters (yes I have three sisters and I'm the only son) and I was trying to explain the Windfury Crits blog. Explaining the game is easy enough and I've already covered the game and raiding with them, so no need to explain some aspects. Tonight I was trying to explain melee and the amaziing WoW blogosphere. I'm explaining this when one of the waiters stops and says "I'm sorry to interrupt but did you mention WoW?"

I love those random WoW encounters.

He was a holy priest who played Classic and BC but hung up the mooncloth earlier in the year. He wanted to know about Wrath (It's awesome you need to come back) and if he was going to be trading in his 70 epics for level 71 greens (no way man) and if he should sign back up (get to it!).

And in another totally strange coincidence his brother plays an Enhancement Shaman. I told him to Google Windfury Crits to find my blog. (if you're reading this post and say what's up yo)

11.5 million people play worldwide. That's a lot of people. In fact it's such a big number that it's physiologically impossible to conceptualize it. But every time I have a random WoW encounter in real life it makes that 11.5 million number become real. The waiter in the restaurant; the programmer down the hall; the balding guy in line ahead of me at Barnes & Noble Bookstore; me. People that play WoW, have lives, and love the game.

What was your best random real life WoW encounter?

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Getting Your Gear Score in PoaH

I emailed with the creator of PoaH the other day about why my gear score wasn't showing up and he pointed me to a blog post about the issue and how to correct it. It's pretty simple really:
  1. Go to be.imba.hu
  2. Load up your character in there first
  3. Then go to PoaH and make your post
It adds an extra step into the process which is never fun, but Aaron of PoaH says that its one of the changes he's working on right now. In the meantime if you want your gear scores in there be sure to hit up be.imba.hu first.

Here was the PoaH blog post about it:
http://blog.pathofahero.com/2008/11/incorrect-gear-scores.html

As for me, I'm still offline (from the game) but I will be doing some theorycrafting today and running EnhSim to optimize my gear. Run an extra heroic for me while you're online!

Edit: Hey guys, I was having FTP issues with blogger publishing to my domain this past week. I just changed my logins and pw's and so it all finally updated. Some of your comments didn't show up until just now, and my posts were not getting posting in a timely manner. All fixed. Back on schedule. Thanks for bearing with me.

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Friday, December 26, 2008

Damn that Stoney is SEXXXY

Tonight I'm catching up on my blog reading, which includes checking out my fellow rivals on Path of a Hero, as well as checking his blog. I saw he started tweeting (which I need to change my twitter account over to be all about Stoney) and made some updates, and then did a fix... when I noticed he used my image as the example in this post.

If you're up on PoaH then add Stoneybaby from Muradin (/wave that's me) as a rival. Always great to see my fellow enhancement shamans out there gearing up.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

PvP Specs

hmm... somehow this didn't post on 12/23... here it is a few days later

Looks like it’s PvP posting week here at Windfury Crits. Hey when you got a good thing you go with it. Today let’s look at a couple PvP specs. First up is reader Lindy’s spec:

17/54/0

I would consider this a very offensive PvP build. Nothing going in for Toughness but still keeping the Imp WF totem and, Imp SS, 4/5 UR, and LL then going deep enough for 2/2 Imp Fire Nova Totem.

I like his build but tweaked it to suit my personal tastes for PvP and came up with:

17/54/0

I’m sacrificing some key offensive stats for increased armor and the movement impairment reduction of Toughness. Specifically, I’m dropping Imp SS and only going 3/5 UR. I like the UR buff and wish I could find a way to fit in the last 2 points.

Regardless of your tweaks there are a few talent options that only make sense for PvP. They are:

  • Earth’s Grasp - increases Earthbind Totem radius by 20%, making it whopping 12 yd radius.
  • Toughness - increased armor and reduced movement impairment makes this 5 point talent very attractive. It does require a 5 point investment though.
  • Earthen Power - Earthbind Totem removes all snaring effects. This with Earth's Grasp make Earthbind Totem a pretty sweet combo
  • Elemental Warding - effective Patch 3.0.8 this will reduce "all damage taken by 2/4/6%" A must have for PvP.
  • Improved Fire Nova Totem - Increases FN damage done by 20% and 100% chance to stun when it goes off. This is a great pocket shaman trick especially out of the gate in today's fast-paced arena matches; 2 seconds can be an eternity.

Plus you absolutely do not want to miss out on:

  • 5/5 Maelstrom Weapon - without this an Enhance Shaman is sunk, with it you'll be giving yourself heals as you deal damage and your opponents will wonder where the hell you're getting heals from in the first place.
  • Feral Spirit - they heal you, they stun your enemies, they leap through the air, they last 45 seconds. Love em. I love Feral Spirit so much that if I started this blog post-3.0 I think I would have named it Spirit Wolves or maybe Spirit Walk. Ah well, if you're not using your dogs you're missing out!
The totem buffing options you choose depends on your game-play style. For example, Neither Lindy or I went in for Guardian Totems. I used to be a big fan of it for prolonged arena matches, but that seems to be a thing of the past. I'm interested to see your PvP specs and hear what's working (or not) for you.

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Monday, December 22, 2008

Throw Away(?) Arena Team

As I mentioned in my last post about PvP gear, we did “throw away” arena yesterday just to get some points and get the ball rolling. If you’re not doing this I highly recommend getting it going in your guild; in my opinion it’s always good to have extra arena points.

What is a throw-away team? Get up to 10 people together, create a new 5v5 arena team, make a shtoopit name and a lame team banner and get in the arena with ZERO expectations. Win, lose, whatever, just have fun. One week early in Season 3 we all mounted up and raced around the arenas, whoever was the last one to die was the winner. With 10 people it’s 20g per week, provided you make a new team each week though in my experience even a piss-poor losing team can hold out for 2 weeks and still provide decent points. For the cost of 1.5 dailies you get to accumulate points for gear.

But I digress, we went into arenas last night with that expectation: hey, let’s just have fun, if we win that’s great, if we lose then oh well. I didn’t even try to optimize teams; I just made two groups of 5 based on who had to log early and who could stick around. I was in the first group: Holy Paladin, Arms Warr, 2 hunters, me. We zerged across the bottom of Blade’s Edge and ripped apart some clothies. It was over so fast I didn’t even know what happened. We faced the same team 3 more times and beat them handily each time.

Of course they were focus firing on me—why’s everyone always picking on the shaman? WHY?!? But the Pally did a great job with his heals keeping me up even when I was stun-locked then entire fight. (thanks Audax (the artist formerly known as Farkor)).

We lost 1 match to a 5 DPS team (2 Warr, 2 DK, 1 Ele Shaman, 1 Ret Pally) that simply DPS’d harder than we did, end of story. My group went 4-1.

The next group lost their first match because one of the hunters didn’t get the queue. They won the next four.

It’s worth mentioning that we’re a PvE raiding guild. Most of us do arena for kicks and maybe some gear. A few are solid hardcore PvPers, like Laasthope our MT DK who was arena point and honor point capped on two (three?) toons prior to Wrath’s launch. OK he’s a crazy person. But otherwise we PvP casually so you can understand my surprise when last night we stepped into arena with two ragtag groups of 5 and went 8-2, and by all accounts probably could have gone 9-1 if it wasn’t for Hump the Hunter not getting the queue. *shakes head* Normally, the first week of a new season is brutal as the badass PvP players slash their way through the ranks to fight for domination. Not so last night.

So yeah... It looks like I’m stuck with my arena throwaway team with the dumb name (Mele Kalikimaka) and lame colors (green, red and white) for a while. WTF.

Did anyone do arenas this week? What were your experiences? Did you go in to lose and come out with wins? Did you go all DPS, no heals and own or get owned? Any hardcore arena/PvP players reading this that can comment?

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PvP Gear Through Badges...

We ventured into the arena last for the start of Season 5 (more on that in my next post). I only wanted to get a group together for a “throw-away” team just to get points so I can get either my Hateful or Savage Totem of Indomitability on Tuesday. In case you didn’t know the PvP totems are deemed to be the best totems for Enhance, even better than the badge totem. The Savage (rare quality) is only 175 arena points and 6,400 Honor points.

What about the Hateful Gladiator’s Totem? Good question. I wanted to link the totem and list how much it cost and then weigh in on Savage vs. Hateful. But the problem is that I can’t find a vendor who is selling the Hateful totem. Thottbot doesn’t even have an icon for it. Wowhead & Allakhazam have pages for it but no vendor listed. There is no rating requirement for this totem but that hardly matters since no one appears to be selling it.

Savage totem it is, for now.

The other thing that’s interesting about PvP gear is that you can acquire item with rating requirements without having the rating. How? Emblems and boss drops. You can gear up entirely for PvP with Emblems of Heroism and Emblems of Valor for Hateful and Deadly gear, respectively. Archavon the Stone Watcher drops Hateful gear on regular and Deadly gear on heroic. If you’re running enough instances you can gear up for PvP faster than someone who only does PvP, and not have to worry about the rating requirements. As Wowhead said on their S5 gear guide page, “If you manage get your hands on them, you're good.”

The Hateful set is up for grabs for anyone that regularly runs heroic dungeons and regular raids.

The other option to consider is the Swiftarrow gear. If you raid regularly then Swiftarrow may not be better than your current gear. For example, though my PvE gear doesn’t have resilience I will lose too much in the way of AP/Agi/Crit to make Swiftarrow viable for me, except for 2 peices. But if you’re still hanging on to S2/3/4 gear or in dungeon blues then Swiftarrow will provide some nice upgrades for PvP.

Conclusion:
• Savage Gladiator’s Totem of Indomitability for PvP & PVE
• Emblems + Vault of Archavon = easy PvP gear
• Raid Purps > Swiftarrow > Dungeon Blues > Brutal Gladiator
• WTB Hateful Totem vendor!

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Weapon Enchants (Courtesy of EJ)

The following was updated in the main article over at Elitist Jerks:
http://elitistjerks.com/f47/t20765-shaman_enhancement/

Weapon Enchants

Information on weapon enchants courtesy of Rounced.

Mongoose
Proc for 120 agility and 2% haste. Stacks if both weapons are imbued. Proc mechanic thought to be set to 1 PPM. Works out to approximately 40% uptime (based on WWSs). Does not appear to scale down with level. 2% haste = 65.58 haste rating. So each proc should be worth (65.58 x haste EP) + (120 x agility EP) = 302.4 EP for a value of 121EP after uptime.

Berzerking
Provides 400 attack power in exchange for 25% of your armor when it procs. Does stack if used on both weapons. Proc mechanic is reported to mirror mongoose (and current findings appear to validate that model) so it should have approximately a 40% uptime. 400AP = 400EP. With uptime should be worth 160 EP.

Accuracy
Provides 25 hit and crit rating. If you are under the spell hit cap (taking this enchant into account) then it is worth (3.2 x 25) + (1.7 x 25) = 122.5EP. If you are over the spell hit cap then it is worth (1.6 x 25) + (1.7 x 25) = 82.5EP.

Berzerker is the best option to use on at least one, if not both, of your weapons. However unless you have separate weapons for PvP the debuff is going to be very painful (400AP versus giving every melee the equivalent of 385 Armor Penetration Rating). Mongoose is still a great second choice and if you can use Accuracy to just hit the spell hit cap it's an acceptable option as well.

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Grim Toll & Hit Caps

PoaH Update
Every time I get a new piece of loot I have to reconfigure my gear to get as close to the hit cap without going under. Grim Toll is a very nice upgrade and while there are better upgrades to be had in Naxx25, the time was right and I was next up on DKP. Glad I got it; it's a crapton of hit.

I tried using the ShareThis feature to publish directly to my blog but it didn't seem to work. Will be interesting to see if I end up with 3 posts tomorrow here or if they all go to the wrong blog. Anyway, if you are on PoaH hit me up as a rival. It's a fun site.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Sapphiron Kill, Stats, and Analysis

Last night we downed Sapphy on heroic with 22 people (2 empty spots and 1 offline), no deaths and 2 people not in FR gear. Yes, I was a lazy officer who didn't have Frost Resist gear (I completely missed the posts and GMOTD), sorry! I survived every attempt except for one where I got stuck in 2 Blizzards and couldn't get out so the lack of FR gear was not terribly detrimental but I expect you don’t want to have all 25 people lacking the proper resistance. All together I'd say they were very good attempts by Unorthodox and it was no surprise that we grounded the big Lich mount.

As I was reviewing my WWS stats I came across some very interesting figures. We have a guild policy against linking WWS outside the guild otherwise I would share, so I’ll transcribe the stats instead. Here are my figures for our kill shot:

Damage Out
% – Attack – % Crit
35% – Swing – 34%
13% – WF – 38%
12% – FT – 27%
11% – LB – 24%
10% – ES – 26%
07% – SS – 43%
05% – LS – 0%
03% – Wolves – 12%
03% – LL – 26%

Total Fight length: 7’08”
Total DPS time: 5’33”
Overall DPS: 2622

LOL at Lava Lash… ah boy I know I carry on about LL quite a bit, but really it’s a 36 point talent that only does 3% of my raid damage. One could argue that the 51 point talent of Feral Spirit also only does 3% of damage but those dogs have a lot of usefulness in their stuns and their ability to heal me when they attack. Believe me when I say I popped them at every available opportunity to help with healing.

It’s interesting to see the spells/ability start to separate with some becoming more prominent than others. I do believe ES was higher in the damage output than SS because I was always throwing an ES up on the boss as I was running back in after an air phase.

Lightning Shield was 5% of my damage. It proced 38 times for an average of 1216 per hit. I did not have mana problems throughout the entire fight so that’s an additional 139 DPS for the 3 points in Static Shock. I’ll take that every day and twice on Sunday.

I would like to get that DPS number up, but I suppose that will come in time and gear upgrades.

Healing was even more interesting...

Stoney’s outgoing heals:
34% – Healing Stream Totem
34% – Spirit Hunt
14% – Improved Leader of the Pack
11% – Healing Wave
07% – Chain Heal
01% – Spirit Wolf: Imp LotP

There were only 2 shamans in the raid; the resto dropped Mana Spring so I put down Healing Stream. 34% of my healing done was from that totem. It doesn’t tick for much and you don’t think about because it seems so insignificant, but over a 7 minute fight it makes a huge difference. Drop it like it’s hot for this fight.

Spirit Hunt was the next best thing. I used my wolves 3 times in the fight: right at the beginning, then around 3 minute mark and again around 6 minutes. In that short amount of time they did more healing than I did between HW and CH combined. Love me some wolves.
Hint: They are the most effective to use during the air phase because there is no tail swipe, no Blizzard, and Sapphiron is still in melee range. And Frost Breath does not affect pets.

That’s all for now. Do you see anything that could be improved here?

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New Spec, New EP

New Spec: 16/55/0

This is my pre-3.0.8 primarily-but-not-quite-totally-raiding-focused spec.
You'll notice I went into Static Shock. That was an easy switch for me and Lightning Shield is already out-pacing Lava Lash as of last night's Naxx25 run. Poor, poor Lava Lash, how I want to love you! How I wish you were killer so-totally-worth-it 36 point talent. But alas, lil' LL you are what you are: I use you only when I'm one proc away from getting that 5th Maelstrom Weapon or when everything else is on cooldown.

Anyway... Everything else is pretty straight forward as I have written about before. I sacrificed points in Unleashed Rage because we're now solidly in 25 mans and have 3 raiding hunters, and usually we have at least 2 in 25s and 1 in 10s. I put those 3 points in just for soloing purposes.

I really feel like the extra point in Ancestral Knowledge is wasted, as are the points in Convection. Even without Water Shield I did not have mana issues at all last night. Granted, Blessing of Wisdom on me and Judgment of Wisdom up on the boss make a big difference.

Once 3.0.8 hits I'll respec again and probably dive deeper into a pure raiding build. But for now with all my new gear and my new spec I have to recalculate my EP values. I have a feel it's time to hit the Expertise cap now that Hit is covered.

What are your specs? What's working for you?

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Eye of Eternity

So much to blog about... so little time

At the very least I want to put up a post about fighting Malygos in the Eye of Eternity. This is an awesome encounter. Blizzard did a fantastic job with it so let’s look at it from a melee/Enhance perspective.

Phase 1: No Tail Swipe, no Power buff
He doesn’t have a tail swipe so I can swing to my heart’s content and not worry about being knocked around. There’s no agro drop and really no extra melee-only damage or perils interfere with a normal rotation. On the down side the Power Spark buffs are mostly going to be in the middle so that ranged can maximize their usage. Malygos does have a huge hit box though I’m spending about 80% of my time outside the Power buff.

Malygos Vortex
Hint for this phase: with 3-4 seconds to go before Vortex, save your Maelstrom Weapon procs and cast Chain Heal about halfway through. He casts Vortex pretty much as soon as the cooldown is up so it’s easy to predict the timing. He’ll also dip and flap his wings to lift off before he starts heading over. If you’re not up to 5 MW procs you can continue to swing to get those last ones you need.

Another hint: You can get off a MW4 Chain Heal during the Vortex if you don’t get the full 5 procs, just keep spamming the “Jesus Beams” button.


Phase 2: It never felt so good to be melee.
Ever see Back to the Future 2? Hoverboard anyone? These dudes fly down on their little hoverboard discs and we DPS them down then hop on the discs to go kill the other dudes. While in the air we take absolutely NO damage and have NO threat to worry about. It’s just DPS and keep up with the dudes on the their hover discs. Meanwhile, all ranged is busy running from bubble to bubble and taking damage… hmmm… sound familiar?? In this phase ranged finally at long last has to suffer the “Run In Run Out” and “Run Around Like An Idiot” tactics that melee has to endure most every boss fight. And all the while we get to hop on disc and fly around killing dudes. HA! I love it!

Melee was never so much fun
Notice Omen is empty--no threat table!

Hint for this phase: while on the disc follow the dude you’re killing to the side and use the strafe keys. You move slower strafing, though it’s still faster than their move speed it’s easier to maintain close distance than following them from behind.

Another hint: to keep your bearings in the 3D movement I am moving my camera around a lot—it helps to change the perspective to see how near or far you are from the dudes.

Phase 3: Aces High redux
Once all the dudes are dead Malygos gets pissy and blows up the floor. Thankfully some of the red dragonflight is there to pick you up. This phase is just like the Coldarra daily Aces High. Admittedly I never did this quest (nor had most of our 10-man raid) so this was a learning experience for everyone. Fun segment of the fight, but nothing really compares to DPSing from a hoverdisc.

We ran out of time before we could down Malygos, but we’ll be back next week for sure.

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Enhancement Shaman Changes Patch 3.0.8

There's not much out there for us this patch, but I do like what I see. Here's a quick recap:

Fire Nova Totem: Now no longer generates threat.
Good stuff. We can drop these totems earlier to coincide with an AoE pull and not have to worry about it pulling its own threat off the tank.

Magma Totem: The damage and scaling has been increased and no longer generates threat.
More damage here and no threat is awesome. I'll be interested to see how much more damage it does.

Mental Quickness: Reduced the mana cost of instant cast Shaman spells by 2/4/6% and increases spell power by an amount equal to 23/46/70% of your agility.
This is AWESOME. Love it! 70% of my Agi goes into SP as opposed to 100% of Int. That's another 45 SP for Stoney immediately. This will also change the EP value of Int and the relative worth of Ancestral Knowledge. Looks like we'll be leaning to leather once again.
Thanks guys for the correction! Revised 12/15: This SUCKS! OK it's a nerf. Not that big of a nerf but a nerf nonetheless.


Edit (again) 12/15 - update from Ghostcrawler (Thanks Phil for the link)
Long story short, after reading your feedback and thinking about it some more, we no longer like this change and are going to revert it. We will likely swap the positions of Mental Quickness and Static Shock as some of you have suggested. Bottom line: Mental Quickness will still convert attack power to spell power.



Lava Lash - Fixed a bug which allowed you to use the ability even if you had a shield in offhand. Now requires a 1hand axe, fist or dagger to be able to be used.
Damn, I guess I missed out on Lava Lashing with a shield.

And then there are changes to Elemental Warding and Elemental Shields in the Elemental tree (go figure!) that will have PvP implications.
  • Elemental Shields: This talent has been removed. It has now been merged with Elemental Warding.
  • Elemental Warding: Now reduces all damage taken by 2/4/6%. Changed from only reducing Nature, Fire and Frost by 4/7/10%.
  • Elemental Shields was reducing flat physical damage, not a percentage. Now properly reduced by a percentage.
Elemental Warding coupled with Toughness could make for some great damage mitigation in PvP.

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Bish Must Die!

I've been working on my own meta achievement: soloing every group quest and every elite mob. Just me, my wolves, and some crazy dps. So far it's been going swimmingly, although I did group up for the Ring of thingswiththestuff in Zul'Drak.

Last night I started working on Archbishop Landgren for the quest Second Chances. To start it off I did a dive-bomb into the entrance to avoid the mass of Scarlet humanity outside on the steps. I still had to solo 6 mobs at once (3 outside on the ground, 1 flyer outside, and 2 inside) but that's no problem: my dogs & MW5_HW FTW. Then there are two single pulls, followed by two packs of five. I LoS'd the 5 packs into the entry hall just so I could get those damn Scarlet Harbor Guards around the bend and in melee range.

That leaves the Archbishop all alone. Er, wait... he has guards? Nuts, this is going to require some thought.

He has two Onslaught Harbor Guards with him, which are the annoying shoot-you-with-icy-arrows guys. He's got his own personal bodyguard service--but I guess if I was an Archbishop, especially and eeevvil Archbishop--I'd have my own personal bodyguards.

My first attempt was sans-heroism because I popped it on my dive bomb 6-mob fight. I didn't need to and obviously wasn't thinking ahead and didn't want to wait 5 minutes for the CD to come up. So I just set up my totems and got ready. I used the pillar for LoS and pulled with a Chain Lightning at the first guard. I popped my wolves and set them after one of those guards while I worked on the other one. I was holding up really really well and got down both guards without much hassle at all. I thought, this is going to be easy! Then I saw why it was so easy: the Archbishop bugged out in the pillar. He was evading and there was nothing I could do but pick up my totems and let the game reset him.
Attempt 1: Draw

At least that gave me enough time for Heroism to come up for my second attempt. Back to the pillar I went, put down my Totems (WF, SoE, FT, Mana), and then pulled with another CL. This time I made sure the Bish was positioned properly. He was. I went to town on him. Wolves, Heroism, rotating Fire Nova for the stuns (guess I'm glad I have that 1 point now!) and just FF down the boss. In the end it wasn't enough. Damage from 3 mobs was more than I could handle and after my wolves expired I couldn't keep up with the damage. I went down.
Attempt 2: Dead Shaman

I ran back to get my corpse and knew I would have to wait 10 minutes again for Heroism, as there was no way I'd get him down without it. I also figured I'd need to kill the adds to lower the damage taken. I Recalled back to Dalaran and met up with a guildie who gave me her Healthstone (I'm a healthstone addict). I kicked it in Dalaran for a bit then hopped the FP back to Icecrown. Dive bomb in to the cathedral, kill 6, then 1, 1, 5, and finally 5 again.

Now it's me, the Bish, and his buddies. I shouted at him that he wasn't man enough to fght me alone. He just stood there in silent agreement; with his eyes always watching, judging. So be it: The Bish must die!

Totems down, gameplan laid out (kill adds then boss), and all my tricks ready I pulled again with a CL and LoS them back to a pillar. The damn guards kept trying to get behind me so I wasted a few precious moments on positioning. I got the adds down, turned to the boss and popped Hero. Already my Fire Ele was out and my wolves were going. I got to work on His Bishness but made a few key errors. I wasn't interrupting enough of his Mind Blasts and I wasn't rotating in Grounding Totems to pick up the ones I missed. I got him only to 48% before I ran out of steam. My dogs were dead, my HS & pot used, and my last proc of MW was long since coughed up into a LHW. I saw the coming of the inevitable.
Attempt 3: Dead Shaman

And so here we are:
Stoneybaby: 0
Archbishop Landgren: 2

I'll be back, Bish. You can count on it.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Easy baby, easy

I’ve held my tongue for long enough. I’ve not participated in the endless rounds of proclamations, declarations, and other things that end with –ations. The topic has been beat to death, Ankhed up, beat down again, battle-rezzed, and completely destroyed yet again in the WoW blogosphere. And I kinda told myself I wouldn’t post about it, ever. But I’m kinda about to break that kinda-promise to myself. Right now.

Raiding in Wrath = easy.

Easy like Sunday morning. Easy like the bake oven. Easy… like really, really frikkin easy.

Case in point: last night we downed Maexxna with 19 players. Six people got locked out of the room at the start, DPS and healers alike. But she/he/it went down like a vir... (ok I’ll stop the bad metaphors).

Second case in point: Heigan went down with half the raid dead. We used 2 ankhs and I think one B-Rez and it took us 13 minutes, but a kill is a kill and a 1-shot is a 1-shot, even if it is a ghetto kill.

HINT: for phase 2 of this fight use Alt-Z to turn off your interface and just watch the lava/plaguethingy bursts. I died the second time we hit this phase then popped up and survived all subsequent phases by turning off my UI and just observing the action on the ground. Remember: a dead DPS does no DPS.

Third case in point: Last week between 2 ten man groups we cleared every raid instance, and Naxx10 twice.

This was our first night in Naxx25 and we cleared 6 bosses in 2 wings with all 1-shots.

Thankfully Patchwerk finally gave us a challenge last night. Once we figured out we needed 3 tanks because he chains his Hateful Strikes we had a successful kill. Of course until then it was pretty funny as the melee dropped like flies on the first few attempts. BAM! Warrior dead. Then me. Then a rogue. Next Warrior. Next Rogue. Dead, deader, deadest. All within the first 10 seconds of every fight.

In retrospect it was kind of funny and we were thankful for the challenge. Even with 3 tanks the healing output was incredible. You could hear a pin drop in Vent during our last, and successful, attempt of the night. Great job to Unortho healers in that fight!

So there you have it, my contribution to the “raids r ez” rants of my fellow bloggers. I’m ashamed of myself for posting one, but really, I do crave a challenge. How are your guilds doing in progression? Similar experiences?

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Shout out to Ret Borthers-In-Arms

I connected with a fellow melee'er and blogger that I want to share with you all.
Cathmor (aka Josh) blogs about the life and times of Ret Paladins at Eye for a Eye. As Enhance we definitely share common bond, not just the hate on melee of boss encounters, but also as once were given questionable sideways glances by raid leaders and now are indispensable parts of a raid. Or as he put it more succinctly: "brutha from anotha mutha"

If you roll Ret be sure to stop by E4aE and check out his blog. Just don't say you're going to "respect"

Naxx10, OS10, EoE10 Cleared

We cleared Naxx10 (x2), Obsidian Sanctum 10 and Eye of Eternity 10 as a guild this week. And all I have to show for it is this stupid cape. HAHA just kidding. Lots of good loot went out, but through our runs in Naxx10, OS10, and a guild/pug Wintergrasp 25 I did not see one single piece of Shaman T7 loot drop. Not a one. Let's hope next week is nicer to Shamans on Muradin, or at least to this one shaman.

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Monday, December 8, 2008

Wintergrasp: First Experiences

This weekend I had the pleasure of participating in some Wintergrasp action. I got to both assault and defend the keep (victorious both times tyvm). And man did I have fun.

I was worried about running around in PvE gear with mixed blues, purples, and level 70 gear. So I used Outfitter to create a "Max Stam" outfit and put that baby on for some PvP action.

Josh, over at Eye for an Eye, has a good post titled Wintergrasp is Concentrated Awesome which sums up my thoughts exactly. I couldn't have said it better myself.

How did Stoney hold up in that mixed bag of gear? I owned. Spirit Wolves are amazing in PvP. Between their stuns and their heals I was keeping myself alive despite immense pressure from Warriors, Warlocks, and Priests. I had the pleasure of taking down a Warlock in 1-on-1 outside of a machine shop. I surprised him and got the advantage out of the gate. I popped Feral Spirit and my dogs stunned as I ripped him to shreds with weapons. When he came around from the stun I was ready for the Fear and interrupted the first cast. The Death Coil followed suit, at that point I had him to 1% HP but the coil healed him back up. All the while my dogs are keeping at him and winding his health down. When I came out of Death Coil he of course had the fear ready and stupid me I didn't have a Tremor totem down. So I went for a run... When I came back from my little jog my dogs were still all over him. I popped into Ghostwolf chased him down and finished him off with 1 Stormstrike.

A priest showed up at that point and I ripped her to shreds so fast I can only assume it wasn't an 80 toon. Then two Tauren Warriors who were working me over pretty good. I got one down and the other low enough that I felt OK about myself as I finally succumb to the inevitable. Granted it was after 2 full MW5_HW and another MW3 that just couldn't wait.

I did kill a DK at one point but it didn't really register in the confusion so I can't say much about staring one of them down.

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Saturday, December 6, 2008

Replies & Links

I started to type out some replies in the tiny little comment box and pretty much ran out of room. Here are some replies to your comments.

Kassi, there is a great post on Elitist Jerks Enhance thread that has enchants and trinkets by EP value. I recommend bookmarking it and checking back every now and then. Malan who runs the Enhance Shaman EJ thread keeps this forum lean--he deletes anything that is not adding value and adds in anything that does Go to:
http://elitistjerks.com/f47/t20765-shaman_enhancement/

The other link I recommend reading, or better yet subscribing to via RSS is Matthew Rossi's weekly Totem Talk column on WoW Insider. The last two weeks covered rep rewards for Shamans. His articles are not always Enhance Related--he prefers to play Resto--but he does always have great info up there and those two recent Rep reward columns were very helpful.

As for Reverberation vs Elemental Fury, there used to be a reply in the EJ thread about it, but I don't see it in there now. I'll summarize here.

The short story is that with Elemental Fury you gain an approximate 3.7% additional damage throughout the entire run. While Reverberation is only about 2.6% additional damage, assuming every time the CD is up on shocks your SS & MW5LB are not available.But any time you are not taking advantage of the extra second that additional % damage goes down.

Here's the long story:

Elemental Fury: Increases the critical strike damage bonus of your Searing, Magma, and Fire Nova Totems and your Fire, Frost, and Nature spells by 100%.

Reverberation: Reduces the cooldown of your Shock spells by 1 sec.

Let's assume we're not spec'd into SS/Imp Shields. So we're only looking at increased crit damage from FT, ES, LL, and LB. In a recent Naxx 10 with this spec FT, ES, and LB were each 13% of my overall damage with % of crit averaging around 35%, and poor little LL coming in at 4% of overall damage and 30% crit. I'm also not taking into account totems just for the sake of simplicity.

With Ele Fury
AbilityOverallCrit
FT1,000,000350,000
LB1,000,000350,000
ES975,000341,250
LL325,00097,500
All Else4,500,000
Total7,800,0001,138,750


Without Ele Fury
AbilityOverallCrit
FT912,500262,500
LB912,500262,500
ES899,600255,900
LL300,60073,150
All Else4,500,000
Total7,525,200854,050


The calculation (that I think is correct) I used for the Without Ele Fury values is:
Crit with EF /EF Coefficient * Base Spell Crit Coefficient
so FT is
350,000 / 2 * 1.5 = 262,500

The purpose of that formula is to first normalize the crit back to base damage and then multiply it by the standard spell crit coefficient. That results in the crit damage without Ele Fury.

The overall damage is calculated by taking the Overall With Ele Fury subtracting Crit With Ele Fury then adding in the Crit Without Ele Fury
Overall With - Crit With + Crit Without = Overall Without.

In the end we get about 3.7% additional damage output over the course of one night in Naxx10. (well, it's 3.8% in the raw numbers but I rounded some numbers down here) As our crit rating increases this number will continue to go up.

Finally, we now have two spells in our rotation above shocks that should always get priority and that extra 1 second will go to waste more often than not. The point in Ele Fury will get used on every spell crit. So I'd make the choice of Ele Fury over Reverb everyday. And twice on Sunday.

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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Enhance Spec for Heroics & 10s

I respec'd last night. I'm still not 100% satisfied with it (I think the point I put in Improved Fire Nova Totem was misspent) but it will do for now.

17/54/0

I stuck with Enhancing Totems, as mentioned in my previous post this is better than the Death Knight thing that does the stuff. I also stuck with Improved WF Totem and Unleashed Rage. While these points may be wasted in 25s, they will be supremely valuable in 5s and 10s. I'm banging out 3 heroics a night on non-raid nights plus in 10-man raids we're not always going to have a hunter or a Death Knight in the group. My recommendation is to stick with these talents now.

Also with that spec, Elemental Fury and Elemental Focus are nice little boosts to spell damage and mana savers, respectively.

I may eventually drop UR and Imp WF for what I would consider a pure 25-man raid spec of:
16/55/0
Yes, yes I know there are still 2 points in Improved Ghostwolf, but cmon give a guy a break! I like the powershifting. but for now while I'm running 5s & 10s and still finishing up all the quests I will stick with the 17/54/0 spec.

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